award winning books

One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Lisl

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today we are talking with Lisl.  Lisl, how do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? I often find books in a series of links, that is to say reading one work might lead me to another. But I also browse bookshops and libraries, or see books mentioned online or by people in real life. Do you go to an author's website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search on sites such as Amazon? I almost never take up any recommendations put forth by Amazon, though it has happened that I’ve seen a book there that ends up on my TBR. However, this is in the minority of instances. Also,…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Jack

Thank you for joining us in giving Readers a voice!  You have been one of our earliest and most dependable readers and I think you thoughts are helpful to us at indieBRAG and authors- IndieBRAG: How do you choose a book to read? When I choose a book to read I usually have a topic or period of time in mind. I especially like medieval and ancient times. So I will search an online book seller with something like, “1314 Scotland Books”. This usually brings up a list of books of the right approximate time and place. I skim down through the list speed reading titles and glancing at covers. When a cover catches my eye or a title sounds interesting, then I slow down and read the book description. If it still sounds interesting then I look at the price. If it is more than I feel like spending, then I continue the process until I find a book at the right price point. If I'm shopping in a physical bookstore, my process is much the same. Although before I buy a paper book, I leaf through the book looking at pictures and reading snatches here and there to…

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WHO is an indieBRAG reader? You might reply…duh, they are people who read for indieBRAG!

WHO is an indieBRAG reader?  You might reply…duh, they are people who read for indieBRAG. RIGHT! But to be more precise, they are readers who love books--the same people who are buying your books, authors, so make sure you know them. Many indieBRAG readers are authors themselves who say reading the “good” and the “bad” has immensely helped them with their own writing.  Many also have a level of education and experience in the literary field that might impress you, while many do not--but all love reading and are happy to be taking part in the search for good books that deserve attention.  They know what they like and what they expect from a book and, lest you think otherwise, they are not undemanding judges.  It is their job to be discerning and thoughtful, a role I am proud to say they take very seriously.   After all, who better to tell other readers if a book deserves their time and money? We often hear from authors whose books were not chosen to receive a B.R.A.G Medallion (roughly 75% of the books we consider fall into this category). They feel they did everything right: punctuation, grammar, formatting and even professional content…

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“Becoming Malka” – Argentinian matzah balls!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good Foodie Lit read and one of its recipes.  Cooking and recipes in novels or memoirs take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. Here’s to cooking and reading! With Love, The Argentina Family; Becoming Malka Mirta Ines Trupp Mirta Innes Trupp searches for family history and her identity in her memoir, With Love, The Argentina Family and in her historical fiction, Becoming Malka, works that she describes as the story of a Russian, Argentinian, American and Jewish immigrant. Teachers couldn’t pronounce her name and students couldn’t figure out what group she belonged to. “Here at home, I struggled to find myself within the American tapestry. I was acutely aware of how different we seemed to be from others. Not only were we immigrants, but we didn’t quite fit the mold. … I couldn’t find my niche.” Mirta’s journey becomes literary when she writes With Love, The Argentina Family.  When her father begins working for Pan Am, Mirta frequently travels back and forth between the…

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Quality is important!

Self- Publishing Self-published authors are not competing with other self-published authors but ALL authors. Once a book is available for sale, it must be up to the standard that readers expect from all good books. You rarely get a second chance for a good first impression!  Once you put out a book that lacks professionalism, readers will be less likely to try your next book.  This can be a very difficult hurdle to get over. Traditionally published authors are not your enemy.  Most traditionally published authors don’t have any advantages that you can’t achieve. Traditionally Published books are: Edited by the publisher Cover art is done by the publisher Some help with promotion is provided- most is expected from the author unless they have high sales. Lower royalty payments Self- Published books are: Editing is provided by the author Cover provided by the author Promotion done by the author Higher royalty payments. If a SP author pays for professional help, they will probably come out about equal in money made. Doing the work requires time and money but the author maintains complete control- something that is often very important. The self-publishing community is very generous in advice and with a…

