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!

Interview with Award Winning Author Michelle Eastman

We are delighted that Charla White has chosen to interview Michelle Eastman who is the author of, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tail, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, A Fairy’s Tail, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money. Michelle, what were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? The goal for publishing my first book, The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tail, was to create a picture book for my son. Initially, I had no intention of publishing it for others to read. I just wanted him to have something special from me. Thankfully, the story became much bigger than that, and I am delighted with the way things turned out. Collaborating with illustrator Kevin Richter was a wonderful experience, and that experience led to book number two, Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie. What do you think most characterizes your writing? What most characterizes my writing is rewriting. I always begin with a legal pad…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with S.M. Spencer

We’d like to welcome multi award winning author S M Spencer to indieBRAG today to talk with us about her writing. S.M. grew up reading the romantic suspense works of marvelous authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. These books, as well as others by such incredible authors as Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, and J.R.R. Tolkien, stirred in her a passion that would last a lifetime–to write stories that would stay with readers long after they’d finished the final pages. Although S M Spencer grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area she now lives in Australia and writes from the home she shares with her husband, horses, cats and dogs. She writes clean young adult paranormal romance as well as Australian contemporary/rural romance. When writing, what makes you feel happiest? I suppose what makes me happiest is when I get into a scene, and it just flows. Sometimes the dialogue just flows so naturally and you can hear their voices so clearly. It is pure bliss when this happens.  What makes you feel the most frustrated? What is most frustrating is- when I know what I want to write, but it just doesn’t translate onto paper. The scene/description/dialogue might be crystal clear in my…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Gloria Zachgo

Today, award winning author Gloria Zachgo is here with us to talk about her writing!  It’s a natural for Gloria to write stories with Kansas settings. She grew up on a farm in Lincoln County, Kansas, where she attended one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the country. After graduating from Brown Mackie Business School she married her high school sweetheart. Living out of state for several years, Gloria and her husband moved back to their Kansas roots.  While their children were young, she ran a small business out of their home.  When her children left the nest, she pursued a lifelong dream and took various art lessons. Always wanting to learn new things she joined a creative writing group in 2006. She soon found she had a passion for writing fictional short stories.  One particular short story was written from the prompts of a gingerbread man and a small toy horse. It led to her first novel, The Rocking Horse.   “I knew there was more to the story. I kept seeing the image of a young woman, all alone, with a quirky little toy trying to give her a message.” After her debut novel won honorable mention in the 20th Annual…

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Interview with Jennifer Quinlan-Historical Editorial

indiebrag would like to welcome back Jennifer Quinlan today to talk about her editing business. Jennifer, aka Jenny Q, owner of Historical Editorial, is an editor and cover designer specializing in historical fiction, romance, and fantasy. A member of the Historical Novel Society, the Editorial Freelancer’s Association, the American Historical Association, and various local and regional historical organizations, she lives in Virginia with her husband, a Civil War re-enactor and fellow history buff. Jenny, what is your editing business called? Historical Editorial How did you get into editing? I was having a bit of a professional crisis in the corporate world, unsatisfied with my job, but in a down economy, there were not a lot of appealing options available. So I asked myself: If you could do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? And I said: Well, I want to read books all day, but who’s gonna pay me to do that? At that point, I had an established book review blog and a growing network of readers and writers. So I started doing a little research and discovered there was a market for editors in the booming business of self-publishing. But not coming from a publishing…

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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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Happy Thanksgiving to the indieBRAG Family!

