February 9, 2021

Three Simple Ways to Satisfy Reader Expectation—and Increase Sales

By Paul Goat Allen

So, while the content included in this blog seems to be stating the obvious—it’s not always apparent to writers who have had their heads immersed in their respective writing project for years. (Insert “can’t see the forest for the trees” idiom here.)

I’m talking about understanding reader expectation: knowing what narrative […]

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February 2, 2021

How to market your self-published book to independent bookstores

By Marques Coleman With the extensive digital services and social media platforms available these days, marketing your self-published book is easier than ever. But there’s one marketing effort that remains challenging: Pitching a self-published book to independent bookstores.

In order to maximize profitability, owners need to utilize every inch of the store. Thus, […]

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January 26, 2021

The Big Genre Fiction Shift to Watch in 2021—and Beyond

By Paul Goat Allen

As a genre fiction book reviewer for almost the last three decades, I’ve seen firsthand the slow but persistent evolution of all genre categories—science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, horror, etc.—and it has been a glorious growth to witness. There is no question about it: today’s genre fiction is much different […]

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January 11, 2021

Experts offer their best tips for self-publishing success

We asked dozens of experts in self-publishing what were the two most important tips they had for indie authors. They responded with advice on everything from book covers to copyrights to social media—and much more! Over the next month, we will share one tip each day on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Don’t miss […]

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December 16, 2020

Where’s the Hook? Five Ways to Make Your First Chapter Unputdownable

By Paul Goat Allen

If you’re writing a novel with the hopes to entertain—to facilitate the literary escapism of your readers—you want those readers to pick up your book and not be able to put it back down. I’ve described these kinds of reads as “unputdownable” in the past—they’re page-turners, and everyone loves a […]

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December 9, 2020

Hercule Poirot in Ancient Egypt: BlueInk Review Talks with N.L. Holmes

By Paul Goat Allen 

The pseudonymous N.L. Holmes burst onto the literary scene in 2020 with not one but two stellar sagas: the Lord Hani series, a historical mystery saga set in pharaonic Egypt during the reign of Akhenaten; and the Empire at Twilight, a historical fiction series which takes place in the last […]

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November 17, 2020

The One Question Many Indie Authors Fail to Ask Themselves

By Paul Goat Allen

Besides reviewing genre fiction for companies like PW, Kirkus, and BlueInk, I work as an instructor and mentor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. During my time with these student writers, we discuss the respective strengths and weaknesses of their manuscripts in great detail, as well as how […]

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November 2, 2020

3 Elements Writers Need to Create Great Characters

By Paul Goat Allen

Well-developed and complex characters are integral to creating a novel that resonates with readers and critics alike. Even with other noteworthy narrative attributes like readability, immersion, plot intricacy, and thematic profundity, a storyline is inevitably going to fail without interesting and identifiable characters.

Ask yourself this: what are some of […]

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October 21, 2020

10 “Must Read” Indie Novels Perfect for Halloween

By Paul Goat Allen

Growing up and now living back in Upstate New York, I’ve always loved Halloween. The temperatures drop, the leaves on the trees turn kaleidoscopic colors, and the air smells like ripe apples and cinnamon sticks. Yeah, there’s the trick-or-treating and the gluttonous consumption of candy afterwards but seeking out and […]

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