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!

Cover Crush: Black Beans & Venom by Vinnie Hansen

Geri and I have been talking about featuring B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees book covers that really stand out and a fellow book blogger of mine started a post series called, Cover Crush and I decided this would be great to carry over to indieBRAG. A few of the indieBRAG Interview Team Members will be joining in this fun series, so be on the lookout for those as well! I have said this before and I will say again. I am not a cover designer but I do have an artist’s eye and can agree that cover design plays an important role in the overall presentation of the book and gladly admit I judge a book by its cover. Overall presentation is important to pull a reader in. When I read a story I want to be completely immersed. A grand cover helps that along. Imagery and all-if you will. Synopsis No one wants P.I. Carol Sabala to take the case. Her boss is apprehensive about an illegal investigation in Cuba. Carol’s boyfriend worries about her physical safety. But the client is rolling in dough, the office has unpaid bills, and Carol chafes under the mundane tasks assigned to her. In Old Havana, Carol sets…

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Book Bloggers Support to Authors

Previously published on Layeredpages Book Blogging isn’t always easy and takes a lot of time and effort. I am a firm believer it takes both the author and the blogger to work together for support of each other’s medium on social media. Bloggers and Authors lead such busy lives and it’s not always easy to be in contact with each other. We are always pulled in so many different directions. In many ways, I like to think that bloggers and authors have like minds in creativity and structure. We are in constant need of nurturing that creativity. But before I get carried away on that thought, let’s get back to bloggers supporting authors. Check list for supporting authors: This is the most important so I’m adding this first. DO NOT troll an author. Do NOT. I’ve seen bloggers use their platform to bash and harasses authors-for whatever reason-and I have zero respect for that. If you have a disagreement, do not further engage. And that means, do not smear the authors name on a public platform. Now, I don’t need to go into the reasons why you should not harass authors. You should be smart enough to figure out why.…

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How Stories and Characters Choose Me!

                  I often get asked how I choose my stories and characters. The truth is, I don’t—they choose me. One night several years ago, I awoke from a vivid dream of a robed priestess walking amid the ruins of a mountain castle. As this spectral woman came toward me, I heard the word “crusade” being chanted. Around her feet sprouted dozens of crosses that shifted between possessing two and three horizontal beams. They seemed to mark the location of forgotten graves. Bathed in a lucent radiance, the woman beckoned me with outstretched arms and pleaded, “Peace, child, let the Light.” Then, the dream ended. The next morning, I hurried to the library to research these strange crosses. Months later, I was climbing the heights of Montsegur, the Cathar Masada in the Ariege region of southwestern France. That desolate mount and its haunting castle ruins looked strikingly similar to the jagged landscape in my dream. All across Cathar country I found the double cross on graffiti. Known as the Cross of Lorraine, it had been adopted as the rallying symbol for the French Resistance during World War II. I also learned that the…

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Supporting Book Bloggers with Stephanie Hopkins

Previously posted on Layered Pages Book Bloggers are a unique breed of readers. Our passion for reading and sharing that passion runs deep within us. We have to express ourselves in this form of medium. We live a thousand lives through reading. We adore the written word. We not only do it for ourselves, but for other readers like us. Book Blogging isn’t always easy and we need help from the authors we shine a light on. We want our favorite authors to succeed and reaching out to as many readers as possible. By doing this, it takes both the authors and bloggers to support each other. Often times I hear authors talk about on social media how they aren’t reaching the audience they want. So here is what I have to say about that. Authors, you want to increase your audience on social media? There are several ways in doing that. Today, I’m going to talk about supporting the book blogger. You see, we are a major part of your social media success. Check list for supporting book bloggers: Be patient: Book Bloggers have day jobs and families to take care of to. When you appear as a guest…

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First Year as a Newborn and Newbie Published Author by M. Louisa Locke

Below is a reprint of a post I did January 1, 2011, just about a year after I self-published my first novel, Maids of Misfortune. I think it captures some of the wonder of that first year. It is now slightly over a year later, a have a second grandson who just turned one, who is already running, climbing, and giving his two year-old brother a run for his money, and I have become more successful than I could have ever imagined. I have a second book out, Uneasy Spirits, the sequel to Maids of Misfortune, and over 37,000 people have bought copies of my two books, and another 50,000 people have downloaded them in a series of free promotions I did on Kindle. But I will never forget the joy of that first year of firsts. I hope you enjoy reading about them as well. --M. Louisa Locke Last year I rang in the New Year with my daughter, who had just had her first baby. I was exhausted (she had had a difficult delivery) and elated at being a grandmother. This New Year’s day, as I look back at the wonderful year of watching that sweet grandson grow…

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My Initial Foray into the World of Self-publishing by Joe Perrone Jr.

