indieBRAG Blog

Cookies Sell Books!

A lovely idea for Promotion from Lorraine Devon Wilke -author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree After The Sucker Punch “If cookies be the food of love…munch on.” -Dame Judi Dench There are three things about the above quote that I adore: Dame Judi Dench, love and… cookies. If one combines cookies with love, well, that’s an explosion of wonderfulness that could only be topped by adding Dame Judi. Barring that option (and one assumes that’s a given), the combination of cookies and love is a mighty potent mix in itself. And today I had occasion to be the receipient of that marvelous brew:   This is a cookie… a very delicious (yes, I ate one) shortbread cookie designed with the cover of my book as the frosting top. I ask you: WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT??! Not much.                    The cookie came in a box of identical cookies, all of which were designed, made, and sent by my cousin in Chicago, Vicky Sarris Blanas, who, with her husband, Larry Blanas, owns the Lawrence Deans Bake Shop in Wilmette, Illinois, a close neighborhood of Chicago. (A little history about them and their bakery can be found in…

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So, How Do You Wrap an E-Book

Truly wonderful thoughts from Bruce Feiler as written for the New York Times Sunday, December 14, 2014 Like everything else in contemporary families, holiday gift buying for children divides people into camps. The first camp can be categorized as "give them what they want" — the video game, the skateboard, the umpteenth Harry Potter or Elsa product extension. The second camp can be categorized as "give them what they need" or, alternately, "give them what you want them to like" — the mittens, the new sleeping bag, the penny collecting kit like the one your grandfather gave you that you just know they're going to love someday. One gift seems to straddle both camps, depending on the child, and taps into a nagging anxiety of many parents I know: the gift of reading. I recently had lunch with the father of two boys, one of whom was a reader; the other was not. My friend was struggling with how to encourage his screen-obsessed son to spend more time with the page. Should he offer incentives, force him, tuck comic books and joke collections under the tree? My daughters, meanwhile, enjoy reading, but even our situation comes with questions. Should we…

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What Influences You To Write?

What influences you to write? Fact to fiction or a moving memoir, life gives us the stories we share. Bill Harper spent fourteen years with the Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter, writer, and editor. He has written several non-fiction books based on his investigative and personal experiences. This life experience is one no parent would ever wish to experience. Bill's story: On November 23, 1980 my youngest son, 25-year-old Brian Patrick Harper, was murdered in a convenience story holdup. The killer was eventually captured, tried, convicted of second-degree murder, and sentenced to a measly 10-years in a Minnesota state prison. For Brian's parents, his two brothers and three sisters, he was gone forever. The killer got $26 in the store holdup and a paltry 10-year sentence (with time-off for good behavior). That injustice has been stuck in my craw ever since. Shortly after the 25th anniversary of Brian's death, and having read of many other injustices in the legal system, I started researching material for what would become "Brian's book," which was titled An Eye for an Eye: In Defense of the Death Penalty. Because no traditional publisher would touch the subject from that point of view, "Brian's book" was…

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Your Book Blurb Sells Book!

    OK, now your book is finished, edited and has a great cover- what to do next?I can't tell you how many readers by-pass books on our reading list due the book's description- they don't even want to sample it!With an author's ability to buy reviews or get their writing group to post reciprocal 5 star reviews, combined with the "nasties" who troll the review platforms, many potential readers are skeptical of the entire review system. When browsing for a book in a bookstore a reader pulls out a book, reads the title, glances at the cover and if they get that far, reads the back cover. Here is where you get them- or lose them.Similarly, most readers doing on-line shopping click the title and then scroll down to read the book's description. Given that, you must first create a headline and then a SHORT description telling what your book is about. Don't clutter it with information about yourself. Give the reader a reason to buy your book, not to reject it. There is no need to tell the entire story or mention every character. Rather, you should tell them how you are going to make them feel. Keep…

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Angie Harris & Kelsey talk to Mrs. D’s Class

Our wonderful students in Mrs. D's class have a great interview with Angie Harris and Kelsey authors of Sue's Deep Sea Adventure~ Why was the girl afraid of her feet?              Sue was afraid of change. The new toes made her feel uncomfortable with herself and how others viewed her. She wanted to stay the same forever. The feet she wore in her dreams would not allow her to do that. Why did the shark want to eat Guss?             The shark was mean and liked to scare people. He chased Guss in his dreams as a way to torment him until Sue and Michelle scared him away. Why did they have superpowers?             They got the superpowers from the new feet that they got each night in their dreams. The powers made it possible for them to help others in trouble who suffered from nightmares. Why did you make a rhyming book?              I have always enjoyed stories that are written in poetry format. It flows better and the story is easier to remember when it reads like a song. Dr Seuss was always one of my favorite authors growing up. I try to make my stories sound similar to his in how…

