The Self-publishing World

Sometimes It Is OK To BRAG By Helen Hollick

Well, it is if you are an author and you have been awarded a coveted Indie BRAG medallion, which is an approval mark of a darn good read. I have the honour of being ‘in’ on Indie BRAG from its earliest conception by CEO Geri Clouston, who ran the idea past me in those early days when it was no more than an embryonic idea. Why me? For several years I was UK Editor, and now I am Managing Editor, of the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews, so naturally I had an interest in sorting the good indie novels from the not-so-good. (Sad to say too many of them are the latter.) The good ones, unfortunately, are still often lumped with the ‘oh it’s indie, it can’t be worth reading’ nonsense that a few people in the literary world persist in trundling out. Indie BRAG (and HNS Indie) is determined to prove these nay-sayers wrong by showing just how fantastic some indie fiction can be. From little acorns big oak trees grow – and Indie BRAG is fast growing a respected image for shouting out about Good Reads. Maybe word needs spreading a bit more here in the UK, but…

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indiebrag Cover Crush: A Boy Called Duct Tape by Christopher Cloud

By Book Blogger Margaret Cook - Just One More Chapter A Boy Called Duct Tape The cover for this book jumped out at me right away for various reasons. I recall seeing a pair of shoes identical to that in my front hallway once.  So looking at this cover just brought back so many memories and there are so many possibilities where this book can go.  As I write this up I have not read the synopsis for the story I am really curious to see where it goes. My initial thoughts and what I picture in my mind is an adventurous young boy who doesn't let the fact that he cannot get new runners stand in his way of doing what he wants. His family may be down in their luck and they cannot afford it or he is a boy who just likes to improvise and do his own thing. He is confident in who he is and doesn't care about the laughs and jeers these shoes invoke from fellow classmates.  I am also picturing a polite and respectful lad who is devoted to family and his friends (though he might not have many). Aside from the possible health…

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Self-Publishing: An Author’s Experience

Today B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree G.J. Reilly is talking with us about his self-publishing experience. G.J., when did you decide you were going to self-publish? When I sent out my first manuscript and it took close on a year to receive a reply. Okay, that’s not really fair. A major publishing house had an open submission window for a very exciting new project. ‘Inquisitor’ was barely finished, unpolished and pushed through editing using the bare bones of MS Word. By the time I’d received my first inevitable rejection, ‘Inquisitor’ had changed and evolved and I was so close to it that I really couldn’t tell if I was deluding myself, or whether it was actually worth reading. I’d had a few beta readers, but nobody who’d ever really written for themselves and, although trusted their opinions and they were very honest, I felt like I needed completely impartial feedback. However, just about every article on the internet was telling me that getting feedback is like winning the lottery on Friday the 13th. So, instead of wasting professional time, I decided to read as much as I could about self-publishing in the hope that readers might leave reviews. It took a long…

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Interview Team Member Magdalena Johansson

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indieBRAG Team Member Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede  is chatting with us about her website. Why do you blog? I blog because I love to read books. And, through my blogging have I found friends all over the world that just like me likes to read and blog about books. How many books a year do you read? 389! LOL, well that’s according to Goodreads for 2015. But that also includes short stories and graphic novels. I do try to read at least 3-4 books a week, mostly because I have a lot of books to read and I keep getting/buying more. What is your favorite genres? Thriller, horror, mystery, historical, paranormal, crime, fantasy, and science-fiction. Basically everything except romance. Not that I’m totally against romance. I’m just very picky. Where are the different places you read? Either on sofas (home or my mom’s place) or my bed. Of course, I always have books with me (my trusty iPad)! What thrills you the most about reading? What thrills…

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What would stories about Pirates be without a bit of RUM?

Our indieBRAG Food Blogger, Susan Weintraub shares Rum and Cake to go with great pirate books - The Sea Witch Series by Helen Hollick What could be better! Pirates Rum Cake Susan Weintrob, Indie Brag and everydayhappyfoods.com Blogger Pirates had limited amounts of fresh meat, greens and insect free supplies.  Rum was one thing that there was a lot of !  I picture this cake appearing at the pirates’ table. Rum helped preserve the cake and the pirates! Sharing this cake at my South Carolina table felt right with so many pirates that populated this coast in the 18th century.  Pirate’s Rum Cake should taste fantastic at your table as well!   Pirates Rum Cake Modified from Yummly. Kitchen Nostalgia. CAKE 2 cups flour ⅓ cup cornstarch 1½ cups sugar or ¾ cup Stevia 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 5 eggs ½ cup vegetable oil ½ cup milk of choice (cow’s, almond or soy) 1 tsp lemon juice ½ cup rum 2 teaspoons vanilla ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs RUM BUTTER SAUCE: ½ cup (125 g) unsalted butter or dairy free margarine ¼ cup water ¼ - ½ cup sugar or ¼ cup Stevia ¼ - ½ cup rum ½…

