Words of Wisdom

Reviewing Historical Fiction – what every Indie Writer Should Know

Helen Hollick - author, editor of Historical Novel indie books and author of 3 B.R.A.G.Medallion Honorees- shares her wisdom with us! It is all very well writing an historical novel – doing all that research, checking and re-checking to ensure no factual errors or anachronistic bloopers creep in, (like the narrative in a Medieval novel proudly announcing; “she froze, like a rabbit caught in the headlights,”) but what happens after you have finished the editing, sorted the formatting and finally got your book into print? You want it to sell, of course. The best way to do this is by word of mouth. Create a buzz, get people talking about your novel. Easier said than done though! A good way to get started is obtaining an Indie B.R.A.G medallion and gaining some genuine honest, reliable, reviews. Which is where I come in. I am an author – traditionally published with my Historical Fiction in the US, but my nautical fantasy adventure series, the Sea Witch Voyages are Indie Published (and all have B.R.A.G. medallions). But for this article, my other role is the primary one: I am also the Historical Novel Society’s Managing Editor for Indie Reviews. We welcome indie…

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2014 indieBRAG SURVEY RESULTS

READERS SURVEY: PART ONE Over the past two weeks I have shared with you highlights from indieBRAG's Second Annual Survey among Authors of a B.R.A.G Medallion book. I would now like to present the key findings from the Reader Survey, and compare the results to 2013 where relevant. I will provide these results in three parts, beginning today with the Reader Survey: Part One.   READER SURVEY: PART ONE Overview As was the case with the Author Survey, participation in this year's survey among our readers declined versus last year. Specifically, it dropped to 15%, which compares to 25% in 2013. While we were disappointed by this lower participation rate, the sample was still large enough to provide some useful, albeit directional, findings. The results I will present in Part One and Two reflect the readers' general views and preferences unrelated to their roles as indieBRAG reviewers. In Part Three, I will highlight several key findings that pertain directly to our readers' experiences in reading indieBRAGsubmissions. Preferred Format for Books Like last year, a little over half of our readers prefer reading an eBook. Only ten percent prefer trade paperbacks while forty percent read either. Very few readers favor mass…

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indieBRAG 2014 SURVEY RESULTS

READER SURVEY: PART TWO In this Blog I will continue my summary of key findings from the indieBRAG 2014 Reader Survey. As was the case with Part One, these results reflect the views and preferences of the respondents as distinct from their role as members of the indieBRAG reader team. Important Considerations in Buying a Book Factors Used in Judging a Book Types of Reviews Read This concludes the Reader Survey: Part Two. Please look for the conclusion of my summary of the 2014 indieBRAG Reader Survey in Part Three in my next Blog.

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READER SURVEY: PART THREE

READER SURVEY: PART THREE In this Blog I will conclude my summary of the key findings from the indieBRAG 2014 Reader Survey. The results presented here reflect the views and preferences of the respondents in their roles as members of the indieBRAG reader team. Based on their experiences reading self-published books for indieBRAG, 80% of our readers believe that the best indie books are as good as the best traditionally published books, while 20% say they are even better. This finding has not changed versus last year. Factors Affecting Attitude Characteristics of Self-Published Books Advice to Self-Published Authors As we did in the Author Survey, we asked our readers if there was one piece of advice that they could give to self-published authors what would it be? This concludes my review of the significant findings of the 2014 indieBRAG Reader Survey. I hope that you have found these results, along with those from the Author Survey, interesting and informative. However, as I said at the beginning of this series of Blogs, the level of participation in both the Author and Reader Surveys dropped markedly this year versus last year, and we are currently considering whether or not to discontinue the…

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The indieBRAG Survey Results

  Author Survey - Part One Each year we submit a survey to our Readers and Authors to find out what they like and don't like about books, about what works for authors and how they might spend their time and money more wisely. Robert has prepared the following for you which will appear in 4 blogs and posted on Fridays. As many of you are aware, last October we conducted the indieBRAG Second Annual Survey among our Readers and Authors of a B.R.A.G Medallion book. As promised, I would now like to share with you the key findings from those two surveys, and compare the results versus the 2013 Survey where relevant. I will present the key findings from both surveys in two parts beginning today with the Author Survey: Part One. Overview Participation in the survey by authors of Medallion books dropped this year to roughly 20% of our total number of authors, which compares to 33% last year. While we were disappointed by this lower participation rate, the sample was still large enough to provide some useful, albeit directional, findings. Self- Versus Traditional Publishing • As was the case last year, approximately 80% of survey respondents have…

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So, How Do You Wrap an E-Book

