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 […]
The path to self-publishing success is filled with minefields, any one of which—once detonated—can derail the sales of a well written novel. Bad editing, a lack of proofreading, forgettable cover art, no promotional plan, failure to understand reader expectation, the list goes on and on. But perhaps the biggest mistake […]
Peruse any national bestselling list and I’ll bet you that somewhere near the top is a thriller of some kind—a psychological thriller, a crime thriller, a legal thriller, a medical thriller, etc. They’re everywhere! There’s an obvious reason for this—thrillers are the perfect (high-octane, fuel injected) vehicle for a few […]
A few years back I wrote an article for Writer’s Digest detailing my thoughts on the future of genre fiction: Cross Pollination: The Future is Genre-Blending. Having reviewed various genre fiction categories for the last two decades, I saw—and continue to see—this evolution firsthand. Simply put, […]
By Paul Goat Allen
Merriam-Webster defines “prolific” as marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity. The word also perfectly describes Sara Lunsford, best known perhaps for her paranormal romance series like Ambrosia Lane (Desperate Housewives of Olympus, et. al.) and After Dark (Furyous Ink, et. al.). The […]
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 […]
Before becoming a book reviewer, I managed bookstores in New York for almost a decade. This was back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—before the rise of e-commerce and e-books—and even back then, the companies I worked for (Coles and Waldenbooks) sold a fair share of self-published titles. (Although […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]