January 10, 2024

Five New Year’s Resolutions Every Writer Should Embrace

By Paul Goat Allen

A new year is the perfect time to set some new goals, or establish better habits that will improve and enrich your life. Writers, in particular, are very much goal-oriented, self-motivated people who thrive on setting lofty goals and striving to achieve them. For those of you hoping to make […]

Read more...

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 […]

Read more...

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, […]

Read more...

July 6, 2020

10 Steamy Novels to Heat Up Your Summer Nights

By Paul Goat Allen

Fiction, at its very best, elicits a powerful emotional response—be it fear, sadness, joy, or sexual arousal. Achieving the latter, however, may be the most difficult challenge to writers. Decades ago, when I first started editing and reviewing for B&N, one of my very first interviews was with the legendary […]

Read more...

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 […]

Read more...

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 […]

Read more...

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 […]

Read more...

August 1, 2019

8 tips for Amazon Ad success from an award-winning author

by Kiana Marsan

Are you an Amazon author looking for a way to track your sales, connect with readers, and ultimately sell more books? You may think that once your book is posted, your work is finished. But think again! There is more you can do to manage and market your book. In our […]

Read more...