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My NaNoWriMo Experience

  A great experience from Annie Daylon It's November and, once again, information about NaNoWriMo is flooding social media. Many writers participate in this annual National Novel Writing Month. Maybe some sit by the wayside, wondering: Is it worth the effort? I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice. In 2010, I wrote a complete first draft of my novel Castles in the Sand. In 2012, I wrote a complete first draft of my work-in-progress, Of Sea and Seed. Some time elapsed between first draft and completion of Castles in the Sand. During that time, I took many courses on writing, including one on voice and viewpoint. The initial draft was written in third person and in chronological order. After completing the course, I switched to a first-person, flashback format. I also included a main character who was not present in the first draft. Castles in the Sand was a winner of the mainstream genre of the 2012 Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest and is a recent recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion. My WIP, Of Sea and Seed, is historical fiction set in Newfoundland. My initial draft of this was intended as a one-off. I have since switched it to a trilogy.…

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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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THE LAST SEAL-RICHARD DENNING

Author Interview with Richard Denning Richard Denning lives with his wife and two children in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands of England where he works as a General Practitioner (family doctor). Away from his medical practice he is a writer of historical fiction and fantasy with a special interest in the early Anglo Saxon period. He owns a sizeable collection of Anglo-Saxon replica items which he takes to school visits and local history societies. Two of his books are BRAG medallion honourees: The Last Seal and The Amber Treasure. A keen player of board games and other games he is one of the directors of UK Games Expo (the UK's largest hobby games convention). He is also a board game designer and his first Board Game 'The Great Fire on London 1666′ was published by Medusa Games and Prime Games in October 2010. Stephanie: Richard I am delighted to be chatting with you today about your book, The Amber Treasure. Your story is one of the best I have read this year. I am so intrigued with the setting and period of your story and how complex your characters are and the vivid historical detail you give... Cerdic is…

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THE STONE LIONS-GWEN DANDRIDGE

Author Interview with Gwen Dandridge Stephanie: Hey, Gwen! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion! That is wonderful and what high praise indeed for your story. How did you discover indieBRAG? Please tell your audience about your book? Gwen: The Stone Lions is a multi-cultural fantasy that takes place in the late 1300s in Islamic Spain. As a minor note, it also teaches band symmetry so it is idea for the common core curriculum. It can be read as a pure fantasy or used to understand historic Islamic culture or teach symmetry. There are levels upon levels that it touches. Here's the basic story: In the last throes of the 14th century, Islamic Spain is under pressure from Castile and Aragon. Ara, the twelve-year old daughter to the Sultan, finds herself in the center of a political intrigue when her eunuch tutor is magically transformed by the evil Wazir. Can a little girl save her friend and tutor with the help of a Sufi mathemagician? Intertwined in a mystery of math, art and magic, Ara races to find the seven broken symmetries before time runs out. Stephanie: What genre would you say this falls under and why did you chose the middle…

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ROOM 732-MERLE SAFERSTEIN

Author Interview with Merle Saferstein     Stephanie: Hello, Merle! Congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion and thank you for chatting with me today about your medallion book, Room 732. Before we begin talking about your book, tell me how you discovered indieBRAG. Merle: Thanks, Stephanie. I learned about IndieBRAG from a friend of mine who had written a novel and had become a B.R.A.G. Medallion winner. She suggested that I enter my book. Stephanie: What are your thoughts of the self-publishing industry today? Merle: When I first started to write Room 732, I knew that I was going to self-publish. By 2012, the industry had changed significantly. Instead of the stigma that used to exist years ago, self-publishing had become mainstream and popular. I felt sure that this was the right choice for me. At that point in my life, self-publishing meant I was saving myself from the grueling process of trying to find an agent and the possibility of agonizing rejections. Besides, self-publishing would allow me to have complete control over my work. I could write the book, edit it, submit it and would not have to wait for a publisher's schedule to get Room 732 into readers' hands.…

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