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Guest Posts

What Goes Into Choosing Your Genre?

By: Sloan Quinn & Katherine Stark | Posted on October 4, 2019

In your spare time you may read a number of different types of books for pleasure, but as an author, you need to focus on a particular genre to write in.  For some, that’s a fairly simple decision, but for others it may not be so easy.  So how do you decide? What factors go into choosing your genre, or your sub genre?  There are many ways to do it, but in today’s guest post authors Sloan Quinn and Katherine Stark offer up a few ideas based on the process they used. Romance as a genre is huge. There are so many different sub-genres contained within it: paranormal romance, contemporary erotica, thrillers and romantic suspense, romantic comedies… the list could go on for ages. We both are newer romance writers: Sloan Quinn writes the Dirty series, enemies-to-lovers romances centered around the criminal underground in Philadelphia (where she went to college);… Read More >

10 Feminist Books That Empower and Educate

By: Heather Gonzales | Posted on September 10, 2019

Books continue to retain their power despite the rise in technology and instantaneous information. After all, there’s still something about reading thoughtfully crafted sentences, and reading people’s stories and empathizing with characters across time. Plus, books continue to inform and inspire us to learn more about our world. In a society where people are growing more aware about issues like sustainability, intersectionality, and feminism, books remain the perfect medium for people to exchange ideas. This type of exchange leads to honest discourse and critical thinking, which are no mean feats in today’s world. In fact, researchers from Maryville University note how brands and companies tend to use relevant issues as an opportunity to elevate their brand presence and expand their market share. This is despite not making any tangible efforts to further the cause, especially for hot topics like feminism, which has and is being used as a marketing tool for many… Read More >

Sell More Books with an Optimized Author Central Account

By: Penny C. Sansevieri | Posted on August 9, 2019

If you publish on Amazon, understanding the importance of your Author Central account and what you need to do to keep it updated is essential. Author marketing expert Penny Sansevieri spends her days helping authors sell more books, and so she knows all about how to optimize Author Central to help do just that.  We’re grateful she’s agreed to share a number of tips and suggestions with us on how to make your book stand out from all the others! As an author you’ve no doubt spent a lot of time determining the most lucrative keywords and categories on Amazon, but too few overlooking the juice you can get by optimizing your Amazon Author Central Page with all the free features that come along with it. First I want to point out that technically every author on Amazon is represented by Author Central, but it’s really doing you no good… Read More >

How to Co-Write a Six-Book Series and Stay Friends

By: Eve Kincaid and Lily Danes | Posted on June 28, 2019

At some point in your career, you may consider the idea of writing a book or series with another author.  Finding the right partner is a key element, but there are a lot of other factors to consider as well. Luckily, the co-writing powerhouse team of Eve Kincaid and Lily Danes are here to walk us through how to do it right, and not wanting to murder your writing partner by the end of it! (Hint, there may be alcohol involved) Let’s start this off with a confession. I, Eve Kincaid, volunteered to co-write an article on co-writing with my co-author, and I have no idea how to do that. (Answer: she wrote the first draft, then handed it over to me to add snarky asides vital additional information. —LD) Lily Danes and I are the co-creators of the Lost Coast Harbor series—noir-inspired contemporary romance set on the rugged Northern… Read More >

Don’t Get Lost in Translation

By: Désirée Nordlund | Posted on June 14, 2019

Many authors would agree that it’s hard enough to write in the language you grew up speaking, let alone trying to do so in a second language that you learned later in life. And if your native language happens to be English, you’d probably wonder why you’d ever bother trying in the first place.  But for writers whose native language is anything else, there are some definite benefits to writing and publishing in English – and some very obvious obstacles as well. Désirée Nordlund is an author who has taken this challenge head on, and we’re thrilled that she’s sharing tips and encouragement to other writers considering doing the same thing. I am one of many authors who write in English though it is not my native language. I am also one of many who gets this choice questioned — a lot. Why don’t you write in your native language? Because… Read More >

