indieBRAG Blog

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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indieBRAG Cover Crush: Ridley House by Willa Jemhart

Cover Crush by Stephanie M. Hopkins  Synopsis For as long as she can remember, nineteen-year-old Kay has been unable to stay in one place for long. With no recollection of who she is or where she came from, plagued by nightmares she doesn’t remember upon waking, and the torturous feeling that her one true love was lost to her, she is unsure whether she is searching for or fleeing from something. When she accepts a summer job at the Ridley House Inn, it feels like a nice change of pace. The country setting and old-fashioned feel are comfortable, homey, and even familiar. Shortly after her arrival, she finds a wall filled with Ridley family portraits, where one picture in particular grabs her attention – a late 1930s photograph of a young woman with a face identical to her own. Between the warnings of a scary old man telling her she should not have returned, and the magnetic pull towards a familiar and handsome young man, Kay is determined to find some answers. Is Ridley House the place she has been searching for, is it the place she has been running from, or is all of the familiarity simply contrived by…

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Ready for a Creepy Romance for Halloween?

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 t Reverie by  Lauren Rico Steffann Challah French Toast Casserole “To do real damage, you have to know where they [the victims] are and how to push them to achieve maximum destruction.” And Jeremy, the psychopathic character author Lauren Rico creates, aims exactly for that in her novel, Reverie, the first in The Rhapsody Trio. Ready for a creepy romance for Halloween?  Try Reverie by Lauren Rico. Set in a music conservatory in New York City (warming my heart as that is one city where my husband studied violin for many years), we see competition, hard work, romance—and ok, it’s Halloween—a creepy boyfriend, sabotage and murder. Jeremy, a talented horn player and manipulative psychopath, is put into an international competition.Author Lauren Rico told me about how she developed this character. “So, my thought process was, if you…

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indieBRAG Cover Crush: Misha Alexandrov by Jan Karol Tanaka

By Colleen Turner with A Literary Vacation  Synopsis In 1827, when ten-year-old orphan Misha Alexandrov arrives at the Russian American Company’s colony in California, he is forced to step into his father’s shoes as a carpenter. But the boy must also overcome the tyrannical foreman’s hatred of half-breeds. Misha’s own craving for acceptance reveals a character flaw that will threaten his tenuous position even more. Patient instruction in his craft is provided by a gentle Russian carpenter, and an impetuous Kashaya Indian opens his eyes to the wonders of wood lore. On this remote coast of Alta California, a passion for the land takes root in his young heart, and he vows to do anything it takes to make the fortress colony his home. But he will discover that it takes more than personal courage to fulfill the vow. Thoughts on the cover Anyone who knows me well knows I LOVE historical fiction! My first impressions of this cover, with its muted colors and writing style, was that this was going to be a historical fiction novel and one that I wanted to know more about. Given the title I assumed it would be somehow based on Russian history, which I…

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Developing a character voice by Colin Weldon

Award Winning Book -A great B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree I’ll be honest. When writing my first novel I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. None. If you had of asked me about character voice development three years ago I would have looked at you like a deer in headlights. The funny thing about writing anything is the sudden appearance of characters that in of themselves are supposed to be fully-fledged human beings that just pop into existence because you need them to tell a story. I am thirty six years old and I am very much still trying to figure myself out so how the hell was I supposed to figure out the nuances of a sixty something year old scientist living on Mars, let alone the inner workings of my twenty something female lead protagonist, but there you are, looking at a blank page about to pop a person into existence in the hopes that that person will seem not only real but have their own hopes and fears and strengths and weaknesses. Hemingway said that “The first draft of anything is shit” and boy was he right so don’t be discouraged if your first read through makes…

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Handling Negative Reviews by Sean DeLauder

