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.



November 21, 2022

Why Your Novel’s Cover Art is Even More Important Than Ever

By Paul Goat Allen

As someone who has been in the self-publishing business for decades—from purchasing titles for a national book chain to reviewing thousands of self-published titles for Kirkus, BlueInk, etc. to interviewing countless self-published authors for various sites—I’ve seen cover art quality for self-published titles increase exponentially over the last few decades […]


June 16, 2022

9 Features on KDP You Should Know About

By Amanda Miller

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform has been an amazing tool for independently published authors to get their books into the world and hit a big market—not only swiftly but affordably. Not only is KDP’s platform easy to use, but it is ever-evolving with fresh, new developments for authors to take […]


September 12, 2021

Emotions in Motion: Does Your Novel Move Your Reader?

By Paul Goat Allen

Some writers are so engrossed with the minutia of their work-in-progress that they lose sight of an obvious indicator that should be a primary focus: reader experience. And a big part of that overall experience is feeling an intimate connection with the characters, feeling what they’re feeling—be it sorrow, joy, […]


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 […]


February 2, 2021

How to market your self-published book to independent bookstores

By Marques Coleman With the extensive digital services and social media platforms available these days, marketing your self-published book is easier than ever. But there’s one marketing effort that remains challenging: Pitching a self-published book to independent bookstores.

In order to maximize profitability, owners need to utilize every inch of the store. Thus, […]


January 11, 2021

Experts offer their best tips for self-publishing success

We asked dozens of experts in self-publishing what were the two most important tips they had for indie authors. They responded with advice on everything from book covers to copyrights to social media—and much more! Over the next month, we will share one tip each day on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Don’t miss […]


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 […]