June 8, 2020

The Next Coming Golden Age of Science Fiction?

By Paul Goat Allen

Some people enjoy gardening in their free time. Or watching movies. I like to examine weekly bestselling lists—and watch the various mainstream fiction and genre fiction categories rise and fall in popularity. I’ve been doing it for decades—and it’s quite fascinating to try to connect the popularity of genre categories […]

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June 1, 2020

The One Universal Truth About Self-Publishing is a Lie

By Paul Goat Allen

Before becoming a book reviewer, I managed bookstores in New York for almost a decade. This was back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—before the rise of e-commerce and e-books—and even back then, the companies I worked for (Coles and Waldenbooks) sold a fair share of self-published titles. (Although […]

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May 18, 2020

5 Things to Consider Before Choosing Cover Art

By Paul Goat Allen

The idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” may be true when applied metaphorically to the worth or value of certain people, objects, and situations, but, sadly, when it comes to books, the exact opposite is often the case.

Readers judge books by their covers all the time. Don’t […]

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May 12, 2020

5 Simple Ways to Optimize the Impact of Book Reviews

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve been a book reviewer for more than 25 years and I’ve reviewed countless titles across all genre categories—from apocalyptic fiction to zombie erotica. Although a sizable percentage of novels that I’ve reviewed have been flawed in some way—imperfect attempts to tell an entertaining and enlightening story—I do what I […]

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May 5, 2020

5 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Fantasy Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

So, you’ve been contemplating writing a fantasy novel for a while—or maybe you’ve begun drafting it out or are already in revisions. Before you go any farther, I want you to seriously contemplate this question for a moment: “Why are you writing this particular story?” If you’re writing this novel […]

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April 28, 2020

Familiar but Unique: The First Rule of Selling Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve had enough conversations with publishers, agents, editors, and writers over the last few decades to know that for fiction releases—and genre fiction releases in particular—to have any chance at being commercially successful, those novels need to be familiar but unique.

Sounds like a contradiction, right? But it makes perfect […]

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April 21, 2020

5 Ways a Bad Back Cover Blurb Can Kill a Good Book

By Paul Goat Allen

This may sound crazy but the back cover blurb for your novel—essentially a synoptic teaser—just may be the most important part of your self-published book. Here’s why: Some readers out there will buy a book solely on cover art—and cover art is hugely significant for that reason—but the vast majority […]

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April 14, 2020

5 Mistakes That Will Doom Any Self-Published Book

By Paul Goat Allen

For the last 25 years, I’ve been a full-time genre fiction book critic—writing for companies from BlueInk Review to Publishers Weekly to The Chicago Tribune. I’ve evaluated titles in every genre category and reviewed both traditionally published and independently published titles.

I’ve read and reviewed enough books (10,000+) to know […]

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February 8, 2020

Personality matters…and other tips from a successful indie author

By Paul Goat Allen

Scott A. Johnson has been publishing horror novels for 16 years—both as a traditionally published and self-published writer. His experience publishing and promoting more than a dozen novels during that time has given him a unique perspective when it comes to not only making it as a self-published author but […]

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