In Praise of indieBRAG!

Mama taught me not to brag, and when I first started trying to promote my books, I was haunted by her words. Now, the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion does the bragging for me. I explain to potential readers that this award signifies a book is of high quality and is worth their time. While at book events, I often point to the gold seal and explain that a panel of readers from around the world recommends my book. Thank you Indie B.R.A.G.  Mama would be proud!

Janie Dempsey Watts, author of three B.R.A.G. Medallion books, Return to Taylor’s Crossing; Mothers, Sons, Beloveds, and Other Strangers; and Pap Pap Goes to Paris, and so does Ricky

“When I received my B.R.A.G. Medallion 7 years ago, I had no idea the depth and breadth of the organization. Nor did I know to what extent the honor afforded me. Geri Clouston is one of the best cheerleaders a self-published author could have. She and her team do the very best to rotate recognition and spotlight different books in different and unique ways. I am very proud to have my book included in this elite group.”

Victoria Thurman                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Author of The Dating Dilemma of Delilah Dunnfield

Hello indieBRAG,

In 2013 I was awarded a Gold Medallion by Indie B.R.A.G. for my Juvenile Book “Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries”.

First off I cannot thank your group enough for the honor.  I did receive some Medallions and used them on the books I sold.

I wanted to let you know that they were a great asset in selling by book. The book has continued to sell in the hundreds and I believe you were instrumental in making that happen.

I have a number of venues coming up in the next several weeks and months where I will be selling even more books. The problem is that I have used all, yes all, the Gold Medallions and am desperately asking to purchase from you 200 more. Is that possible? It would be a marvelous if you could send them as soon as you can.

Thank you  in advance. Keep up the tremendous work you all have been doing.

S.R. Zales

Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries

Gate Keepers

 For more than a century the only “gate keepers” for writers have been literary agents and publishers. This arrangement worked reasonably well until new technologies  made it possible for hundreds of thousands of new authors to present their work direct to the public without recourse to gate keepers at all.

 At present the market suffers from an over-abundance of fiction, much it of it, let’s be honest, pretty mediocre. Publishers are wary of taking on new writers. Most play safe, concentrating on a pool of proven commercial authors. This is understandable. The industry sails in stormy seas.

A few years ago Geri Clouston had the foresight and boldness to introduce Indie- B.R.A.G.  as a third gate-keeper, one willing to seriously evaluate every book that was offered .The B.R.A.G. Medallion is now a vital and much needed addition to the world of books and writers.

Indie BRAG is as generous as it is unique. As far as I can see, there is no other organisation in the world like it.

 Geri and her team are tough. When they turned down my first book, I knew I had to raise my game. When, eventually, my latest novel was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion, I was over the moon. I knew I had received something worth having. Writing is a lonely business – this was encouragement indeed!

For two years now I have made a point of ordering and reading the work of other B.R.A.G. awardees. I am never disappointed. I write an Amazon review for each book. It costs nothing except the odd half hour and I think the time is well spent. I recommend the practice.

I congratulate and thank President Geri Clouston on leading a remarkable project. She will never know where her influence stops.

Christopher Holt

Author of  The Winter-Chaser

“President Geri Clouston and all the wonderful people at B.R.A.G.Medallion are performing a vital service by recognizing and promoting previously unheralded independent authors.  I am proud to be a two-time B.R.A.G.Medallion honoree, and I urge everyone associated with independent publishing to celebrate and support this magnificent organization.”

Joe Perrone Author of the Matt Davis Mystery Series

Self-publishing is expanding exponentially; it has long ceased to be a minority interest. But along with the glorious freedom of writing any genre, mixed genres or no genre and the ability to control every aspect of a book’s production comes responsibility to the readers.

Some authors write books purely for their own pleasure and that’s great fun and personally very satisfying, but today self- or independent publishing is a serious option for commercial writers. However, not everybody is conscientious in producing a well-rounded, page turning book with impeccable production values. How is a reader able to distinguish the dross from the diamonds in today’s avalanche of self-published work?

This is where the B.R.A.G. Medallion® comes in. When INCEPTIO, the first in my series of Roma Nova thrillers, was awarded a Medallion, I was delighted; my writing had passed one of the highest bars around. Rapidly becoming recognised in the world of self-publishing as an impeccable seal of excellence, its selection process is rigorous, rejecting 90% of applicants. If a book carries a B.R.A.G. Medallion® sticker, it will be a quality assured read, whatever its genre. I was proud to explain what the sticker meant and people were impressed. More importantly, I’m sure it helped clinch purchasing decisions.