Award Winning Author-B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Negative reviews happen. Stories and styles are subjective, and sometimes a person with no business reading your book does so anyway—with catastrophic and infuriating results. Maybe the wrong reader was intrigued by the cover or the premise. Maybe the right reader had different expectations for the story? Or maybe, and this will on rare occasions be the case, the reader was inclined toward hostility and decided to victimize your work. Unless you have a superhuman sense of self worth, a negative review, either articulate or gibberish, is going to leave a crater in your heart. Publication does, after all, expose it to bombardment. Sometimes negative reviews can prove useful, identifying genuine flaws in a story: awkward or unnecessary plotting, excessive exposition, lazy characterization. Assuming your book is a living document, you can always correct errors you agree with in future editions. Even Tolkien revised his work after it was published—he rewrote large sections of The Hobbit (1937) and republished 14 years later (1951) to bring it in line with The Lord of the Rings. Other, less savory reviewers take pleasure in ridiculing a book to provide temporary relief for some cloying psychological aberration. These reviews…

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indieBRAG Cover Crush: To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead

Award Winning Book: To Be A Queen by Annie Whitehead  Cover Crush by Lisl Zlitni Occasionally I marvel at the phrase warning readers not to judge a book by its cover because despite the truth of this caveat, the reality is that a cover image speaks to readers—or doesn’t, as the case may be—nearly as much as the story inside does. It gives one a “visual” into the world of the pages within, and a really great jacket design matches some element or aspect of the narrative: perhaps it depicts a crucial scene or the novel’s background is discernable within its layout. When first I took in the cover for Annie Whitehead’s To Be A Queen, I saw its strength went one step further by including the title in its mood, in a skillfully subtle manner. Now this is no image simply to match a “thing” in the title, for it doesn’t contain a random noun, but rather a mood in itself. My initial thoughts upon seeing the cover drawing were of longing and perhaps loss. Placing myself in the scene would put me near the tree; it occupies the foreground and I could reach out and touch it. Farther away lie…

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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. In September Stephanie at Layered Pages asked award winning author Justine Avery how she discovered us. Here is what she had to say: "I discovered indieBRAG by relying on a Google search to lead me to award programs or other recognition offered for independently published books and authors—if there were any at all.   I was so glad to find there are organizations, readers, reviewers, etc. devoted to discovering, critiquing, honoring, and publicizing indie books.  And indieBRAG is and does all of these!" -Justine Avery  To read the full interview, click here. Be sure to check out Justine’s interview with her husband, film director Devon Avery here       About Author If you love where storytellers Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, Roald Dahl, O. Henry, and Ray Bradbury take you, then you have a new name to learn and love… Professionally, Justine Avery first traversed the murky corporate world of writing and designing technical documents to navigate through writing countless travel stories, reviews, personal essays, and articles. She is now the multi-award-winning author of numerous short stories and novelette-length works. Personally, she has been writing since first…

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Halloween – My Favorite Holiday!

       Gwen Dandridge                                                                                                                            The Stone Lions The Dragons' Chosen Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. When you have kids, the holidays take on a life of themselves, morphing into some other worldly sucker-up of time and energy. Halloween  was the best, I could let loose all my creative instincts and cheaply. A couple of us in our neighborhood designed and built costumes, each of us trying to outdo the other. I was single then and living on the east coast: working part time, going to school part time and broke. The end of October there was often chilly. Some of my first designs involve creating structures in which to place a child rather than dressing my children up in store bought outfits.                            …

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The Bitti Chai and The Lost Souls

As we all know themes and getting to know characters so we might connect to them is so important in storytelling. Today Jane Brown is sharing a little about her characters from her stories, The Bitti Chai and The Lost Souls. Share about the themes in your story. The main theme running through The Bitti Chai and the follow up The Lost Souls is the all consuming enduring love between Reigneth and Johnny.   The Bitti Chai tells of Reigneth's formative years, her struggle to come to terms with her gift for foreseeing the future; the ancient prophecy surrounding Reigneth's birth and her families need to protect her from the outside world.  We discover more about her relationship with her family and the huge changes which take place in their life following Reigneth's father's death.  Finally Reigneth meeting and falling in love with Jonathan Wilmott. The Lost Souls continues the young lover's story and the physical changes they both undergo following their marriage.  We see their relationship unfold and grow and Johnny's involvement with Reigneth's cousins Aaron and James deepen and solidify.   The Man with Two Minds to be released in 2017 will take the story further and delve deeper into…

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