indieBRAG Blog

One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Lisl

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today we are talking with Lisl.  Lisl, how do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? I often find books in a series of links, that is to say reading one work might lead me to another. But I also browse bookshops and libraries, or see books mentioned online or by people in real life. Do you go to an author's website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search on sites such as Amazon? I almost never take up any recommendations put forth by Amazon, though it has happened that I’ve seen a book there that ends up on my TBR. However, this is in the minority of instances. Also,…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Jack

Thank you for joining us in giving Readers a voice!  You have been one of our earliest and most dependable readers and I think you thoughts are helpful to us at indieBRAG and authors- IndieBRAG: How do you choose a book to read? When I choose a book to read I usually have a topic or period of time in mind. I especially like medieval and ancient times. So I will search an online book seller with something like, “1314 Scotland Books”. This usually brings up a list of books of the right approximate time and place. I skim down through the list speed reading titles and glancing at covers. When a cover catches my eye or a title sounds interesting, then I slow down and read the book description. If it still sounds interesting then I look at the price. If it is more than I feel like spending, then I continue the process until I find a book at the right price point. If I'm shopping in a physical bookstore, my process is much the same. Although before I buy a paper book, I leaf through the book looking at pictures and reading snatches here and there to…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Lauren

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author's platforms and performance on social media. Today Lauren shares with us a little about her reading habits, reviewing books, how she finds books, how she regards pricing, giveaways, book covers, and much more. Thank you, Lauren for sharing with us today. First please tell us about your reading interest.  I’m an avid reader of Historical Fiction, and have been since I picked up Treasure Island, Little Women, and other classics as a child. That’s more than 40 years of HF reading. (Here I will pause to say that I consider anything set 100 years or more ago to be HF, regardless of whether it was ‘contemporary’ when written. That’s because it’s all about the reader, not the writer. Should I, on reading Dickens or Scott, first research whether this work of his fits into…

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WHO is an indieBRAG reader? You might reply…duh, they are people who read for indieBRAG!

WHO is an indieBRAG reader?  You might reply…duh, they are people who read for indieBRAG. RIGHT! But to be more precise, they are readers who love books--the same people who are buying your books, authors, so make sure you know them. Many indieBRAG readers are authors themselves who say reading the “good” and the “bad” has immensely helped them with their own writing.  Many also have a level of education and experience in the literary field that might impress you, while many do not--but all love reading and are happy to be taking part in the search for good books that deserve attention.  They know what they like and what they expect from a book and, lest you think otherwise, they are not undemanding judges.  It is their job to be discerning and thoughtful, a role I am proud to say they take very seriously.   After all, who better to tell other readers if a book deserves their time and money? We often hear from authors whose books were not chosen to receive a B.R.A.G Medallion (roughly 75% of the books we consider fall into this category). They feel they did everything right: punctuation, grammar, formatting and even professional content…

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“Becoming Malka” – Argentinian matzah balls!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good Foodie Lit read and one of its recipes.  Cooking and recipes in novels or memoirs take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. Here’s to cooking and reading! With Love, The Argentina Family; Becoming Malka Mirta Ines Trupp Mirta Innes Trupp searches for family history and her identity in her memoir, With Love, The Argentina Family and in her historical fiction, Becoming Malka, works that she describes as the story of a Russian, Argentinian, American and Jewish immigrant. Teachers couldn’t pronounce her name and students couldn’t figure out what group she belonged to. “Here at home, I struggled to find myself within the American tapestry. I was acutely aware of how different we seemed to be from others. Not only were we immigrants, but we didn’t quite fit the mold. … I couldn’t find my niche.” Mirta’s journey becomes literary when she writes With Love, The Argentina Family.  When her father begins working for Pan Am, Mirta frequently travels back and forth between the…

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Throwing Donuts from Behind a Wall – Marketing your Indie Book Online

