indieBRAG Blog

A Novel Conversations with King Ludwig of Bavaria!

Dark Spirit by Susan Appleyard Q: Hello, I’m Helen the host of Novel Conversations, please do make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink? Tea, coffee, wine – something stronger? You’ll find a box of chocolates and a bowl of fruit on the table next to you, please do help yourself. I believe you are a character in Susan Appleyard’s novel Dark Spirit. Would you like to introduce yourself? Are you a lead character or a supporting role?    A: Mmm. Thank you. How did you know I adore chocolate? I am Ludwig, King of Bavaria, of the Wittelsbach family, and I am of course the lead character in Ms. Appleyard’s book. Read the Entire interview @ Novel Conversations!

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indieBRAG @ IAC

  The information and ideas I would like to share with you come from many of the 800 authors that have received the B.R.A.G.Medallion.  They are eager to share the “off the grid” ideas they have used! The thing that will make any book a bestseller is word of mouth.  Donating or giving your books away selectively is a way of generating word of mouth chatter.   1.  Contact high traffic stores, cafes, shops to leave behind books.   Authors have had success in leaving their books in any place that have “open” bookshelves like Starbucks Make new fans by leaving your book! One author left his books on the reading shelf at his fitness club and was pleased to see in go in and out frequently – hopefully winning new fans. If you only have an ebook- leave bookmarks or literature about your book and how to purchase it.   2.  Join with other authors to do promotions or events Three of our mystery authors got together and did a promotion calling themselves "The Mystical Mystery Sisters". Here is what they did: booked places on book blogs to host their guest posts and promote their giveaway ran a giveaway on Rafflecopter…

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Independent Authors Conference (IAC18)

What we learned: The Beginning (after you write a great book!) Philadelphia 2018   The cover, the title and the blurb are equally as important as a great story if you hope to make sales. Let’s think about your Amazon book page- The cover- needs to be eye-catching AND tell your story. The title- needs to say something about your story The blurb- needs to sell your book! How to do that?  The best advice one of the speakers had was to spend hours looking and reading blurbs from other books in your genre that are selling well.  Of course, you don’t want to “copy”, but best sellers get attention for a reason.  If you have an agent, they are going to tell you to find comps and this means finding books that are similar to your book and see what they are doing. The blurb should be a bit dramatic. Many authors use over the top words because they get attention.  “Deadly”, “Terrifying”, “Race against time”.- are attention grabbers. Many mention the name of the main character and another successful trick is to end with a question:  “Can Meghan run and hide from the devil himself?” Sub-genre mentions also…

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A Ghost Story & Pumpkin Soup for Halloween!

  Foodie Lit Definition: a genre  of novels and memoirs filled with stories and recipes Susan indieBRAG Foodie Lit Blogger By Patti Davis    The Blue Hour by Patti Davis The Blue Hour is dusk, that time between day and night that slips in silently, a few moments each day. It was Joshua Baron’s favorite time of day, a peaceful time when the world’s edges begin to blur. For an alone boy like Joshua, it was a time he was content, at one with nature and free from people, who could be bothersome. The Blue Hour is one of those wonderful books that is part fairy tale, part allegory, part time-slip and… part mean adolescent bullying. It is for young adults and adults alike, in the way that The Little Prince, Alice in Wonderland or The Giver are.  It has a clear message yet the characters, the magic and the quest are expertly woven together from the first to the last word, so the book is not moralistic. It is haunting, a perfect Halloween read. The Barons move to small town Clearoak to escape LA and its lack of civility, charm and freedom to be safe. The run down house is rehabilitated; Josh’s room is painted blue…

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Marketing Strategy!

Good to have you join us Misty.  Thank you coming and sharing your thoughts on marketing- “You seem to be having some success in your marketing. I know other authors are always interested in what a successful author does.”   If you define ‘success’ as making savvy business decisions by placing ideas on a dartboard and then putting a blindfold over your eyes and playing a game of chance… well, then, yes, yes, I am successful at marketing. Just kidding, sort of. In actuality, the best way to learn and grow is to network. Meet fellow authors in your genre and industry, especially the ones who are cleverer and more experienced than you are (I begrudgingly admit).  When I first self-published in December of 2017 I was in for a rude awakening. Little did I know that marketing would be tougher than finishing my first novel that I’d been working on since 2012. I am a young adult author  so I felt it in my best interest to seek out my peers. So I decided to join a closed Facebook group called “An Alliance of Young Adult Authors”. Best decision I've ever made. If you’re like me and you like to stay low-key, maybe…

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Imperial Passions and Olives, Nuts & Bread!