Truly wonderful thoughts from Bruce Feiler as written for the New York Times Sunday, December 14, 2014 Like everything else in contemporary families, holiday gift buying for children divides people into camps. The first camp can be categorized as "give them what they want" — the video game, the skateboard, the umpteenth Harry Potter or Elsa product extension. The second camp can be categorized as "give them what they need" or, alternately, "give them what you want them to like" — the mittens, the new sleeping bag, the penny collecting kit like the one your grandfather gave you that you just know they're going to love someday. One gift seems to straddle both camps, depending on the child, and taps into a nagging anxiety of many parents I know: the gift of reading. I recently had lunch with the father of two boys, one of whom was a reader; the other was not. My friend was struggling with how to encourage his screen-obsessed son to spend more time with the page. Should he offer incentives, force him, tuck comic books and joke collections under the tree? My daughters, meanwhile, enjoy reading, but even our situation comes with questions. Should we…

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Your Book Blurb Sells Book!

    OK, now your book is finished, edited and has a great cover- what to do next?I can't tell you how many readers by-pass books on our reading list due the book's description- they don't even want to sample it!With an author's ability to buy reviews or get their writing group to post reciprocal 5 star reviews, combined with the "nasties" who troll the review platforms, many potential readers are skeptical of the entire review system. When browsing for a book in a bookstore a reader pulls out a book, reads the title, glances at the cover and if they get that far, reads the back cover. Here is where you get them- or lose them.Similarly, most readers doing on-line shopping click the title and then scroll down to read the book's description. Given that, you must first create a headline and then a SHORT description telling what your book is about. Don't clutter it with information about yourself. Give the reader a reason to buy your book, not to reject it. There is no need to tell the entire story or mention every character. Rather, you should tell them how you are going to make them feel. Keep…

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My NaNoWriMo Experience

  A great experience from Annie Daylon It's November and, once again, information about NaNoWriMo is flooding social media. Many writers participate in this annual National Novel Writing Month. Maybe some sit by the wayside, wondering: Is it worth the effort? I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice. In 2010, I wrote a complete first draft of my novel Castles in the Sand. In 2012, I wrote a complete first draft of my work-in-progress, Of Sea and Seed. Some time elapsed between first draft and completion of Castles in the Sand. During that time, I took many courses on writing, including one on voice and viewpoint. The initial draft was written in third person and in chronological order. After completing the course, I switched to a first-person, flashback format. I also included a main character who was not present in the first draft. Castles in the Sand was a winner of the mainstream genre of the 2012 Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest and is a recent recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion. My WIP, Of Sea and Seed, is historical fiction set in Newfoundland. My initial draft of this was intended as a one-off. I have since switched it to a trilogy.…

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What’s Next?

A Few Tips on Exposure for your Book Self-Publishing is a booming industry and often times it can be a bit overwhelming, but as you know it has its perks as well. Like for instance, being awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion for starters... Now that you have your Medallion, your work has just begun and I can assure you, the B.R.A.G. Team is working hard to get your book noticed as well.Many of you feel stumped as to what to do after being awarded the Medallion and listed below are some tricks of the trade. Before I get started on listing what those tips are, I would like to applaud you all for writing and self-publishing your book(s). It is not always an easy journey and you are a brave soul. Social Media: 1. Help Promote indieBRAG.2. Contact me for an on-line interview. Interviews are great exposure for your book. Once I have  interviewed you, please help spread the word.3. Participate in my Writer's Series.4. Virtual Book Tours.5. Join goodreads6. Join the indieBRAG goodreads group. (Great way to get updates and information and to meet other Medallion Honorees.)7. Tweet about your book.8. Join other reliable book sites.9. Create a Facebook Page/profile…

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Wise Advice from a Blogger/Reviewer!

Jen Warren tells you what a reader wants- Every writer wants to leave a lasting impression. They want to create unforgettable characters, extraordinary worlds, with a storyline that drags the reader in and never lets go. They want, above all, to write a good book. The question is: what makes a book "good?"Every reader has their own preferences. What appeals to one will not appeal to all. The most important thing for any writer to consider is their target audience. Whether you've written an elegant work of literary fiction, or the hottest romance to hit the shelves since Fifty Shades, your readership should play an important role in the decisions you make when finishing and promoting your work.That said, there are – I believe – some basic elements that can help any novel achieve a measure of greatness. 1. Cover. You knew this was coming, didn't you? Yes, the all-important cover can make or break the potential of any story. If it looks thrown together by an amateur, readers WILL be afraid to open it up. A bad cover inspires no confidence in the quality of the work inside.Take a look at the covers of other books in your genre.…

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