6 Book-ish Summer/Holiday Activities for Kids

By: Kate Stead | Posted on June 4, 2019

Aaah… school holidays and summer vacation. Sometimes fabulous, sometimes horrible. Like many parents, Chris and Kate Stead, founders of the children’s publishing company Old Mate Media, have a love/hate relationship with school breaks. Like most of us, they struggle with the never-ending challenge of finding inexpensive and fun activities to do with the kids. The good news is, they’ve discovered some fabulous book related options to share with us. Here are six bookish activities that Kate has put together for you to do with the young ones during school holidays or when they’re home in the summer. 1: Visit the Library I can hear you all groaning. This seems so obvious that it’s barely worth including. But when did you actually last visit the library with your kids? Our children love going to the library and often they will run school holiday specific activities for kids. If they don’t have… Read More >

Hollywood Could Learn from Romance Novels About Strong Female Characters

By: Simone Scarlet | Posted on May 31, 2019

Hollywood is desperate for ‘strong female characters’ – but romance/adventure author Simone Scarlet believes they’re looking in the wrong place for them. Here is her argument to Hollywood that they would be better served by mining romance novels for examples of strong female characters than continuing to write ‘shared cinematic universes’ using the same tired tropes that haven’t worked for years.  She even ends the post with a few book recommendations of where they can start looking! Warning, this post contains some a spoiler or two about Captain Marvel. The other week, I went to the cinema to watch Avengers: Endgame, which came off the back of Captain Marvel. I’ll have to admit – I loved them both, especially the inaugural outing for Marvel’s newest superhero. With Captain Marvel, it was great to see the 1990s brought to life again, to watch Samuel L. Jackson as I remembered him from… Read More >

Hiring a Character – Tips on Character Development

By: Peter Gelfan | Posted on May 17, 2019

Proper character development isn’t easy, but when it’s done right your book gets filled with a host of memorable characters that keep readers thinking about your story long after they’ve finished reading it. But how do you produce and pull together this cast of personalities? Here to give you the techniques to do just that is author, editor and writing tutor Peter Gelfan. When creating a new character for a novel, a writer often approaches the task in a utilitarian way, just as we might hire someone. If we need a toilet fixed, we hire a plumber. A character needs a boyfriend, so we write a guy about her age, decent looking but no movie star, employed but not rich, likes wine but no drunk, done. And now the plot has the necessary boyfriend. But have we missed something here? Character development is much more important than simply creating characters… Read More >

Free Cover Promo Creation Tools

By: Ellen Mint | Posted on May 3, 2019

A professional, eye-catching cover is a key start to getting your book noticed against a sea of competition, but book promotion shouldn’t end there.  Many authors create other imagery for marketing their book in a variety of different places, whether it be on social media or paid advertising spots. While you can usually commission these from designers, if you are comfortable with photo editing and have an eye for putting together compelling imagery, you can save money by doing it yourself.  Today’s guest author, Ellen Mint, gives us a quick primer on some of the free tools out there to get you started. Writers, you’ve got an amazing book, a perfect cover, and can’t wait to tell the world about it. You need a beautiful picture to make ads for facebook, amazon, or blogs. Readers are far more likely to click on a link if an eye-catching infographic entices them…. Read More >

Writing Against Time – Avoid Anachronisms

By: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban | Posted on April 19, 2019

No matter what type of story you’re writing, getting the details correct is a key component to creating an immersive reader experience. If you’re making up your own world or society, you also get to make up the details – but when your settings are based on real events and different time periods, you have to be much more careful.  Those aren’t rules and norms you can easily break – and author Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is here to explain why and what happens when you do. As a writer of historical fiction, I am aware of the importance of adding well researched details to bring a past period to life. If the story takes place in the present, readers will have their personal experiences to draw from when imagining the characters’ daily lives, but when it is set in past times, it’s the writer’s responsibility to recreate in their minds a world… Read More >