indieBRAG Blog

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK REVIEW IN 4 EASY STEPS

We thought our readers and      We thought that our readers and reviewers might be interested in these thoughts on writing reviews!     Thanks Carrie for sharing-                                                                                       indieBRAG Reposted with permission by author Carrie Beckort from Across the Board   Ah, book reviews. As a reader, I have a love-hate relationship with book reviews. For most of the books I read, I only look at a handful of reviews prior to reading. And those I do read are usually the 1 and 2 star reviews. If there is consistency in the negative reviews—poorly written/edited, clichéd plot, incomplete ending—then I think twice before reading. If the negative reviews are random or about things not important to me—such as the author using too many swear words—then I will likely jump in and read the book. I then go back and read several reviews, both positive and negative, after I finish the book to see how the views of other readers…

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Benefits of Reading to Children

‘Reading for pleasure is more important for academic success than the family’s socio-economic status’ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The benefits of reading to your child are limitless. Nurturing the parent and child bond, sparking their imagination and forming the foundations of their learning abilities into adulthood are core benefits of reading to children. The advantages of reading are essential for working life and cultivating these basic needs in infancy helps children avoid the under-achievement gap that can arise from neglected basic skills. The Centre for the Economics of Education state “The best predictor of how skilled the adult will be is his or her level in primary school.” The best education systems worldwide require children to be in school from anywhere between 35 – 45 weeks to get the most out of classroom education. Having poor literacy and/ or numeracy can be a potential impediment to the individual’s life and career, and are ultimately foreseen consequences preventable in childhood. 8 Benefits of Reading for Children Nurturing the Parent and Child Bond Kids are constantly on the go. As your child grows older, they’ll be running about non-stop. Their natural curiosity causes them to become little explorers, constantly searching for something…

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A little help!

  We were part of a panel on marketing recently.  The other 5 "renown" participants talked about such technical things that it lost the audience, I think.  They talked about SEO's and amazon logistics and things you could spend months on.  Although these things can be important and useful, they take time both to learn about and implement and right now we are going to talk about some of the things that you can do that a easy and don't take a lot skill!  We had gathered together some great ideas for marketing which were targeting more to what authors could actually do without getting a PhD..  When I began, I was aware that the others were not expecting much form indieBRAG.  At the end, I was swamped by audience members and after we returned home each of the other panelists got in touch to see if we wanted to work with them!  There are 2 sides to marketing- technical and physical.  We am trying to find a way for amazon to recognize indieBRAG  and the medallion so more readers will have a chance to find our wonderful books! We will be sharing with you some basic ideas for marketing. …

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How to Source and Use Photos in Self-published Book Covers

How to Source and Use Photos in Self-published Book Covers Reposted with permission from Jean Gill Jean Gill, photographer and author From France, Jean Gill offers important advice about the right and legal way to source images for your books, websites and social media, drawing on her knowledge as both a professional photographer and an author, able to see the issue from both sides of the lens. As writers, we want images for our book covers, blogs, adverts and tweets. It is so easy to break the law if you find the perfect picture online. All you have to do is right-click, save it and use it. Simple! As simple as picking up sweets in a shop and pocketing them. You probably wouldn’t do the latter because a) it’s stealing and b) if you get caught, you don’t just pay the price of the sweets. The same applies to using images without permission, and there are some horror stories doing the rounds about the price of being caught. Why Paid Stock Photos Give Peace of Mind I’m a writer and a photographer, with a stock portfolio of 3,500 photos at istockphoto and Getty Images. When you buy a stock image, you pay for…

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Sharing a wonderful romance book with friends – and a yummy Peach Cobbler!

  Olive Witkins was sure she had her days planned out. At 35, she was a spinster, worked at a Philadelphia library and took care of her parents’ house. She kept her hair in a tight bun, wore black clothes and kept herself all buttoned up. Then life intervened. With the death of her brother and his wife in 1891, Olive travels to the wilds of Spencer, Ohio to save their two children, fantasizing about the culture and family legacy she would bestow on Mary and John, how she would teach them and they would love her. Her dream shattered when she saw the hovel where her drunken brother had kept his family, not fit for human habitation. What her brother and his wife put their children through “rubbed raw all that she knew to be true…” With great difficulty, Olive rises to the occasion, mothers her niece and nephew with the help of her brother’s neighbor Jacob Butler. She begins to mother his 3 children as well. Despite her lack of experience and being used to Philadelphia life, “Olive felt more alive, more focused than she ever had before in her life…. I am done letting life go by.”…

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Grab a cup of tea, homemade raisin bread and a Mystery perfect for Valentine’s Day!

