Writers, Readers & Self Publishing

Our community of self-published authors is generous with the knowledge they have gained on their writing journey. Here at Writers, Readers & Self Publishing, we will share with you their advice, their experiences and their ideas for writing and promoting award-winning books.  We will also share incites from our readers and others in the field of self-publishing such as editors, designers and successful best-selling authors who graciously share their thoughts and experiences. Our readers and writers have also contributed some fun and interesting stories that we hope you will enjoy!

How to Use a Free Short Story to Entice New Readers

Stephanie: I love the idea of authors offering a short story for free when people sign up for their mailing list. That is a great marketing strategy and as a reader myself, it really helps me to decide if the author’s work is something I want to invest my time and money in.  Deborah Swift -B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree does this and I have asked her here today to talk with us about that and she gives a list of benefits in doing so…Thank you, Deborah. Please share your experience. I write under two separate personas – Davina Blake who writes WW2 fiction, and Deborah Swift who is currently writing a big book set in the 17th century. My husband says Davina Blake is not as grouchy as Deborah Swift! Just before Christmas, longing for a breather from my long novel, I decided to swap personas and leave the Deborah Swift book (then 300 pages long) and write something shorter. Feeling a bit Christmassy, I had an idea for a short story with a winter theme, and hit upon the idea of making it a free gift to my Newsletter subscribers, and any other readers or bloggers I’d come into contact…

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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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My Bookish Life by indieBRAG Reader Tracy

I’m a bookaholic.  I love to read books, shop for books and collect books. I love the feel of a book, the smell of a book, and the weight of a book. I’m a full-fledged addict and I’m not seeking a cure…ever! Luckily I grew up in a household where books littered the floors, bedside tables and crammed homemade bookshelves crafted by my dad. My mom loved mysteries, my dad books on the civil war. We were library regulars, and my mom subscribed to the Book of the Month Club, and Readers Digest Condensed Books.  Gifts of books were a regular part of my childhood. I loved Golden Books, fairy tales, Dr. Seuss and Dare Wright’s Lonely Doll series.  When I started reading instead of just being read to, I loved Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins. In high school my pleasure reading turned to non-fiction and biography. My taste ran the gamut from English and U.S. History to movie star tell-alls and Presidential bios. I loved it all! During my teens I started a collection of “smelly” books. My collection isn’t really smelly, okay maybe a bit aromatic, but it is filled with old and captivating books that have…

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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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Interview with Catherine Lorraine

We'd like to welcome, indieBRAG Reader Catherine Lorraine to talk with us today about her reading!  Catherine, what is important about reading for you? Reading is a very important part of my life…I read to relax and to get away from everyday stress.   I read to learn and escape to exotic places. Even though I read many books in a year…..I usually only read before going to bed, sometimes on week-ends and when I am going to appointments where I have to wait. Do you enjoy reading for BRAG and what positive experiences have had?  I like to read for BRAG as this gives me a chance to read books I might never have found on my own. I have found a few new favourites and have become a fan always waiting for that next book.  BRAG also challenges me to read books I might have never picked up to read and I have been excited by a few books that I have read.  I also am a fan of Indie Authors….I am so glad that they have found a way to publish their books without the help of big publishers.  I must admit that a few years ago I…

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Interview with Jack Graham

Today we are interviewing Jack Graham, a reader for indieBRAG!  Jack, what is important about reading to you? Jack: The great preponderance of what I know I first encountered by reading. Sometimes, reading would inspire me to “do things” like the Boy Scout handbook, “Handbook for Boys” which after reading I did everything in it to the best of my ability, (and still do). That mostly kept me out of trouble throughout my teenage years... other than that incident with the skunk. Then there were all those textbooks. 20 years of them, through a PhD. And a couple libraries full that I operated at a couple different K-12 schools as a professional school librarian. No, I didn't read them all, but I certainly enjoyed those I read. Most of all, I enjoyed the joy and wonder that appeared on the faces of students when I found the “right book” for them to read. Of course there are no books more inspiring than scriptures, no matter what denomination one practices. Do you enjoy reading for BRAG and what positive experiences have you had? Jack: Yes, I certainly enjoy reading for BRAG! Or I would not have kept doing it for all…

