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Benefits of Reading to Children

‘Reading for pleasure is more important for academic success than the family’s socio-economic status’ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The benefits of reading to your child are limitless. Nurturing the parent and child bond, sparking their imagination and forming the foundations of their learning abilities into adulthood are core benefits of reading to children. The advantages of reading are essential for working life and cultivating these basic needs in infancy helps children avoid the under-achievement gap that can arise from neglected basic skills. The Centre for the Economics of Education state “The best predictor of how skilled the adult will be is his or her level in primary school.” The best education systems worldwide require children to be in school from anywhere between 35 – 45 weeks to get the most out of classroom education. Having poor literacy and/ or numeracy can be a potential impediment to the individual’s life and career, and are ultimately foreseen consequences preventable in childhood. 8 Benefits of Reading for Children Nurturing the Parent and Child Bond Kids are constantly on the go. As your child grows older, they’ll be running about non-stop. Their natural curiosity causes them to become little explorers, constantly searching for something…

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A little help!

  We were part of a panel on marketing recently.  The other 5 "renown" participants talked about such technical things that it lost the audience, I think.  They talked about SEO's and amazon logistics and things you could spend months on.  Although these things can be important and useful, they take time both to learn about and implement and right now we are going to talk about some of the things that you can do that a easy and don't take a lot skill!  We had gathered together some great ideas for marketing which were targeting more to what authors could actually do without getting a PhD..  When I began, I was aware that the others were not expecting much form indieBRAG.  At the end, I was swamped by audience members and after we returned home each of the other panelists got in touch to see if we wanted to work with them!  There are 2 sides to marketing- technical and physical.  We am trying to find a way for amazon to recognize indieBRAG  and the medallion so more readers will have a chance to find our wonderful books! We will be sharing with you some basic ideas for marketing. …

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How to Source and Use Photos in Self-published Book Covers

How to Source and Use Photos in Self-published Book Covers Reposted with permission from Jean Gill Jean Gill, photographer and author From France, Jean Gill offers important advice about the right and legal way to source images for your books, websites and social media, drawing on her knowledge as both a professional photographer and an author, able to see the issue from both sides of the lens. As writers, we want images for our book covers, blogs, adverts and tweets. It is so easy to break the law if you find the perfect picture online. All you have to do is right-click, save it and use it. Simple! As simple as picking up sweets in a shop and pocketing them. You probably wouldn’t do the latter because a) it’s stealing and b) if you get caught, you don’t just pay the price of the sweets. The same applies to using images without permission, and there are some horror stories doing the rounds about the price of being caught. Why Paid Stock Photos Give Peace of Mind I’m a writer and a photographer, with a stock portfolio of 3,500 photos at istockphoto and Getty Images. When you buy a stock image, you pay for…

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Sharing a wonderful romance book with friends – and a yummy Peach Cobbler!

  Olive Witkins was sure she had her days planned out. At 35, she was a spinster, worked at a Philadelphia library and took care of her parents’ house. She kept her hair in a tight bun, wore black clothes and kept herself all buttoned up. Then life intervened. With the death of her brother and his wife in 1891, Olive travels to the wilds of Spencer, Ohio to save their two children, fantasizing about the culture and family legacy she would bestow on Mary and John, how she would teach them and they would love her. Her dream shattered when she saw the hovel where her drunken brother had kept his family, not fit for human habitation. What her brother and his wife put their children through “rubbed raw all that she knew to be true…” With great difficulty, Olive rises to the occasion, mothers her niece and nephew with the help of her brother’s neighbor Jacob Butler. She begins to mother his 3 children as well. Despite her lack of experience and being used to Philadelphia life, “Olive felt more alive, more focused than she ever had before in her life…. I am done letting life go by.”…

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IT’S YOUR BOOK LAUNCH…PARTY IF YOU WANT TO

 Lorraine Devon Wilke- Author There are lots of rules in the writing game. LOTS. Ask anyone in the biz for advice, do a little research on norms and protocols, get active in social media groups on the topic, and you’ll be bombarded with generalized and specific do's and don'ts, articles with titles like, “the 10 most important rules of writing,” debates around, “are you an author or a writer?”, and certainly lists of what to avoid, what to absolutely avoid, and how to “do things right.” In the swirling eddy of contradictions and occasional hits of inspiration you will likely get… exhausted. But take a deep breath and know that, in the midst of all that information, you can glean enough good advice and worthwhile input to create your own set of protocols and preferences to fit your style, while still getting the job done. Here’s the trick: You have to be selective. You have to curate that advice. You have to experiment on your own to discover what you agree with, what you don’t. Let’s take the “book launch.” Now, there’s a topic that inspires prodigious amounts of opinion. Just this week I read a lengthy blog filled with…

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More Thoughts on the Newsletter Rage-