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Cover Crush: A Rip in the Veil by Anna Belfrage

“Cover Crush” is an idea conceived by Erin at Flashlight Commentary and made into a fun series at indieBRAG featuring B.R.A.G. Medallion-winning books and their fabulous cover images. Of course, some of my fellow interviewers and I wanted in on the action, so you’ll see the series appear here periodically as well as over at indieBRAG and interviewers’ blogs, too, such as at A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages and 2 Kids and Tired Books. Now I’m no professional artist, but as Erin says of herself, I am a consumer and like many people (whether they admit it or not!), my initial attraction to a book often begins with the cover image. I know what I like and if I see something that somehow links to an interest—a jacket design with lotus or peonies, for example, triggering an idea that the volume might have a Persian theme—I’m more likely to further investigate. Naturally not everyone will reach for the same titles, nor will we all agree upon what the images convey. Sometimes we don't even come to our choices in the same manner. Even a recommended work or one whose blurb initially caught my attention doesn’t escape scrutiny of its cover, for I occasionally gaze at it, seeing in its features the…

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A Success Story!

A Self-Published Sleeper: Author of 'The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep' Speaks The originally self-published Swedish children’s book The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep may seem to be an overnight sensation, but its success, claims author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, is actually the result of a slow build over roughly five years. According to Ehrlin, the sudden spike in international sales for the book—which Random House Children's Books bought for seven figures in August and released on Friday—is thanks to a perfect storm: word-of mouth praise driven by e-book giveaways, coupled with Amazon U.K. providing entrée to consumer media once the self-published book had taken off. During a phone interview with PW from the New York City office of his new publisher, Ehrlin, 37, who received a B.A. in psychology from Jonkoping University in Sweden, has no formal training in pedagogy or any direct experience working with children. But he has worked with adults, as a communications expert and management coach, and said the idea for writing Rabbit about five years ago and self-publishing it in 2011 in Sweden was driven by his experience working with this group. Rabbit marks Ehrlin's third foray into publishing. In 2006 he self-published…

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Mystical Mystery Bundle

Three BRAG Medallion Honorees have created a Mystical Mystery Bundle April 21 – 26, 2015   The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions – access to secrets she could regret uncovering. Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again. The Mae Martin Series No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all. The First Lie – Virginia King Selkie Moon Mystery Series, Book One Selkie Moon is a woman on the run. In a mad dash for freedom she's escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii. But her refuge begins to unravel and she's running from something else entirely. A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her. Not that she's psychic, no way. But…

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WHAT WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE NOT!

Recently, there have been a few comments made on various web forums that refer to indieBRAG as a paid review service. We are not and we would like to correct any misunderstanding of what we are and what we do. As the late four-term senator, ambassador, and sociologist, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." So here are two key facts about indieBRAG: FACT: We are a quality standards certification service for the self-published book industry. All books brought to our attention are subjected to a rigorous selection process. Books that are selected to receive our B.R.A.G. Medallion are actively promoted, while the names of the authors and titles of books that are not chosen are kept strictly confidential. The reason that we record a “5 Star review” at amazon.com, or on similar websites, is because that is the only way we can announce the award on those sites. FACT: We do charge a non-refundable $20.00 processing fee that covers ebook acquisition and administrative costs, and the expense of maintaining our website. While we would never be so presumptuous to compare ourselves to the prestigious Pulitzer Prize Award, the…

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Can An Author Have It Both Ways?

Along with the ease of self-publishing came the ability to publish cheaply, and this may be one of the biggest problems with self-publishing today. Some of the disadvantages of getting a traditional publishing house contract are a loss of control and much lower royalties. The publisher chooses a cover they think will sell and they edit a book, including copy, line, and development editing. Even so, I have to say that not all traditionally published books are edited to perfection, or to the author's satisfaction, despite the fact that the publisher uses professional editors. Most self-published authors love the higher royalty percentage but often don't want, or can't afford, to hire the appropriate professional talent to make their book a quality product. I think it is accepted that in most cases an indie author simply can not properly edit their own work. Being so close to it, an author often sees what they think is there and not what is actually written on the page. Catching spelling mistakes is hard work (let's hope I didn't miss any in this blog), and in many cases, they fall in love with their own words. This makes it very hard to remove words,…

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