indieBRAG Blog

Susan Weintrob
Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."

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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Moving Into Spring with Nicole Evelina

What are your writing goals for spring? I am writing my first non-fiction book this spring. It’s about the evolution of the character of Guinevere over the course of Arthurian legend, beginning with the first references to her in the Celtic triads and going all the way through my own books and others published in the last year or two. There are a few theses and dissertations that trace her changing nature from their origins through works written in the early 1990s, but they are hard to find, sometimes highly academic and don’t cover more recent history. I’m hoping my book makes the information accessible to the average reader and I’m excited to cover books that have come out in the last 20 years. I’m hoping for a summer release on that book. After that, I am going to do some research for Mistress of Legend, the final book in the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy. I have a draft written, but it’s getting a major re-write. That likely will take me into summer at least. My goal is to publish it by the end of the year. Do you Pinterest? What is your favorite board? OMG! I LOVE Pinterest! I’m actually…

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Inspiration waits for no one

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Edison I wake up groggy and roll to my side. It's 3 a.m. Then, something hits me. It's an idea, a glorious nugget of a story that I just have to get down--somewhere--before it is gone forever. I reach over and snatch my phone. Frantically, I scroll to my notes app and begin feverishly pecking away at the small electronic keyboard until the idea is down in a string of misspellings and typos that only I can understand. I roll back over and slip back into my dreams; hopefully the next will be as fruitful as the last. This is a common occurrence for me. Most of the ideas for my books rush into my consciousness in the wee hours of the night. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because my brain is uncluttered from the events of the day, filtered out through rest and deep sleep. I always make sure to have my phone at arm's length because of this. In fact, the idea behind Uncanny Valley, a trilogy I am in the middle for writing, came to me in such a half-roused state. It was a simple…

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Moving Into Spring with Elaine Russell

We’d like to welcome Award Winning Author Elaine Russell today. Elaine is the author of the adult novel Across the Mekong River and five other books for young adult and children. Three is her book have been awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion.  What are your writing goals for spring? This has been a very long, cold and wet winter. We are a bit spoiled in Northern California as normally there are brief reprieves of sunny days and warmer temperatures. Not this season. After five years of drought the rain is desperately needed, but it makes bundling up for a walk or bike ride far from appealing. On the bright side, it has forced me to settle in and work on my newest adult novel. It is a treat to have an uninterrupted day of writing, snuggled up on the sofa, listening to the patter of the rain. My goal is to finish this book, which I started two years ago, by the end of April. I completed a first draft back in September and hired a great editor, Jennifer Pooley, to help me think through the story and characters. Armed with her helpful suggestions, I slaved all winter on revisions. This…

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Cover Crush: Kingston’s Project by Carrie Beckort

I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of books and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover. ********** Synopsis B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree How do you find the strength to embrace a future that’s different than the one you planned? For Sarah Mitchell, the answer is simple–you don’t. For two years, Sarah has shut herself off from most of the world around her. She needs to move on, but doesn’t know how to begin. Unexpectedly, Sarah is presented with an opportunity that could change everything. Elijah Kingston, her firm’s largest client, wants her to lead a highly confidential assignment. When Sarah learns the shocking nature of Kingston’s project, she is torn between Elijah’s promise of healing and her fear of falling deeper into despair. Kingston’s Project is a poignant story about the effects of grief and the loss of hope. Can Sarah find happiness again, or is the hold from her fear and guilt too strong to break free? *********** This cover stands out to me in such a reflective way. You have a girl or woman-if you will-standing by a…

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Book Promotion Goals and the Strategy Behind Meeting Them

The book writing business can be challenging considering the effort required to produce a good product, significant upfront investment, and a highly-competitive market. And with the invasion of so many self-published authors over the past few years, it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed. In this article, I share my goals as an author and the strategy I used to achieve them. I have been writing novels for seven years and have published five books, the first one released in 2012. My promotion goals, which are tied to my financial goals, have changed over time due to a heightened  knowledge of the industry, the number of books under my belt, discovery of new promotional tools, and an ever-changing publishing industry. The financial goal I set for my first book was to break even—not a very lofty goal, but a reasonable one for a first-time author—and I wanted to do it within six months. Having invested $3,200 in its production (editing, formatting, cover design, press release, etc.), that meant selling either 840 paperback copies, 2,100 Kindle copies, or some combination of the two to break even. Determined not to fall into that large group of new authors who sell less…

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Crime Fiction with Award Winning Author Douglas Carlyle

We’d like to welcome two time award winning author Douglas Carlyle to take part in our crime fiction week. Doug, when writing crime fiction, there is usually several characters involved. What is your advice in presenting each character so they stand out? There will be a protagonist and an antagonist in any crime fiction novel. Both must have a strong presence. The author must directly and indirectly describe the physical and intellectual attributes of the good and evil characters, but only with enough detail so as to allow the reader to embellish with his or her own pallet of colors. As the author, I find opening the window to the inside of our hero (heroine) and villain equally exciting. However, for me, one distinguishing feature is that as for the protagonist, humor sets that character apart from the antagonist. I’m not speaking of being a deadpan jokester. Rather, he/she may have a dry wit, colorful language, peculiar quirks. Humor attracts the reader to the good side and allows them to fall in love with that character. I think it is important for writers to give conflicting reasons for their characters to be criminals. For readers to find that connection-if you…

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