We Have ‘Hidden Gems’ from Every Genre!
When you become a subscriber to Hidden Gems, you can select any of over 15 different genres to receive FREE books from. All the most popular genres in publishing are represented, of course – like romance, thrillers, mystery and science fiction. However, we also have less dominant genres including self-help, faith and spirituality and even cookbooks! Below are some recent ‘Hidden Gems’ that our subscribers ranked highly – these ones selected from genres that people don’t automatically think of. We’re really proud to be able to partner with and showcase authors of almost any type of book – bring as much variety as possible to our readers!
Faith & Spirituality
Books on faith and spirituality – from Christian to new-age spirituality – might not own a huge market share of the publishing industry, but they remain one of the most solid performers. While The Association of American Publishers (AAP) doesn’t report figures for independent or self-published books, they’ve reported a steady growth in revenue for Christian and spiritual books – with a nearly 7% increase in 2016 alone. We’re really excited to be able to partner with self-published authors and independent publishers in this genre to help get their books in front of eager reviewers; and these are some of this year’s favorites.
Walking with Christ: 30 Days with Jesus on the Road to Jerusalem by Andrew Gilmore
Author Andrew Gilmore uses the framework of Christ’s last pilgrimage to Jerusalem as a framework for people to take their own month-long spiritual journey; focusing on just three chapters of the New Testament – Luke 17-19 – to allow a great examination of the themes and lessons explored there.
In her 5-star review, Sharon Rentzel writes: “This book will improve your daily life!” She goes on to explain: “Andrew Gilmore never disappoints! His conversational style of writing makes this book so easy to read. I found myself pulled in every time I picked it up, wanting to keep reading and learning more and more. I loved the breakdown of the parables and the reminder of how to apply each of the lessons learned in our daily lives! I feel that this devotional has inspired me to read The Bible more diligently, which is an additional blessing. Do yourself a huge favor and purchase this devotional. I highly recommend it!”
Reviewer Jess R. describes the book as: “A Concise Daily Devotional – Good for Lent.” Continuing: “Overall, this was a concise and effective devotional for me. It wasn’t too long to read each day and I found myself reflecting on my life as I read. The author gives context for his believers at the beginning, which was so nice as a reader. I felt like I knew where he was coming from and that let me just absorb the material and reflect on myself. It’s full of short reads, so I never felt like I “didn’t have time” that day – and there are effective calls to action at the end. I found myself automatically thinking of things when prompted, I didn’t have to try very hard to connect.”
Faith Beats Fear: Grow From Worrier to Warrior by Lakeshia Poole
In the same vein as the previous book, author Lakeshia Poole sets fourth a 31-day protocol to help those overwhelmed by life’s challenges find the strength and purpose needed to continue; combining scripture with short fiction to guide, inspire and drive you on the journey from ‘worrier’ to ‘warrior.’
In a 5-star review, GiGi writes: “I absolutely love this book. I was going through a tough time when I found it really hard to believe. Similar to the author, my family always asks “where is your faith?” However, my faith slips sometimes and it can be tough to get back on track. This book suggested a strategy for getting back to my faith that was so simple, yet profound. I found this book relatable, honest and encouraging. I have recommended it to my Bible study group.”
Reviewer Hope S. is likewise a fan: “This book was really helpful and insightful. This past year was really hard for me and I was in a very dark place and felt alone. I read this book and felt optimistic about so many things that I was ready to give up on. It really helped me in my time of need.”
The unexpected success of Netflix’s show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo isn’t an isolated incident. Among traditionally-published books, adult non-fiction has been one of the fastest growing segments – adding over a billion dollars of revenue in the period 2015-2016. Of that growth, self-help books are some of the biggest earners. Tina Jordan, Vice President of Trade Publishing for the Association of American Publishers, explained: “Books that emphasized values, simple living or had inspirational messages like the Magnolia Story, Present Over Perfect, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Uninvited were among the most popular of the year.”
Hidden Gems is excited to showcase the work of a number of self-help authors, who bring a bold message of inspiration and change to readers through a variety of life-lessons and guides.
Your Rebel Dreams: Find your passions and power up your life by Tikiri Herath
Hidden Gems was excited to feature the second in Tikiri Herath’s bold series of Rebel Diva Workbooks. In this edition, she dares the reader to focus on discovering passions and talents, and then offers a step-by-step process to help leverage that into a way to fast-track your dream life.
“You can do it!” Reviewer Mary Brannian writes in her 5-star review. “This book… I can’t find the words to express how it made me feel. It explains, step by step, ways you can take charge of your life and yourself, and improve on it, moment by moment, day by day, until you achieve the goals you set for yourself. Motivational, uplifting, outstanding! If you feel downtrodden, alone, hiding your inner light under a basket, this book shows you the path to a better life and a better outlook. Don’t allow your insecurities to hold you back; be brave: buy this book and read it! Learn how to be all that you can be, and more than you ever expected!”
Reviewer girly garden also gave the book a 5-star review, writing: “I’ve read a bunch of motivational and inspirational books, self-help workbooks etc. and this one definitely falls in the top 10 for me, which is saying something since self-reflection is still a new uncomfortable experience for me. This workbook starts off very aspirational and inspirational with the promise of bringing practical applications to help you discover your passions, your purpose, your vision for your life and I’d say the author delivers! There are lovely quotes by women, both well known and lesser well-known, but all perfect for where they show up in this book to inspire you and I think to help demonstrate just how many women role models are out there, though I’m sure there are many more, even within our own communities and families than are mentioned in here.”