How to market your book? Well, the hard part is writing it. After that it’s easy; you just stick it on Amazon and sit back and count the money as it rolls in. Oh wait, I wasn’t asked to write a piece of fiction… So, ignore that first sentence. Except, naively, that is pretty much the way I approached things in the beginning. After all, how can you know, when you’ve just published a book, what to do next? I don’t have a marketing or statistics degree. I’m not naturally ‘pushy’ (and I don’t mean that word pejoratively.) In common with many authors, I suspect, I am an introvert. I communicate by writing, be it books, articles, or messages on Facebook. Face to face, I could no more brazenly ask someone to buy my book than I could gracefully roller-skate backwards whilst wrestling an irate baboon. So this is not a piece about book fairs, organising talks or book signings. I actually live such a long way away from anywhere that few would be worth my while, financially, or logistically. Pavement pounding is not an option for me. But it is possible to market ‘remotely’, and writers, unlike singers or…

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The Art Of Book Marketing with Anna Castle

We would like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Anna Castle today to talk with us about her book marketing.  Anna, when partnering up with other authors for cross promotions, what is the outcome of this and is this something you recommend doing on an ongoing basis? I haven’t done this, apart from a series of Christmas blog posts. That was fun, but I don’t think it had any effect on my sales. Still, it’s well to remember that publicity means getting your name out there, while marketing consists of specific efforts to boost sales. Or that’s how I’ve learned these lessons. What are some ways that were successful in marketing your book? The best results I’ve had in terms of sales & downloads have come from using newsletter ad services to promote a discount. I’m not big enough for BookBub, but I’ve had good results from FussyLibrarian and Booksends. This month I’m trying BookAdrenaline, which is strictly mysteries and thrillers and only $8! These services have large numbers of subscribers -- usually in the tens of thousands -- who sign up because they want selected bargains. These are often voracious readers, like I used to be before I started reading…

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Quality is important!

Self- Publishing Self-published authors are not competing with other self-published authors but ALL authors. Once a book is available for sale, it must be up to the standard that readers expect from all good books. You rarely get a second chance for a good first impression!  Once you put out a book that lacks professionalism, readers will be less likely to try your next book.  This can be a very difficult hurdle to get over. Traditionally published authors are not your enemy.  Most traditionally published authors don’t have any advantages that you can’t achieve. Traditionally Published books are: Edited by the publisher Cover art is done by the publisher Some help with promotion is provided- most is expected from the author unless they have high sales. Lower royalty payments Self- Published books are: Editing is provided by the author Cover provided by the author Promotion done by the author Higher royalty payments. If a SP author pays for professional help, they will probably come out about equal in money made. Doing the work requires time and money but the author maintains complete control- something that is often very important. The self-publishing community is very generous in advice and with a…

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“Antagonists Series” with Lucinda Brant

       indieBRAG is pleased to welcome LUCINDA BRANT the  New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Georgian historical romances & mysteries Would you please take your most notorious Antagonist and answer the questions below about him or her?  This will be a lot of fun and give readers a sense of your character development of different types of personalities. As you know, readers love to read about Antagonist too! Antagonists name. Diana St. John. The villainess in my novel Salt Bride: A Georgian Historical Romance What are two emotional traits your antagonist has? Diana has few if any positive emotional traits. And those she does possess, such as self-determination and single-mindedness, she uses in an evil way. Does your antagonist feel victimized? How so? Of course. Like all truly evil people, she has one perspective, her own. Anyone or anything that is counter to her point of view must be against her. She desperately wants to be Countess of Salt Hendon. She thinks she is in love with the Earl, and so when he marries another, she believes she is the injured party. Nor does she blame him. It is all the fault of his bride, Jane.…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud With Stephanie M Hopkins

Today we are asking questions to Stephanie about her different opinions of social media, book covers, how author's promote and what draws her attention to books she might consider to buy. Stephanie, how do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? I find books all sorts of ways. Books are always on my mind. It’s like I have a radar built inside my head and I can detect them. On a more serious note, I am completely drawn into the world of stories and the people who write them. My passion is to share my love of reading, good reads and my hunt for them. Daily-as a book blogger- I am exploring social media and various book sites for the next great read.. Then there is driving along and spotting a bookstore and having to stop to take a look. Whenever I am running errands, I am always on the lookout. I guess you can say it’s an obsession. Not that it is a bad thing. Do you go to an author's website or social media when looking for a book or do you usually pick a book based on a search on sites…

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