indieBRAG Blog

Susan Weintrob
Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."

The indieBRAG Survey Results

  Author Survey - Part One Each year we submit a survey to our Readers and Authors to find out what they like and don't like about books, about what works for authors and how they might spend their time and money more wisely. Robert has prepared the following for you which will appear in 4 blogs and posted on Fridays. As many of you are aware, last October we conducted the indieBRAG Second Annual Survey among our Readers and Authors of a B.R.A.G Medallion book. As promised, I would now like to share with you the key findings from those two surveys, and compare the results versus the 2013 Survey where relevant. I will present the key findings from both surveys in two parts beginning today with the Author Survey: Part One. Overview Participation in the survey by authors of Medallion books dropped this year to roughly 20% of our total number of authors, which compares to 33% last year. While we were disappointed by this lower participation rate, the sample was still large enough to provide some useful, albeit directional, findings. Self- Versus Traditional Publishing • As was the case last year, approximately 80% of survey respondents have…

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An Interview with the author of Veggie’s Bully

Our indieBRAG Kids chat with author C JoVan Williams A drawing by our indieBRAG Kids! Mrs. D and Class!I'm always happy to hear from readers! Thank you so much for reaching out to me and here are the answers to your questions. 1. I like it because it rhymes. Why did you make it funny?Devin, I wanted to keep young readers like you entertained while still telling an important story. As long as you stay positive, remember to always be true to yourself. 2. Why is Piggy so mean?Ewan, I don't even think Piggy know why he's so mean. Hopefully, he'll get better! 3. When was the story written?William, I wrote the story in December of 2013. 4. Why did you write about Veggie?Sophie, Veggie reminds me a little bit of me and how I deal with people who don't always have kind words to say. 5. Why do the characters have food names?Gideon, I love food just as much as I love writing, so I wanted to combine the two! 6. Why did you write this story?Julissa, I wanted to share with others that you don't have to let the words of others ruin your day...or your life! 7.…

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Girl with the Crooked Smile-Darah Zeledon

Author Interview with Darah Zeledon Darah's interview with Layered Pages Darah Zeledon is the devoted mom of five and wife of one. When she's not mothering or "wife‐ing," she's a suicide prevention activist, author, inspiring speaker, life coach, and trained group facilitator. Darah's completely fluent in Spanish, holds a B.S. in Psychology, M.A. in International Relations, and is a Certified Life & Success Coach (CLC, CPSC). She joined The Miami Herald's MomsMiami as a featured blogger in 2010, began writing for the print publication, The Parent Notebook in 2011 as their family editor and founder of the witty and provocative"This Parenting Gig" column, and worked as an editor and features columnist with the South Florida monthly newspaper, the Happy Herald. Be sure to stop by Darah Zeledon's website and blog-

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Don’t Tell Anyone-Laurie Boris

Author Interview with Laurie Boris    Author of  Don't Tell Anyone Laurie's website Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and former graphic designer. She has been writing fiction for over twenty-five years and is the award-winning author of five novels: The Joke's on Me, Drawing Breath, Don't Tell Anyone, Sliding Past Vertical, and Playing Charlie Cool. When not hanging out with the universe of imaginary people in her head, she enjoys baseball, cooking, reading, and helping aspiring novelists as a contributing writer and editor for She lives in New York's lovely Hudson Valley. Laurie is the author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree Don't Tell Anyone Read Layered Pages full interview with Laurie Boris

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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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