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A Message From Award Winning Author Vicki Pardoe

When I was six years old, my family moved to a house that was very close to a public library.  I couldn’t wait to get over to the large, gothic looking building to apply for my new library card.  Every time I went to the library, I would check out five books, which was my limit.  I was always so excited that I would run home and take the books to my bedroom.  Not knowing which book to start reading, I would pick up each book and read the first chapter of the book.  Sometimes I would continue taking turns with the books, but other times one book would become so interesting to me that I would have to stick with that one until I was totally finished reading it and then go back to the others. This book ritual continued on during my entire childhood.  It didn’t matter what in the world was going on outside my bedroom door, because in my room I was flying high on broomsticks with witches, standing next to Martians exploring Earth, or helping Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys solve mysteries.  As an adult, I found that I didn’t want to just read…

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What I learned this year: the fellowship of writers and readers

indieBRAG would like to welcome Derek today today to talk with us about his fellowship with writers and readers this year. Derek was born in Hampshire in England but spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still has strong family ties. For many years he taught history in a secondary school but took early retirement to concentrate on writing. Apart from his writing, he spends his time gardening, travelling, walking and taking part in archaeological digs at a Roman villa. Derek is interested in a wide range of historical themes but his particular favourite is the late medieval period. He writes action-packed fiction which is rooted in accurate history. His debut historical novel, Feud, is set in the period of the Wars of the Roses and is the first of a series entitled Rebels & Brothers which follows the fortunes of the fictional Elder family. The fourth and final book of the series, The Last Shroud, was published in the summer of 2015... ********** At this time of the year it is customary to reflect upon the year almost past. For me, this has very much been a year for the family, visiting my brother in New Zealand and especially…

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Interview with Dawn Lamprecht – Editor, WordTherapy Editorial Services

We'd like to welcome Editor Dawn Lamprect to indieBRAG today to talk with us about her editing service. Dawn is owner and Editor of WordTherapy Editorial Services. While educated in writing and editing, she also spent many years as a Mental Health Therapist and Licensed Social Worker. Dawn enjoys using her analyzing skills while editing (analyzing the writing, not the writer!). Dawn makes it a priority to keep the writer’s voice, and her background has given her a knack for doing so. Dawn started writing and studying writing as a young child. Dawn went on to get a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (as Dawn DeLay). She had a major in English, a minor in Psychology, and also took several classes in Creative Writing and News Editorial Journalism (including editing). Dawn then went on to get a Master of Social Work Degree. After working in that field for a number of years, including writing in that field and helping others write reports, she is now back to her first loves of editing and writing. Dawn is a member of the Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network. In addition to editing, Dawn also: teaches writing and literature, tutors…

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IndieBRAG Cover Crush: Betrayal by Michele Kallio

Cover Crush by Colleen Turner   Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary Synopsis Betrayal tells the story of two women, modern day Lydia Hamilton and Elisabeth Beeton, a lady’s maid to Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry the Eighth. Lydia is happily in love with her physician boyfriend, Dan Taylor, until she begins to have nightmares that seem all too realistic.  She dreams of a girl, a prison cell and a beheading.  In her dreams Lydia finds herself in the Elisabeth’s body experiencing Elisabeth’s 16th century life.  Lydia tries to ignore these vivid dreams as long as she can, that is, until Elisabeth’s diary arrives in the mail.  Suddenly, Lydia is caught up in a quest to uncover the truth behind Elisabeth’s betrayal. Thoughts on the cover If you know me you know I love historical fiction, especially the kind that incorporates a little mystery into the mix. My first thoughts when seeing this cover were, “what sorts of secrets are within those letters? And what do those letters have to do with the stately home behind it?” That pull of mystery makes this cover very intriguing for me and makes it hard to…

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