I now have 6 books in my Roma Nova Series with the B.R.A.G.Medallion!   I still haven’t come down from that particular high.

Writing and publishing a book is just the beginning of a journey for an indie author. Once your book is out there, marketing and promoting your baby begins. These days there is a plethora of platforms where you can reach out to a wider audience. Book signing offers the opportunity to connect with readers.  Reviews play an important role in providing readers with an overview of what others think of you your book. These are all tools that can be used in your marketing plan, but one thing that does makes people sit up and want to learn more about your book is an award. There are zillions of books published and only a few of these will ever receive recognition or an award.  Receiving an award is an indicator your work has reached a high level. To be honoured with a BRAG award is a first class accolade on any scale of published books. My third published book, Sometimes It Happens… in 2012 received a BRAG award. I was speechless when I learnt of the award because BRAG does not give out awards to any author. In fact more than 90% of books that pass through their hallowed halls are rejected.  So to have one of my books proudly displaying the BRAG logo, makes me feel humble and very proud. It has provided me with additional confidence to talk about my work and my award. But it does not end once the award had been made, BRAG continues to promote all of its honourees through their extensive programme, no one is excluded, it is an exclusive place to be and I am proud to be associated with an organisation that has a reputation for excellence.

Thank you so much for your thrilling email that I have achieved the second B.R.A.G award in The Voyagers trilogy, Kitty’s Story. You really made my day.

Just  to mention that when Kitty’s Story was in manuscript form, I offered it to HarperCollins. They loved it, but because I’d self-published Annie’s Story (which achieved the B.R.A.G award) and Juliet’s Story (which apparently only missed the award by a whisker), HarperCollins decided I should continue to self-publish Kitty’s Story. You can imagine my disappointment. But in the next breath they asked if I would write a series for them set in WW2, and the first one, An Orphan in the Snow, under the name Molly Green, came out on 30th November. They’ve chosen it as one of their leading titles for their Autumn/Winter brochure. I’m still pinching myself!

I just thought you might like to hear of a success story from a previously self-published author.


Hi indieBRAG-

‘In my opinion, the most significant boost for the lot of Indie Authors in recent times has come from President Geri Clouston and the B.R.A.G. Medallion Award team. Now an internationally recognized stamp of quality, the B.R.A.G. Award is an assurance to all readers that the Indie book they are about to purchase meets the highest of publishing standards. More importantly, for me anyway, it is satisfying to be recognized for the hard work required to write and produce a quality manuscript and especially to be acknowledged for due care given to copy and proof editing. The good news is that the Gold Medallion on my book cover has led to increased sales and an increased interest in my other work. It was a perfectly timed boost to my writing career. As a proud BRAG award winner, I do feel a responsibility to continue producing work to the standards set by this organisation.  Thank you so much to all involved in the creation of the B.R.A.G. Medallion Award.  You guys are the best.
Kind regards

Thomas Ryan

” Let me say once again that indieBRAG is a dream to work with.  You are head and shoulders above most every other social media site.  I’m so pleased to work with you, and you never seem annoyed with my questions and requests!

Pam Eglinski

“I learned about indieBRAG from fellow historical fiction authors who are members of  Facebook groups.  With the emergence of POD and digital publishing, the good news is anyone can now publish a book; the bad news is anyone can now publish a book!  The greates challenge indie authors confront is the stigma of inferiority caused by books rushed into the market without professional design and editing.  indieBRAG offers an invaluable vetting service to readers who might otherwise she awar from indies.  With the rapid changes in the industry, i’m confident the walls between indie and traditional publishing will continue to crumble.”

Seven years of dedication to all independent writers!  You give us the recognition and encouragement to keep going, doing what we love.  So many thanks!

Sharon Dwyer

Thanks you for 9 years of bringing good books to light!

Jo Sparkes



Thank you so much for this honor, Geri. I’m thrilled to be accepted into the B.R.A.G. family once again.
I have found it increasingly difficult to wade through the maze of so many books out there, and your excellent work on behalf of self-published authors is so greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for all you do!
Sincerely,                  Barbara J. Dzikowski