Going Back to Zen: Where to Find Peace So You Can Live Like Mad by Janine Vance
You’ll often hear the expression “less is more” – but nowhere is this mantra more clearly explained than in Janine Vance’s book; which questions our materialistic culture and argues that stripping away unnecessary things and identifying what truly makes you happy is the key to contentment in this hectic modern age.
“Gentle Wisdom for the Heart, Mind, and Soul,” said reviewer Jamie BJ in her 5-star review. “If you’re looking for a book to get you thinking about some of the deeper aspects of what it means to be human, you might enjoy the essays in this book. There’s much food for thought here, so I recommend that you read and digest only one or two chapters/essays at a time to get the most benefit from this book. I also suggest making a little note to yourself at the top of each chapter about what it means to you so that you can more easily come back to it if you find yourself grappling with the topic of the chapter.”
“Lots of information packed into a very readable book!” Reading Fiend writes in a 5-star review. “This is a wonderful compilation of everything you need to know! Each chapter is a new subject, which of course you can study deeper if you want to, but this author gives a very thorough overview of how to to get in touch with ourselves and achieve healing and health. I’ve been delving into self-healing for over a year now, and had I found this book at that time, I would have been way ahead of the game. Topics and explanations include Taoism, meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, and essential oils to name just a few.”
For years, the The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has been claiming that eBook sales are in deep decline. However, because the AAP only provides figures for its own members – essentially traditional publishing as a whole – this is believed to be a wildly misleading claim; as the rise of self-published and independently published books has seen the sales of eBooks skyrocket over recent years. One area of print publication that has remained stable however – in fact, actually growing by 21% in the first half of 2017 – has been cookbooks. This is because it’s generally easier to wipe bologna sauce off a glossy print book than a laptop.
That’s not to say that self-published and independently-published cookbooks aren’t carving their own share of the market – and while they’re one of the lesser-represented genres, Hidden Gems regular offers them for readers to review.
550 Keto Instant Pot Recipes by Sandra Fennell
The Ketogenic Diet – a high-fat, low-carb alternative to traditional eating – has been exploding in popularity recently; along with the surprising popularity of the Instant Pot (part crockpot, part pressure cooker, and a hybrid of the two) as a convenient way for busy people to prepare delicious dinners hours in advance. In this book, author Sandra Fennell combines the two – offering 550 (yes, five-hundred-and-fifty!) keto-friendly recipes that you can ‘fire and forget’ in your Instant Pot.
“Helpful and Useful guide,” writes Top 50 Reviewer Kip Krenz, in his 5-star review. “I started following a ketogenic diet with a daily calorie breakdown of 5% carbs, 20% protein, and 75% fats. I also tried to stay within my calorie needs. It is not difficult since a common symptom of this diet is the feeling of fullness. Once I reached my ideal weight, I tried to rotate meager carbohydrate days with higher carbohydrate days so I can say that simple plan works for me. I created a detailed keto-friendly food list so you can keep it in your shopping bag. The author did an excellent job for all. I think that’s the perfect guidebook forever.”
Kat Ryker, a Top 50 Reviewer, also gave the book 5-stars, writing: “Now that I’ve tried a couple of the recipes and read the first 20 pages or so, I’m convinced this book contains everything you need to cook with an Insta-Pot, or Crock Pot Express Pot Multi Cooker. This book will work with both, with only a few minor tweaks to take into account the differences between the two machines. The transition to Keto is not the easiest for some people, but these recipes should actually give you an advantage. I went through each recipe in this book, all 550 of them. I found some amazing dishes that you can make while still maintaining the Keto diet. Kudos to the author for putting these together. And to anyone wanting to convert to the Keto Diet, I’d say this book would be a great start.”
Ninja Air Fryer Cookbook by Liam Moss
I speak from experience when I join the 123 customers recommending this book, which was featured by Hidden Gems at the very end of last year. While I have a Cuisinart air fryer, rather than the Ninja the book is focused on, the recipes are interchangeable – and transformed my steak and vegetables from “Dad, we’re not eating that,” to “Dad, can we have some more?”
In her 5-star review, Emily Rollen shares my enthusiasm for the book, writing: “Excellent reference! Lots of great recipes! I wasn’t sure how to use my Ninja Fryer, but after some misfires, I found this book and began making the recipes. So delicious! And much easier than I anticipated. I rarely use my oven anymore because the air fryer is so good! These recipes keep my family full haha! Don’t pass it up!”
“So good,” writes reviewer Kerrie. “I don’t know what it is about these air fryers, but they just make everything taste so good. I didn’t know that there were so many recipes to make, but with this cookbook I am going to be making some delicious food! I adore the easy to follow recipes in this book, and everything looks amazing.”
“GREAT COOKBOOK!” Writes D. Adonis in his 5-star review. “After reading the recipes in this book, I decided to borrow a friend’s Ninja Fryer promising food for the football game. I made Peppercorn Meatloaf, Grilled Tofu Sandwich, Spicy Pepper & Sweet Potato Skewers and Eggplant Chips with Honey. VERY easy to make and VERY healthy since Air fryers have NO oil or grease for cooking. Light, yet crispy and flavorful.”