    A mystery with a romance, Aunt Bea’s Legacy combines what many readers love: a quaint English village, some friendly and not so friendly ghosts, twists and turns in the mystery and romance and a surprise ending. And I love a mystery whose ending I can’t guess! Main character, Lucy Dixon is a chef. I love reading about her baking and canning, living on a small working farm. Very inspirational for those of us who dream of orchards and berry patches and herb gardens. Lucy is an appealing character. While a confident chef, she is unsure of herself in terms of relationships and life’s choices.She decides to leave her London chef’s position to stay at her aunt’s house in order to find out how her aunt died. What are the noises that haunt the house, from footsteps to crying, from screams to eerie images? Is this why her aunt was found dead with a fireplace poker in hand? Her aunt’s will requires Lucy to live at River View for one year to inherit the house. Her love for her aunt, who helped raise her after her mother’s death, is part of the reason for her increasing love for River View. “In…

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Drift away to Montreal in the 1950’s and enjoy a French delight!

    Author David Riese was having coffee one morning in his usual café when Riva Weiss, an older woman author Dave Riese had spoken to from time to time came over, sharing a story about a passionate love she had when just 18. Building on what Riva had told him, Dave expanded the bones of her story to a novel of a wonderfully poignant romance. Being built on a true story adds to the depth and interest of this work. To this day, Dave is still in touch with Riva, who turned 88 this year. In 1951, the fictional Rebecca Wiseman meets and falls in love with Sol Gottesman at a YMHA dance. Despite coming from different social classes and families, the two are passionate in this first love. Based on a true-life romance, Dave writes a very romantic novel with a clear understanding of how both young men and women react to a first love. Sol woos Rebecca with beautiful flowers, fancy restaurants and whispered phone calls. Rebecca dreams of Sol, calls him frequently, quite forward for a young woman of that time, and even is the aggressive one romantically. Dave said that his ideas about romance did…

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Spend the day with Lavender Fantasy!

      Valerie Beil's Circle of Nine,: Beltany Adolescence is not an easy time for most. Brigit Quinn is bullied and excluded. She and her mother Celeste live alone, her father a mystery, and follow the old Celtic religion, thus not celebrating holidays the way others at school do. Brigit finds her confidence and strength as she learns to use her magical powers. I asked Valerie why magic is so appealing in young adult novels. She told me, “I love writing for this age group. (I love reading young adult novels, too.) Teens are at a jumping off point and there’s so much potential and hope, but they’re also not completely in control of their destiny. Adults in their lives still have a lot of power. Inserting magic into a story gives my teen characters some independence and the power they desire—which is appealing really to any age group.” The story opens on Brigit’s 15th birthday, a day that starts a new phase of her life. Her mother gives her 3 significant gifts. One is a large leather bound book written by the women in her family, beginning on Sept. 19, 1324. But this journal is not written the way other…

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Yummy Spinach-Cheese Pockets – without all the trauma Mirra had to go through!

      “I am Uru Ana, privy to men’s darkest secrets, witness to the memories that haunt and the memories that comfort.” Mirra and her brother Kel are from a people who mind-travel, who can see into others’ memories and thoughts. They are feared and they are used for their abilities. Their country has been destroyed, they have been exiled and are in hiding, many hunted and enslaved. heir original home, where they truly belong, is gone. Author Claire Merle told me, “Mirra holds a deep sense of being unable to ever get ‘home’, even before she starts her journey and this is shown through the lost island of the Uru Ana. To me, it’s as much an internal sense of something missing as an external one. There have been periods in my life where I’ve had the sense that ‘home’, where I truly belong, is somehow inaccessible. As though it lies in another time and place, perhaps childhood, or elsewhere.” Like many before them, Kel is kidnapped, the glittering eyes of the young shadow weavers giving Kel away. He is to be taken to the Pit and sold into slavery.  This transaction is interrupted by Mirra, who leaves…

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Can you imagine anything better than a good mystery and sweet rolls?

Hush Girl by Gloria Zachgo is a well-written novel so intimate it reads like a memoir.  After the death of her father, memories and nightmares begin to re-emerge for main character Nicole Reed.  These caused panic attacks, an inability to speak, mood swings and loosing of her grasp on reality. But what was her childhood reality? That is what Nicki both needs and fears to find. Nicki and readers doubt her sanity as Gloria blurs memory, visions and nightmare. At the same time as the author takes us back into Nicki’s abusive past, we are led through her healing through counseling and family support. Although a long and difficult process, we see the healing value of counseling. Nicki is a writer within the novel, writing a mystery within a mystery, her writing modeling the author’s own writing process. As a retired principal, I encountered children who had been abused.  As difficult as it was for me to learn what had happened to them and then report to the proper agencies, there was much more anguish for these children.  Through fear, threats and pain, they were forbidden to speak. Their abusers had engrained a culture of silence in them.  I saw children…

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