  A reader’s thoughts First of all, let me say that, at times, I like getting newsletters from my favorite authors- but it can be over done! Most of the time I am the one who seeks out subscription on their newsletter but I am definitely not a fan of being “forced” to sign up when visiting a website. Pop ups that require you to sign up for the newsletter to allow you onto the website really annoy me – not what an author wants!  I actually think this may discourage some people who are just browsing and getting to know you as an author.  Getting an email for your list is not as important as winning a fan!  I have found that sometimes I sign up just to get a look at the authors website  and his/her books and then when the emails come pouring in, I unsubscribe, and I am sure I am not alone. The big question is Do Newsletters turn into sales?  I’m not sure.  I don’t think that forcing subscribers to sign up for your subscription is helpful and too many emails is soon considered spam.  Where I do think it is helpful is when…

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Author Newsletter vs. Author Blog: Five Reasons I Prefer a Blog, and Six Reasons You Might Not

“The one with the biggest email list wins” is the current mantra of pretty much every book marketer on the planet. The author newsletter is supposed to be the most important weapon in your book marketing arsenal. Marketing experts tell authors their #1 goal should be to collect as many email addresses as possible for the purpose of sending our victims fans weekly or even daily doses of our spam news. This week Kristine Katherine Rusch wrote a great in-depth post on newsletters. She pointed out there are two types of newsletters that authors are using today: the old school, chatty  letter that reads like the newsy Christmas letter you get from Aunt Susie. Those newsletters appeal to your established fans who know your characters, and want to know what’s coming up and what’s going on with you personally. Then there’s the newer type of newsletter which is like an advertising circular that aims at getting new customers. It’s all about marketing. It’s the latter I have the most trouble with. (So does KKR) but if you’ve got a lot of marketing savvy, it may work for you. Unfortunately I personally have negative reaction aggressive marketing, so I’m not comfortable with doing it myself. Should You…

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Another Tasty Idea and a Great Book!

Kitchen Brigade by Laurie Boris Dystopian novels have a long and popular history, from classics such as The Time Machine, Brave New World and 1984 to the more modern Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale and Divergent.  Some take place in a specific time and place and some are vague or fantasies. Some dystopian novels use unknown tyrants while others use current US rivals, such as the Chinese, Cubans or Russians. That is the route of The Kitchen Rivals by Laurie Boris, which uses a specific enemy, the Russians and their allies, the Cubans, as the tyrannical rulers who have taken over the eastern part of the US. Its setting is also specific, taking place in the Hudson Valley, where the author lives. Laurie skillfully places the main scenes in the kitchen, where main character Valerie, now called Three, with her fellow chefs, including Chef Svetlana, under whom she had previously studied at the Culinary Institute of America create meals for the general, his staff and visitors. Food is an important focus in the novel.  While the kitchen chefs are prisoners, food still provides joy, love and artistry. It is used as payment, as for chef Four, and used horribly, as when the child Tomàs is forced to taste food in case…

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An Irish Tale and Guinness Chili- ready for St. patrick’s Day!

  Secrets of the Apple Tree Tavern: The Making of an Irish Godfather (Irish Fires Book 1) by Mary Ellen Gavin   In The Secrets of the Apple Tree Tavern, Mary Ellen Gavin writes movingly and deeply about the Irish in New York and in Dublin. Raised in an Irish family, she shared, “The joys and sorrows of family are taught to the Irish from birth. All good and all bad can only come from your Family. A brother who succeeds in life is your joy ... a sister who births a sickly baby is your sorrow. The Irish build strong family ties and know how to wield guilt. It is the way I was raised. I thrived from it and I cried from it ... more than some other families.” Life is seen through the eyes of Frances Fleming, an orphan of Irish immigrants during the Depression, then adopted by a tavern owner. Like the author, family becomes extremely important to him.  At a young age, he is put to work, gladly on his part for his new “family.”  His childhood is happy and his years filled with stories of Ireland and the “old ways.” So many of us are…

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Helen interviews Lola James of The Texacali Game-

To be a little different from the usual 'meet the author'  let's meet a character Aran Bruce The Taexali Game’s a time travel historical novel where I was whizzed back to A.D. 210, along with my friends Brian and Fianna. ‘Course, when we started playing our Rubidium Virtual Reality game we’d no idea where we were, or when it was, and had to work that out from really neat visual clues. Just as well that I’ve got a fabulous recall of facts. Oh, and then we had to come to terms with it all being really real, you know, and that death actually did mean being a dead-guy for ever. Some of the local Taexali Celts were our friends, others were dirty traitors, but the best bit of all was besting that nasty Ancient Roman Emperor Severus and his even more evil son – Caracalla – while we were solving the local mystery. We’re talking about Aberdeenshire, Scotland. That’s where I live when I’m not time travelling. Aron Bruce Read Helen Hollick's complete interview with Aron Bruce of The Taexali Game @Novel Conversations By Nancy Jardine Visit author Nancey Jardine @ Her Website

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