indieBRAG Blog

Minimise your Weaknesses, Maximise your Strength

By Elisabeth Marrion  Finished your book? Ready to publish? Or published already?  Now what? You searched the internet for ways to promote your book without having to spend a lot of money. Maybe you are already subscribing to a writer’s magazine, which is full of really useful information for new and published writers. You check other authors websites, because you are about to create one yourself or have one up and running. You are joining, or are about to join, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, Google+ and even are starting a blog. You might consider becoming a member of a writer’s society. You name it, you do it. You devour all the information you can find on how to get your name out there. You might even have a publisher who provides you with an information sheet, what you should do. You contact your local papers, your local shops, libraries. They all have been waiting, just for you, Right? And you appeal to your family and friends for their support.  By now you have joined Goodreads, of course, because you were being told to do so. Although, maybe like me, you are totally mystified, but you offer giveaways, hoping the recipient will…

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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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The Laura Ingalls Wilder Cookbook

Little House on the Prairie Series plus a discussion on children's books with recipes with educator Jennifer Avery By Susan Weintrob       “This was the first true story I read as a child. Laura was an ordinary girl and I identified with her. She met a mean girl at school, had a crush on a boy and ate meals with her family. She was a girl like me. I read every single book in the series.” Educator Jennifer Avery went on to tell me that this was the first view of life outside her 1970’s Brooklyn childhood. Jen and I worked together at Hannah Sennesh Community Day School in Brooklyn. We developed and she implemented a literary afterschool program for 1st and 2nd graders.  She selected books with recipes to read together and then cook, making the characters more real for the children. “Food in books brings another level of engagement and a new way of thinking. Children connect with food and how it relates to their own family. ‘My mom and I make my lunch for school each day.’ This is very unifying for children readers and helps them relate to the story and characters.” In the Little House series, children are introduced to the frontier of the 1880’s. While Laura…

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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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St. Patrick’s Day Is Nearly Upon Us- Let’s Eat!

    Try a new twist on the fabulous Irish Cabbage Soup, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Susan’s grandmother made the best sweet and sour stuffed cabbage. So when her mom wanted sweet and sour cabbage soup, Susan deconstructed her Nana’s recipe and a warm and comforting cabbage soup was born! Nana’s Deconstructed Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup Serves 8-10 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, diced 1 pound chopped beef 2 stalks celery, diced 15 ounces diced tomatoes fresh or canned 1/2 cup carrots, diced 1 medium green or savoy cabbage, cored and shredded 8 cups stock 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 2 small tart apples, diced ½ cup golden raisins 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon dill weed Salt and pepper to taste Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion until translucent, stirring as needed. Add beef and sauté until browned, stirring frequently. Add celery, tomatoes, carrots and cabbage. Sauté 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered until cabbage and vegetables are soft. Add mushrooms, apples and raisins. Simmer for 15 minutes or until apples are soft. Add brown sugar, lemon juice and dill weed.…

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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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