July 7, 2021

Three Ways Writers Can Create Opportunity

By Paul Goat Allen

One of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw’s most iconic quotes is a fitting way to begin this blog: “Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.”

Creating opportunity—it’s a huge deal when it comes to self-published and traditionally published writers alike. Writers may not want to be reminded of the […]

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June 1, 2021

Why Your Novel Needs a Strong Cover Blurb

By Paul Goat Allen

There are several reasons why most traditionally published novels you pick up have a blurb prominently featured on the front or back cover. The addition of a strong blurb—an endorsement by a person of note (a well-known author or expert) or an excerpt from a professional book review—immediately establishes a perceived […]

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April 12, 2021

Finding Your People: BlueInk Review Talks with Elly Bangs

 By Paul Goat Allen 

Amidst the backdrop of a pandemic killing millions of people worldwide and the planet in the death throes of environmental collapse, debut novelist Elly Bangs has released a post-apocalyptic thriller that is simultaneously terrifying and hopeful. Set on a future Earth where humankind is largely relegated to existing […]

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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 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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September 21, 2020

Is There a Best Time, Day, or Month to Release Your Novel?

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve worked in the publishing industry in various capacities for almost three decades and as long as I can remember Tuesdays have been the days the vast majority of traditionally published titles are released. Since most major bestselling lists are compiled on Tuesdays, the wisdom seems to be, a Tuesday […]

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