November 2, 2023

Two Reasons to Avoid the Info Dump Trap at All Costs

By Paul Goat Allen

Let’s get right to it. Info dumps are called “dumps” for good reason—using them is a sure way to turn the commercial viability of your novel into garbage.

It’s one of the most frequent criticisms of our BlueInk reviewers—and has been for years—but writers just don’t seem to grasp how […]

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September 26, 2023

Truth Bomb: Talent Has Very Little To Do with Writing Success

By Paul Goat Allen

I watched a presentation recently given by Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he said that talent has very little to do with success in football. “It’s not what you’re capable of, it’s what you’re willing to do. I know plenty of people that are capable. […]

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September 6, 2023

Too Much Information! Two Big Reasons Not to Over-explain Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

Over-explanation in storytelling is always a big red flag—in large part because it reveals to the reader one of two (very bad) things: either the author doesn’t have confidence in their own writing ability, or they don’t think that their poor ignorant readers will understand the brilliance of their own […]

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August 3, 2023

Book Marketing Pep Talk

By Amanda Miller

Book Marketing is usually the toughest part of your publishing journey. That’s the reality. Writers, unlike businesspeople, seem to be extremely uncomfortable marketing themselves, yet they often don’t have the funds to delegate the tasks to someone else. Add the fact that you can rarely see book marketing results in real […]

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June 14, 2023

The One Mistake that is Guaranteed to Tank Your Novel

By Paul Goat Allen

As a reviewer—and a graduate writing instructor—my biggest red flag, the one thing that warns me of a truly terrible reading experience ahead, is the inundation of grammatical errors.

It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.

Ever read a novel that includes hundreds of grammatical errors? Shocking, […]

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May 17, 2023

The One Big Evolutionary Step in Writing that You Need to Know!

By Paul Goat Allen

In the almost three decades that I’ve been a book critic, and the 50 years that I’ve been a hard-core reader, I’ve seen genre fiction—and fiction in general—evolve in radical and remarkable ways. Watching the rise of genre fiction hybridization (novels that blend together seemingly disparate genre fiction elements) has […]

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January 9, 2023

4 ways indie authors go wrong designing book covers

By BlueInk Review

A book’s cover serves as its advertisement. It tells readers what to expect inside, and hopefully sells that content with visual sizzle. Think of it as a mini billboard: It’s purpose is to catch the reader’s eye and convey a message in the time it takes someone to speed on by.

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January 9, 2023

4 ways indie authors go wrong writing a bio

By BlueInk Review Staff

Every book needs an author bio. It lets readers know who you are and why you are uniquely qualified to write the book at hand. Readers expect this at the back of your book. And booksellers and other industry professionals expect it on your press releases and other marketing […]

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January 9, 2023

4 ways indie authors go wrong writing a book description

By BlueInk Review Staff

Every book needs a description of its contents – that snappy teaser copy you traditionally see on the back cover. When done properly, it lures readers in, as well as signals what audience the book is targeting. And it’s invaluable on marketing materials, author websites and other promotional materials.

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