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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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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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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August 11, 2020

10 Indie Books You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

By Paul Goat Allen

I’ve reviewed a lot of books over the last 25+ years and many of those have featured formulaic, rehashed, and predictable storylines, premises, and ideas. When it comes to traditionally published titles, I get it—publishers need to make money and they only publish what books that they think are going […]

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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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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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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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July 11, 2019

Ten tips for pitching your book to newspaper or magazine editors

By Patti Thorn

If you’re looking for publicity for your self-published book, chances are you’ve considered phoning or emailing the editor of a newspaper, magazine or online publication and suggesting an interview. But editors are a touchy lot, and the wrong approach can kill the deal before it’s even on the table. […]

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