indieBRAG Blog

Celebrating Your Children With Reading

With the ever increasing pull of technology we find great efficiencies and learn faster but are we struggling to teach our children the fine art of reading? And are they getting enough of that joyful silence where they steal themselves away and get lost in a great reading adventure. For the members and followers of IndieBRAG, reading is everything we are about, but even for us the struggle exists. Our children and grandchildren play with smart phones and tablets and get use to the immediate gratification that comes with rote learning. And it's quite amazing to see them tackle technology; preparing themselves for a world that we can only begin to imagine. But learning to read is hard work and takes the time and patience that is hard-won in our fast paced lives. Here are a few tips from our team and friends. Make consistent time to read. The easiest way for us all to turn off is to find a chunk of time and turn it into a ritual. Light a fire, make some snacks and encourage the children in your life to slow down and grab a book. Be a good example. Our children aren't the only ones…

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Talking with Lisa Ard- author of Saving Halloween!

    Thank you for answering my questions Mrs. Ard.Halloween is my favorite holiday so I loved your book. What made you write a book about a spooky family that is really pretty normal?One of the themes of Saving Halloween is that things (and people) aren't always what they appear to be. I think that's true in real life too. Sometimes the kid who seems to have it all and must be really happy, really isn't. Or sometimes a person with a disability, who we may think we'd have nothing in common with, shares our interests and becomes our best friend. The Spavento family may seem strange at first, and kind of spooky, but it turns out they're loving, fun and magical! Which family would you rather be a part of – Halloween's or Anne's?Oh definitely Halloween's! Did you grow up in a normal family or were they a bit strange- not as strange as Halloween's!Oh I suppose I thought they were strange when I was a kid – especially my brother, but looking back I'd say we were pretty normal. Do you have children?I have a 14-year old son named Holden and a 12-year old daughter Molly. An image…

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Foriegn Market for your Work

  Tui Allen, Author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree Ripple, shares her experience in entering foreign markets- Why might you want to publish in a foreign language, considering the extra barriers it presents? First of course to increase the size of your market – that's obvious. But it's possible there may be foreign markets which are more receptive to your particular book than the English-language market is. New Zealander Mary Scott, wrote romances set on remote NZ farms, back in the mid-1900s. They did well at home in NZ, but sold even better in translation in Germany. Germany was a bigger market of course, but her authentic tales of a life so different from their own experience, fascinated her German readers. But she had her publishers to arrange it all. What if you are self-published as so many of us are today? I know another author who self-published an excellent novel in English. He wanted the book to reach the German market. The author himself had a fair grip on German, but it was not his native tongue, so he hired a friend, a native German speaker, to translate the book for him. The translation seemed okay as far as he…

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What’s Next?

A Few Tips on Exposure for your Book Self-Publishing is a booming industry and often times it can be a bit overwhelming, but as you know it has its perks as well. Like for instance, being awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion for starters... Now that you have your Medallion, your work has just begun and I can assure you, the B.R.A.G. Team is working hard to get your book noticed as well.Many of you feel stumped as to what to do after being awarded the Medallion and listed below are some tricks of the trade. Before I get started on listing what those tips are, I would like to applaud you all for writing and self-publishing your book(s). It is not always an easy journey and you are a brave soul. Social Media: 1. Help Promote indieBRAG.2. Contact me for an on-line interview. Interviews are great exposure for your book. Once I have  interviewed you, please help spread the word.3. Participate in my Writer's Series.4. Virtual Book Tours.5. Join goodreads6. Join the indieBRAG goodreads group. (Great way to get updates and information and to meet other Medallion Honorees.)7. Tweet about your book.8. Join other reliable book sites.9. Create a Facebook Page/profile…

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Wise Advice from a Blogger/Reviewer!

Jen Warren tells you what a reader wants- Every writer wants to leave a lasting impression. They want to create unforgettable characters, extraordinary worlds, with a storyline that drags the reader in and never lets go. They want, above all, to write a good book. The question is: what makes a book "good?"Every reader has their own preferences. What appeals to one will not appeal to all. The most important thing for any writer to consider is their target audience. Whether you've written an elegant work of literary fiction, or the hottest romance to hit the shelves since Fifty Shades, your readership should play an important role in the decisions you make when finishing and promoting your work.That said, there are – I believe – some basic elements that can help any novel achieve a measure of greatness. 1. Cover. You knew this was coming, didn't you? Yes, the all-important cover can make or break the potential of any story. If it looks thrown together by an amateur, readers WILL be afraid to open it up. A bad cover inspires no confidence in the quality of the work inside.Take a look at the covers of other books in your genre.…

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How do you make your book a best seller?