  Foodie Lit Definition: a genre  of novels and memoirs filled with stories and recipes   Susan indieBRAG Foodie Lit Blogger By Eileen Stephenson   Byzantium in 1039 is not a time and place known well to many in the modern western world. The author sweeps away many misconceptions in her historical novel, Imperial Passions.  One  fascinating view is of the role of women. While medieval women had few rights in most parts of the world, Eileen shared with me that “Byzantine women held positions of more consequence than elsewhere, and they had opportunities that women in the rest of Europe did not have until centuries later.”  Two women ruled Byzantium in the 12th century, “Empress Zoe and Empress Theodora, who the people of Constantinople were fond of, despite their flaws. I think it just got people used to the idea that women could be in positions of authority.”  Importantly, as Eileen noted, literacy became common in 11th and 12th century Byzantium, reaching down into the middle classes and included women, which helped them accomplish more. Eileen gives us tantalizing views of female doctors and empresses, minority groups, generals and deposed kings, all in this cosmopolitan city. It is the many glimpses of women…

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FACT TO FICTION: The Writing of The Call

Fact to Fiction- Learn about stories that inspire great books! When I started writing my novel The Call, only six female umpires had worked in professional baseball, none of them at the major-league level. In 2016, I found that fact hard to swallow, so I wanted to explore it in fiction. As a lifelong baseball fan, I thought I’d absorbed enough knowledge to write about the game. But I had to know a lot more facts before I could write realistically about the people playing it. Especially during the time period I had in mind, the early 1980s, when there had only been three other women who’d taken the field in umpire blues. The story itself—because fiction needs a good story—began with another fact. On October 11, 2015, Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley made a late (and borderline illegal) slide into second to try to break up a double play. In doing so, he broke New York Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada’s leg. Utley was given a two-game suspension that was later overturned. Major League Baseball then ruled slides like Utley’s illegal, but Mets fans like me were still steaming. That’s when I knew I had to write…

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Authors, there is no such thing as a Free Lunch!

Many of our you are seasoned warriors in the promoting your book arena.  However, many authors are just beginning the long journey and we hope to help you on that road.  Through our blog and our Facebook Group page, we can guide you to the most effective and rewarding opportunities. So, to all of you that are “Old Pros”, please continue to share and help guide us.  To all of you who are less experienced, I hope we can provide you with some good advice. Bloggers are your friend! A very busy blogger and great supporter of the indieBRAG authors, shared some thoughts on working together to get the most out of “free” promotions. “ ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ is a common phrase – equally there’s no such thing as free marketing. You must repay the generosity of bloggers who  invite you onto their blogs via guest posts or various on-line projects  by  being obliged to respond and spread the word when given this opportunity for free promotion. Your bill is not financial but making the effort to give  noticeable appreciation where and as much as you can.” Blogger Be Generous- Having a community of authors…

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Fact to Fiction: Khamsin, the Devil Wind of the Nile

Khamsin, the Devil Wind of the Nile - A Novel of Ancient Egypt   Every movie lately seems to have “The Making of ...” clips. Well, here is a little insight into “The Making of Book 1 of the Legends of the Winged Scarab” series. With my historical saga, reaching back to 3080 BC, the question was how much research a writer should do on his or her chosen era. My answer: A lot. Next, how much “real history” should be incorporated into a novel. I’d say, 10%. Remember, it’s fiction. Readers want to be entertained rather than get a lengthy history lesson. When I started my research into Ancient Egypt (and I mean, really ancient), the biggest confusion was over city names. It would have been easy to use Memphis, for instance. But that name – like most of the commonly used ancient names – came from the Greek historian Herodotus who described many of the wonders he found in Egypt during his visit around 490 BC. My story takes place in 3080 BC, during the 2nd Dynasty (Old Kingdom). Therefore, I resorted to use the ancient Egyptian names (wherever I could find them). Memphis became Ineb-Hedj, the City…

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The Importance of Reading to Kids

In The Book Help Visualize the Importance of Reading to Kids Reading is an activity loved by people of all ages, but the benefits of reading to children, particularly before the age of 5, are endless. Reading helps children to develop their confidence, strengthen family relationships, as well as improving their social and academic skills. Through different stories and characters, children are able to learn about the world, cultures and people. This improves their understanding of real-life situations, as well as their ability to communicate with different types of people. Children are generally little balls of energy, and reading every day also helps to channel their concentration skills. The social and educational benefits are never-ending, however, reading to your child can, surprisingly, benefit their future financially. A study done by Lynn Fielding in her book, The 90% Reading Goal, suggests that reading to your child before they reach the age of 5 can have a significant impact on their lifetime earnings expectancy. The research is based off the notion that 77% of children who are able to read at a 2nd-8th grade level when they begin third grade will graduate high school. Contrastingly, only 27% of children who read at…

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