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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February 19, 2015

Ten must-read self-published urban fantasy novels

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of blogs by highly respected genre critic Paul Goat Allen that highlights stellar, not-to-be-missed titles by self-published authors in various genres.

By Paul Goat Allen

Although the paranormal fantasy boom has most definitely ended in traditional publishing—after an unprecedented Golden Age that lasted almost two […]

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August 20, 2013

Five simple ways to promote your self-published book

By BlueInk Guest Blogger, Paul Goat Allen

I recently wrote a blog about things self-published authors should be absolutely sure of before pushing the final button—and one of those items was having some semblance of a marketing plan. How are you going to promote your work? What are you going to do to increase […]

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June 19, 2013

Too good to bury: an interview with David Oppegaard

By BlueInk Review guest blogger, Paul Goat Allen

Although David Oppegaard is undeniably an extraordinary writer — his debut novel “The Suicide Collectors,” published in 2008 by St. Martin’s Press, is one of the most disturbing and singularly unique works of apocalyptic fiction I’ve ever read — his experience navigating the publishing gauntlet is […]

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June 3, 2013

How do traditionally published authors complete the sentence: “Self publishing is…”? Their answers might surprise you

By BlueInk Review Guest Blogger, Paul Goat Allen

I thought it would be interesting to ask a bunch of established authors — writers who have found some semblance of commercial and/or critical success through traditional publishing — to finish this simple open-ended statement “Self publishing is…” to see if there were any prevailing responses […]

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