    A question for the ages and one we have asked many successful authors. The answer we consistently heard was write a good book and the readers will come. But with so much competition for their attention, how do you get your book noticed in the first place? Having a B.R.A.G.Medallion is a great first step. It lets readers know your work is worth their time. Here are just a few other great ways that can help build momentum and get readers interested: • Find your audience in creative ways by aligning with local businesses. Is your book about travel? Take it to your local travel agent and ask them to display it. Did you write a romance novel? Ask a lingerie store to exhibit your book in their window. Did you write about beauty or baking? You know where to go. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless! If John Grisham sold books out of the back of his car at fairs, you can certainly find a creative way to build your audience also. • Book clubs are a fantastic way to spread the word and get noticed. Ask if you can come to a club and…

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I’m so BORED!

  Bored- feeling impatient or dissatisfied, because you are not interested in something or because you have nothing to do. If you want to say you are extremely bored, you can say you are bored stiff/rigid/silly or bored to tears/to death Oh, I'm so bored! What parent hasn't heard her child say "I'm so bored!"? I have a solution – hand your child a book. When I was a child, my mother answered that statement by telling us that being bored only meant your mind had nowhere to go. So, send your brain on an adventure. Once we learned about all the wonderful places we could go, we were never without a book. We all know how busy parents are today - the interesting thing is that giving your child a book doesn't really take so much time! Wouldn't it be wonderful if the only time your child gives you that "Look" is when you tell him or her to shut their book? Kids aren't the only victims of boredom. How many people do you hear lamenting how they couldn't find anything to watch on TV last night? How many of us watch things we don't even have an interest…

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How to Be a Better Writer #5: Master Your Phrases

More recently than I'd like to admit, I'd hear "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band and sing along at the top of my lungs: "Some people call me Maurice (woo woo!) / 'cause I speak to the prophetess of love." That is, until a friend gently pointed out that the line is "'cause I speak of the pompitous of love." Whatever that means... Belt out whatever lyrics you want on karaoke night, but when it comes to your writing, you've gotta get your phrases right. Today, I'm sharing 15 of the top misconstrued phrases, plus the correct ones you should slate in their place. 1) Instead of: Flush outIt's actually: Flesh outTrick: Think of giving an idea more body, fattening it up, making it fleshier. 2) Instead of: Hone inIt's actually: Home inTrick: Picture a homing pigeon returning to its place of origin -- getting to the point. This one's contentious, actually, but linguists generally agree that "home in" came first. If you can't stand that idea, try using another phrase altogether: "zero in." 3) Instead of: For all intensive purposesIt's actually: For all intents and purposesTrick: Just remember you're including all your reasons -- intents and purposes. 4)…

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How to Be a Better Writer #4: Revise!

                                            Good on you! You've published your novel and it's on digital bookshelves everywhere. Then you get a note from your outspoken cousin Tom. He loves the book...but he found a typo in chapter two. Ugh! Back when all books were ink on paper, you would've been out of luck. Thank goodness it's the Digital Age. Fixing errors is no big deal -- at least in your e-edition. Notice how I said "errors" there? It's entirely possible that Cousin Tom's discovery is the only typo you and your editor didn't catch, but just in case there are others, save your future self some work and proof your published book once more, noting necessary updates as you go. That way, you'll need just one revision. The process takes a little time, and you want your readers (current and future ones alike) to have that flawless copy ASAP. Both Kindle Direct Publishing [link: http://kdp.amazon.com/] and NOOK Press [link: http://www.nookpress.com/] give you the option to make corrections to a published manuscript. Not surprisingly, their services are a little bit different. Here's how each one works. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)Updating your Kindle ebook is pretty darn simple. You fix…

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Beta Readers- What are they!

A beta reader is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking. Wikipedia ALL writers need outside critique of their work. It is a fact that a writer can seldom edit and proofread his own work. A writer often falls in love with his or her words and plots and is unable to let them go. Beta readers differ from Critique groups in that they usually read on their own and evaluate a book according to their individual experience. Unlike using an editor, those who choose to use Beta readers, usually find them due to their interest in a specific genre and they usually use more than one. One of…

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