Dear friends I am so pleased to have this opportunity to express my thanks to all of you who share in the life of indieBRAG—those I work with and the authors and the readers I work for. Books and reading have been a great gift to me and have made my life better.  Those who know me know that I am a history fanatic!  I love non-fiction (Hamilton!), historical fiction and, yes my weakness, historical romance.  In the very beginning of indieBRAG, before we had the over 250 readers around the world, I needed to be a reader for any number of books that most often weren’t historical in nature. I have read paranormal, steampunk (which I had never heard of), thrillers and mysteries—probably every genre—and I fell in love with a whole new world of books. My horizons have been broadened and my life enriched. I am thankful that authors and readers alike have embraced the need that indieBRAG provides.  I think we are doing a great job in shining a light on books that deserve it and we are working hard to find new ways to help in this endeavor. Every day I “chat” with my many author…

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How Barnes & Noble Helps Indie Authors Find a Spot on Their Shelves

By Award Winning Author Victoria L. Thurman (author of The Dating Dilemmas of Delilah Dunnfield) I wasn’t aware that Barnes and Noble hosts an author signing class, as maybe you weren’t either. (Please be advised I am not exactly sure if that is the exact name). I received a text from my friend, whose friend posted it on Facebook. The text was a photo of a sign in the local Barnes and Noble advertising an author class—how to get your indie book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. (NOTE: I could not find it listed on their events website at all. Call your local B&N to find out when your class is. They have one once a quarter.) As I had given up after a couple of years trying to figure it out, I jumped out of my chair at work and squealed. I didn’t want to take any chances on the class filling up (in my mind it was already packed to the hilt with eager indie authors and they would turn me away) and even though I am poor as a church mouse at this moment in time, I saw myself using my last credit card with…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Award Winning Author Annie Whitehead

I’d like to welcome back award winning author Annie Whitehead today. She is here to talk with us about a big part of her writing. I first started this series-A Writer's Life- over at Layered Pages and decided to bring it to indieBRAG for our authors. Annie is a history graduate and prize-winning author. Her first novel, To Be A Queen, is the story of Aethelflaed, daughter of Alfred the Great, who came to be known as the Lady of the Mercians. It was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society’s Indie Book of the Year 2016, and it has been awarded a B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion. Her second novel, Alvar the Kingmaker, is a tale of intrigue, deceit, politics, love, and murder in tenth-century Mercia. It charts the career of the earl who sacrificed personal happiness to secure the throne of England for King Edgar, and, later, Aethelred the Unready. It too has just been awarded a B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion. She has completed a third novel, also set in Mercia, and scheduled for publication in 2017. She has twice been a prizewinner in the Mail on Sunday Novel Writing competition, she won first prize for nonfiction in the new Writing Magazine Poetry…

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How did you discover indieBRAG?

Often times in B.R.A.G. Interviews we ask our authors how they discovered us. This past July, Stephanie at Layered Pages asked award winning author Ginger Bensman how she discovered us. Here is what she had to say: “A couple years ago, I discovered a wonderful book, After the Sucker Punch by Lorraine Devon Wilke. Wilke’s book was a recipient of the Indiebrag award, and after I read her book, I began to notice and appreciate that little gold medallion as an indicator of quality. Two years later, when I published my own book, I knew I wanted to submit it to the Indiebrag process. The possibility of winning a medallion was an exciting but secondary motivation, mostly, I wanted a straight up evaluation of my novel. Indiebrag is a gift to readers and independent authors, helping readers find high caliber indie books, and supporting writers to produce their best work.” -Ginger Bensman To read the full interview with Ginger, click here. About Author Ginger is a lifelong student of the human condition with a deep interest in philosophy and ecology. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development/Child and Family Studies from the University of Maine in Orono and has spent more than 25 years working in family…

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Second, or even Third Editions?

This is something I have pondered about for a while. I quite often see a book stating just that, when I scroll through Amazon or such, in search of my latest read. Why is there a need to change your book? Are you saying the original version was incorrect or not to your liking? After all, you have written your masterpiece, read it, corrected it, re-read it. Had it copy edited and proofread. Only then did you press the ‘publish’ button. While awaiting for the first five star review, your friend or family member tells you they have found the dreaded typo. We take comfort that this happens to the most accomplished writers being signed by the largest Publishing Houses and selling millions of books. But now you know about your book, and you will not rest, until it is corrected. Yes, it has also happened to me. To change the printed version proved costly, but had to be done. Correcting typos does not constitute a second edition, and remember, you need to un-publish the first edition once the second one is available. Why a second edition? Maybe your first novel is now part of a series. Hence, there might…

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