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“Antagonists Series” with Lucinda Brant

       indieBRAG is pleased to welcome LUCINDA BRANT the  New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Georgian historical romances & mysteries Would you please take your most notorious Antagonist and answer the questions below about him or her?  This will be a lot of fun and give readers a sense of your character development of different types of personalities. As you know, readers love to read about Antagonist too! Antagonists name. Diana St. John. The villainess in my novel Salt Bride: A Georgian Historical Romance What are two emotional traits your antagonist has? Diana has few if any positive emotional traits. And those she does possess, such as self-determination and single-mindedness, she uses in an evil way. Does your antagonist feel victimized? How so? Of course. Like all truly evil people, she has one perspective, her own. Anyone or anything that is counter to her point of view must be against her. She desperately wants to be Countess of Salt Hendon. She thinks she is in love with the Earl, and so when he marries another, she believes she is the injured party. Nor does she blame him. It is all the fault of his bride, Jane.…

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Writing Crime and Mystery Novels!

The indieBRAG Crime and Mystery Series   I am pleased to introduce RAR Clouston author of The Covenant Within Bob, welcome and thank you for sharing with us- Stephanie:   When writing crime fiction, there are usually several characters involved. What is your advice in presenting each character so they stand out? Bob: At the risk of sounding like my social psych professor in what seems like an eternity ago during my undergraduate days as a psychology major, we are all the product of both nature and nurture. And this is never truer than with the villains who populate thrillers and mystery stories.  We are shaped by the multitude of forces, both genetic and social, that make us who we are. What drives someone to a life of crime, or even worse, to become a heartless killer? An obvious answer is that they were the offspring of truly evil parents who gave them tainted genes, or raised them in a cruel and heartless home, or both. But there are also exceptions to this as evidenced by the cases of cold blooded killers who came from a “normal’ home. My point is this: we are all different and as such a writer…

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Books and Me by Steven McKay

I’ve always loved books, for as long as I can remember. My mum was a teacher so I suppose she felt obliged to make sure I could read well so she’d take me to get books from the library all the time. I have vivid memories of borrowing one with a little clock that you could move the hands on. I must have been about three or four-years-old but it’s still in my mind and must have helped spark my love of books. When I was old enough I would go along to the library myself and get out things like the Hardy Boys, Asterix and anything I could find about ghosts or the supernatural. I enjoyed writing little things myself eventually – silly short stories that made no sense and infuriated my English teacher who clearly recognised I had some skill but only wanted to waste it by writing nonsense to entertain my adolescent friends. Sadly, adolescence passed and I grew up into a sensible man who wanted to write things a little more serious and my grandma would always say to me, “Hurry up and write a book. I want to see your book in the library.” She…

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Comics Are Books Too!

  When I was a child, I saved all my money to buy comic books!  Not just any comic books but the ones called Classics Illustrated and Classics Illustrated Junior.  The former were condensed, comic book versions of some of the greatest books ever written, and the latter were the greatest of fairy tales.  At one time, I owned them all and I am so fortunate that one of my sons, a serious comic book collector, has preserved those of these treasures that survived my growing up and many household moves over the years.  I credit these comic books for my love of books today. I was only about 5 years old when I began collecting the fairy tales—some well-known—and others just as wonderful but lesser known like The Penny Prince, The Wild Swans and Silly Hans.  When I was in grade school, I moved up to the Classics. Can you imagine a second grader reading The Last of the Mohicans?  In comic book form they were readable for a young child and I loved them.  I later made it a goal to read the entire book version of each of these classics. We all know the benefits of reading…

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Should You Buy a Blog Tour to Publicize your Book?

By Martha Kennedy, Author of indieBRAG Honorees, Martin of Gfenn, Savior and The Brothers Path When you write a novel and follow the indie publishing route, you’re faced with marketing your work yourself. There are a lot of “experts” with advice for reaching your market. When I finished my most recent novel, The Brothers Path, a book about the Protestant Reformation, I was determined to market it as well as any “real” publisher would. I had personal reasons for this, “I’ll show you!” and “V is for Vendetta” reasons, but mostly because I believe people will like it. To like it, readers have to know about it, so… The “experts” strongly advised indie authors to sign up for virtual book tours. This involves hiring a coordinator, who has extensive contacts with book-bloggers, to set up a “tour” for your book. The tour is a catalog of different book blogs that, for a period of time, feature your work in reviews, interviews, excerpts and prizes — in my case, it was free books — to those blog readers who win the raffle offered by a particular book blog. I believed the experts, and a virtual tour seemed like a good way…

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