indieBRAG Blog

One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Terri

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Terri shares with us a little about her reading habits, reviewing books, how she finds books, book covers, and much more. Thank you, Terri for sharing with us today. First please tell us about your reading interest. How do you choose a book to read? I choose a book to read either by recommendation, reading a short synopsis, or the book falls into a genre I enjoy. How much does the cover and title matter?  The cover and title surprisingly matter to me at least. I believe an interesting title and cover give an immediate visual to the book and story.  Without that, I typically won't pick up a book to see what the story is about. When selecting a book, do you check who or how…

Read More

Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Scott Prill shares with us his expertise with us. Stephanie: What are the steps in creating a setting for your story?  Scott: I have a beginning and an end in mind before I start writing.  Filling in the "in-between" is what is fun and challenging about writing a book.  As I create characters and scenes, additional thoughts for existing and new settings and characters follow. Stephanie: There is a fine line between creating a visible backstory and a hidden backstory of your characters? What are the steps in balancing it out? What should you not do?  Scott: I am not sure if this answers the question – but I try and have twists and surprises in the story.  It is fun to create a story where a reader…

Read More

Antagonist Hun King, Uldric with Award Winning Author Scott Prill

I’d like to welcome Award Winning Author Scott Prill today to talk about his antagonists. Scott was born in Iowa and received a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1977.  His subsequent career choices have reflected a strong interest in natural resources.  Since graduating, Scott has held positions as a limnologist and environmental consultant.  He also has a M.B.A. and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.  For the previous twenty-six years, Scott has been an in-house environmental consultant for the law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Scott resides in Bayside, Wisconsin, with his wife, Marcie.  He enjoys spending time with their three adult children and writing.  Into the Realm of Time is Scott’s debut novel.  Antagonists name.  There is more than one antagonist in Into the Realm of Time.  However, the number one antagonist would be the Hun King, Uldric. What are two emotional traits your antagonist has? Uldric's is a man with a narrow focus.  His two primary emotional traits are ambition on both personal and establishing Hun empire levels.  He is also has a "chip on his shoulder" and motivated by revenge. Does your antagonist feel victimized? How so? Yes.…

Read More

Sweet Potato Pie in Julia’s Garden!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together! Laura Wharton’s Julia’s Garden Landscape designer Lily McGuire not only has to take over a big landscaping job after her boss unexpectedly dies, but then has to follow the clues about a long ago disappearance, a buried brooch and an unusual collection of toxic plans! Author Laura Wharton told me, “As I plotted the storyline, I wanted the garden to mirror the characters, who are not at all what they seem, as Lily McGuire finds out.” A strange man shows up in Lily’s office and gives her a 1940’s garden journal, which he says killed her boss and best friend.  This connects Lily to Julie’s disappearance, her buried brooch and her unusual collection of toxic plants—a mystery perfect for a landscape architect to…

Read More

Sarah’s Tomato Pie

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together! Susan  the indieBRAG Food Sarah’s Journey by David Beasley Review and Recipe by Susan Weintrob Her father and later her half-brother were her masters.  But family ties did not free her nor guarantee fair treatment. Sarah’s situation worsens, becoming so horrific that she fears for her life from her step-brother-master’s brutality. Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery in 1790, finally escapes to Canada in 1822 with three of her children. "I heard a school librarian in Simcoe mention that a student wrote an essay about a slave who had a son by the town’s richest merchant and that their son became one of the richest men in NYC.” Thus began David Beasley’s research on the life of Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery…

Read More

2017 indieBRAG Cover Contest Summary

indieBRAG held their 2017 Cover Contest and had a great turn out of votes. Johnny Big Ears by John Paul Padilla is the overall winner of the contest. What makes a great cover and what are readers and book bloggers opinions about them? Do the covers really matter when deciding if a reader is going to read the book or not? Does the cover help the reader imagine the setting and period of the story in their minds? What do readers not like in books covers and do they consider the covers as part as their rating when reviewing books? To get a picture of these questions, I interviewed the indieBRAG Interview Team Members and you will find their opinions and taste in covers insightful. Interview with Lisl Zlitni Interview with Erin Davies Interview with Colleen turner Interview with Magdalena Johansson Interview with Charla White Interview with Heather Campbell Be sure to visit indieBRAG’s Home Page to view the genre/category winners in the 2017 Cover Contest! The overall opinion of the team is that book covers do matter and play a big role deciding if they will read the book or not. I’d like to thank the team for taking…

Read More

The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Heather Campbell

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. We have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Heather Campbell talks with us about this. On the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? I would say a 4. If I'm buying in store it is still the thing that makes me pick it up. If I'm just browsing online it's less important, but seeing a friend share a great book cover will still make me go look it up. Why are they important to you? It's all about what catches my attention primarily, but it also shows value, especially if it's independently published, that the author/publisher spent the time to make their book look polished. What do you not like in book covers? After…

Read More

The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Charla White

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. We have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Charla White talks with us about this. On the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? 5 (very important) Why are they important to you? The design draws me in and shows me whether the book was important enough to the author to have it done properly and what type of tone the book is taking (i.e. if the cover has a light fun type cover, then I know that’s the tone of the book; if it’s a commonly used stock cover, then I don’t look at it too closely – and this goes for both physical copies and ebooks). What do you not like in book…

Read More

The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Magdalena Johansson

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. This week we have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Magdalena Johansson talks with us about this. Magdalena, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? Oh, definitely 5. There are quite a lot of books out there and if you want to capture my attention, have a nice cover. The risk is otherwise that I will miss the book. Why are they important to you? The cover is the face out. When one browse books, whether it's online or in a bookstore is it the cover that captures your interests first. Well, at least mine. What do you not like in book covers? Computerized figures, people that look like they belong in…

Read More

The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Erin Davies

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. This week we have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Erin Davies talks with us about this. Erin, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? Three Why are they important to you? They catch the eye in an overly saturated market and they often offer insight to the story without reading the blurb. What do you not like in book covers? Headless (and arguably brainless) women, gaudy text, and authors' names that are larger than the title of the book. What would you like to see more of in covers? Men. I know, back on my damned soapbox, but hear me out. I'd like to more multi-faceted male models. So often they…

Read More