                   Joe PerroneJr.         The first of my books to be published was Escaping Innocence (A Story of Awakening), which was begun as a memoir, way back in 1987, while I was working three jobs.  It did not take me long to realize that because mine was not a household name, it was unlikely that anyone would be interested in reading my memoirs.  So I did the only thing I could do, which was to morph my true story into a novel.  Using a ballpoint pen, I completed the initial manuscript over the course of the next three and a half years, filling six, spiral-bound notebooks in the process.  I truly believed that I was writing the definitive coming-of-age novel.  I wasn’t. Over the next twenty years, however, I edited, re-wrote, re-edited, and re-wrote Escaping Innocence at least three times, before I finally self-published it on October 5, 2008 through Lulu.com, a print-on-demand publisher (P.O.D.) that had been recommended to me by a relative.  By the time I published the book, I was so sick of examining and re-examining my early life that I was just happy to have…

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When Do We Become “They”? by Plum McCauley

      We’ve all seen the articles recounting examples of the staggering ignorance of our student population—college students who aren’t sure who won the Civil War, what the Holocaust was, or even when World War Two took place. I remember years ago reading about a teacher who bemoaned the fact that his students didn’t know which came first, the Renaissance or the Reformation. I wasn’t sympathetic. My only reaction was to think that if any of my college freshman composition students even knew what those historical events were I’d fall into a dead faint... There’s probably not one of us in education who doesn’t wail like a Greek Chorus over The Current State of Education in America.  We wring our hands, frustrated by our seeming inability to DO anything.  This issue reared its head again for me recently when I was looking over the new IndieBRAG website.  I had excitedly awaited the changes in genre divisions, hoping that we’d at last have a proper middle grade section into which I could insert my own mystery/adventure novel for the 9-12 year-old set.  As any of you know who have a BRAG medallion for a children’s book, the wide range of…

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Setting your story by Alison Morton

  If you set your story near home, then you know the plains, the streets, shops, the roads, the types of people, vehicles, and the “busyness”, dangers and fun of daily life. f you venture overseas with your characters, you could perhaps visit the places the characters would live in, smell the sea, touch the plants, walk under the hot blue sky, or freeze in a biting wind. If you reach into the past to set a historical story you need not only to research the period in meticulous detail, but also get inside the heads of the characters, imagine what they see in their everyday world, what they smell, eat and touch. And it will be quite different, fifty years ago, let alone five hundred. Going further – inventing a country, planet or other reality as in my Roma Nova alternate history thrillers – you will need to gear up your imagination to its highest level. We’re creative beings; we’ve imagined space adventures, high crime, medieval romances, sea voyages, in short, alternative realities, since we were children. We’ve built worlds of richness, deprivation, strange laws and customs, silks, satins and broadcloth, rural, industrial and futuristic. And with that imagination,…

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Inspiring My Children To Read by N.D. Richman

    My first book was inspired by a desire to pass on the love of reading to my children. My son, Michael, and I went on a walk one day, and because he had little interest in reading I asked him what kind of plot he’d enjoy and what type of characters would excite him.  The concept and characters behind Brother, Bullies and Bad Guys were created by a ten year old child, and from there the novel became a family project between myself and my four children – Christopher, Michael, Thomas and Katherine.  They helped me with the plot, the situations, and ideas such as the astrological reference to Gemini.  And, they lent me their names and wee bits of their personalities to complete the characters. Many of the situations within the story came from my childhood (except for the really bad ones), and I’ll leave the reader to guess which ones but I will say that yes, even the bear stemmed from a real incident in my childhood. Brothers, Bullies and Bad Guys would be a dust covered manuscript in my basement if it wasn’t for an editor friend who convinced me it had to be published. …

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Meet my writer’s genie, the most distracting Ms Inspiration by Anna Belfrage

                Anna Belfrage   Sometimes, people ask me where all the ideas for my writing come from. That’s easy. I am afflicted – or blessed – by a vivid imagination and a most demanding muse, my very own Ms Inspiration. Lately, Ms Inspiration has not been much help. Not so that she doesn't spout ideas – she most certainly does, especially around three o'clock in the morning – but her attention span is the size of a newt’s, which means none of the ideas go much beyond an image or two. It's very annoying to have her leapfrog from a (great) idea for a story set in the 14th century to a vague daydream about becoming a hammer thrower and winning the Olympic gold. (This is the aftermath of having watched too much sports lately. Ms Inspiration has sadly concluded that I can neither ice skate, run nor do handstands, so throwing something is the single option that remains.) Mostly though, Ms Inspiration is presently suffering from indecisiveness. What she touts as a plausible idea on Monday is a dead duck on Tuesday, and the fabulous love scene she painted for me on…

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