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Writing Craft

The Secret to Daily Word Counts – The Path of Least Resistance

By: Ginger | Posted on July 31, 2020

If the old saying that “a writer writes” is true, why do so many authors find it difficult to keep the words flowing? Ginger has some thoughts on that, and shares some tips for authors who are serious about turning self-publishing into a career – or who already are, but just want to become more productive.  The points below all ring true to me, particularly the second one as that was what led me to a corporate job and away from writing for many years (although in my case, it was more my own logical mind that talked me out of writing rather than anyone else – but the solution was the same.)  So if you’re looking for a few tips on increasing your daily word count and finishing your books, read on! During all my blog posts about marketing, advertising, and promoting your books, I hope one thing has… Read More >

Does genre matter? Writing something different may teach you something new.

By: J.E. Rowney | Posted on July 24, 2020

If you’re like most authors, you’ve likely picked a genre that you know or like the best and embraced it, rarely (if ever) writing outside of it for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps it’s because nothing else interests you, or because you’re afraid that your fans are only interested in reading that type of story from you.  But as guest post author J.E. Rowney points out, there is a lot to be learned from stepping outside your comfort zone. Even if it’s just as a small writing experiment instead of a full blown novel, spending time in an unfamiliar genre can make you a stronger writer even when you return back to the familiar. As my readers will know, I write in the chick-lit or women’s fiction genre. My books focus on friendships and relationships. These are the things that interest me. They are what I want to read about,… Read More >

Top 10 Tips to Going Wide

By: Erin Wright | Posted on June 26, 2020

We’ve been hearing from more and more authors lately that are cutting the cord, so to speak – stepping away from KU exclusivity for one reason or another in order to test the waters by “going wide”, which simply means selling their book across all (or most) of the digital storefronts instead of just Amazon. Erin Wright went wide back in 2016 and has never looked back, which is why she’s perfectly suited to provide you with the tips for how to change your way of Amazon-centric thinking and prepare to bring your work to a much wider audience. Howdy, y’all! *waving* I’m Erin Wright, a USA Today bestselling author. I write contemporary western romance, and am a dedicated wide author. Although I didn’t start out as a wide author, I quickly became one as Amazon went through one upheaval after another, stripping page reads from authors, shutting down accounts… Read More >

Pandemic Book Sales – Author Survey

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 1, 2020

No matter where you live, the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting everyone hard – with many out of work or forced to work from home.  While many full-time authors were already doing that and thus may not have noticed much of a change in their working situation (other than having a potentially busier/noisier household and no Starbucks to escape to with their laptop), how have their actual book sales fared?  Let’s find out by analyzing the feedback from over 90 authors! With so many people stuck at home in forced or voluntary quarantine, logic would dictate that they have more time than ever to read.  But there are also other factors at play, making the situation less straight-forward.  Aside from other distractions – children (home schooling or just taking care of them), movies and television, etc, there may be less money to spend on books in general.    So does that… Read More >

Keep Your Sagas Consistent the Dungeons and Dragons Way

By: Ginger | Posted on April 24, 2020

Writing a book series is a great way to establish a sustainable writing career – but the bigger your literary universe, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of it. Strong and recurring characters are the backbone of any great saga, but as your cast continues to grow, it becomes more and more difficult to keep track of everyone’s appearance, background and traits. So why not steal an idea from Dungeons and Dragons and use character sheets to keep it all straight? This year, I published the tenth book in my most popular romance series and began adapting all the previous ones into paperback – and that’s when I ran across a problem. In Book One of my series – the one I was turning into a paperback – I was reminded that my big, bad, baseball-bat swinging protagonist had an older brother. In Book Nine, I’d specifically spoken… Read More >

What are your Publishing Priorities?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 3, 2020

As many of us know, when it comes to self-publishing, actually writing your book is really only the first step in a much bigger process and to really have any chance of achieving success in this business, you can’t afford to miss or skip any of the other steps. You want to make the most out of each book launch, which means being prepared and well organized – in other words, “get all your ducks in a row.” Unfortunately, that advice only works when you’re already sure which order your ducks are meant to go in!  That’s why in this short guide, we’ll break down the publishing priority list for any independent author. One of the things that holds back a lot of self-published authors is the sheer scale of launching a writing career. Writing a book is hard enough – but then you’ve got to teach yourself how to… Read More >

Combining Entrepreneurialism and Self-Publishing – The “Billy Houston Method”

By: Ginger | Posted on March 27, 2020

Recently, we interviewed Australian entrepreneur and author Greg Holman, and one of the nuggets he shared in his debut novel, Billy Houston Rags to Riches, was the secret to a successful business. And while you may be one of those authors that embraced storytelling as a way to leave that world behind and be your own boss, you would be making a mistake by ignoring it completely. There are many parallels between running a business and self-publishing your book, which means that a lot of Billy Houston’s advice can be used to make your own career more successful. In his novel, serial entrepreneur Billy Houston imparts some of Greg’s real-life wisdom (as the author himself is a massively successful entrepreneur) and it resonated deeply with me as a self-published author. Process, leverage, and distribution – the three guiding business principles that would guide my business endeavors. You might wonder what… Read More >

Writing Challenge – Making the most out of social isolation!

By: Ginger | Posted on March 20, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’re probably under either self-isolation or outright quarantine because of the COVID-19 virus (and if you have been living under a rock, you should probably stay there for a while, it may be safer!) But for writers, there’s a grim silver lining to this crisis – as self-isolation is one of the most advantageous situations to find yourself in if you’re committed to putting pen to paper. So for those of us that can’t do much else anyway, let’s make the most out of it with a writing challenge! Hidden Gems is proposing a fun writing challenge to help you to get your next book written! Please do remember that real lives are at stake during this crisis – so we’re not trying to make light of this scary situation. However, I think the next few weeks or… Read More >

Why Fan Fiction hits you right in the feels…

By: Ginger | Posted on March 6, 2020

There’s a whole community of writers that spend their time building on the worlds and characters created by others, and an even bigger community of readers that enjoy them.  Ever wonder what drives the popularity of fan fiction? Getting to spend more time in a literary universe that you’re already familiar with is the main driver, but it goes even deeper than that.  Authors of fan fiction aren’t just tapping into simple familiarity; they’re building on the love and connection that fans already have for those characters by continuing to tell their stories.  Because like any good writing, fan fiction taps into your emotions, and that’s what keeps readers coming back for more. Taking your readers on an emotional journey is a surefire way to leave an indelible impression. When I embarked on my ambitious goal of writing romance novels, one piece of advice in particular made it possible –… Read More >

Writing Tips Worth Carrying Around

By: Stuart Thaman | Posted on February 28, 2020

If there’s one thing that the internet excels at, it’s spreading misleading or even false information. There is so much misinformation floating around that independent authors are often led down the wrong path even after they’ve done their best searching for the right one. Best-selling author Stuart Thaman spends a lot of his time advising authors via his own blog or the writing forums he helps moderate, and he was kind enough to put together a list of tips that correct many of the most popular misconceptions he’s heard.  While our blog has covered some of these in the past, it’s very useful to have them summed up so succinctly in a single post—and the addition of many points we haven’t yet covered makes this list worth reading not only for new authors, but more established ones as well.   I see a lot of the same mistakes being made everywhere…. Read More >