indieBRAG Blog

Top Ten Things A Self-Published Author Hears At A Cocktail Party

    10. "You're an author? ... Really!?" 9. "What have you written? ...Never heard of it!" 8. "Who's your publisher? ... Oh. I see." 7. "So what's your book about? ... I never read that stuff." 6. "What else have you written? ...I don't like that either." 5. "How come I haven't seen your books in Barnes and Noble? ... What's an eBook?" 4. "Is there any money in this? ... That much? Wait...that's what you've spent!" 3. "Then how much have you made? ... "You're kidding, right?" 2. "Why're you still doing this? ... Have you ever tried root canals?" 1. "Well, good luck. ... Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while."

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Shocked By Rejection?

    As you might imagine, some of the self-published authors whose books were rejected by indieBRAG readers are not happy. Fortunately, I am pleased to report that only a few of them have taken the time to berate us! The brutal fact is that many indie books have no chance at all of getting through our initial screening process, let alone being read by our reading team - they have poorly conceived stories and/or are badly written. These books are invariably rejected by most, if not all, of the readers who review them. However, occasionally we must reject a book with regret. These are books with really good stories but are in desperate need of professional editing- either content or copy editing or both. To have a book that is worth a reader's time and money, an indie author needs to do everything they can to fine tune and perfect their work. A great story poorly edited is a real shame. We recently rejected a book that the author said was going to be made into a film. This is wonderful news for the author but having a book made into a screenplay doesn't change the basic facts about…

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The Little Gnome-Sheri Fink

Author Interview:  Sheri Fink Sheri Fink is a #1 best-selling, award-winning children's author, creator of "The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink" children's brand, and an international speaker. Sheri writes books that inspire and delight children while planting seeds of self-esteem. Her first children's book, The Little Rose, was a #1 best-seller on Amazon for over 60 weeks, became the #1 top-rated e-book on Amazon, and received a gold medal in the 2012 Readers Favorite International Book Awards. Her subsequent books have all been #1 best-sellers. Her children's book series recently received the Gold Mom's Choice Award for excellence in family friendly entertainment. Sheri was recently selected by CBS Los Angeles as one of the top 3 authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Stephanie: Hello, Sheri. Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, The Little Gnome. Sheri: The Little Gnome is a charming story about a garden gnome experiencing the wonder of the four seasons for the first time. At first he doesn't understand and resists the changes in his environment. That just makes him grumpy. Once he begins to understand the seasons, he finds something good in every change.…

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Island of Fog- Keith Robinson

Author Interview: Keith Robinson   Stephanie: Keith Robinson is a writer of fantasy fiction for middle-grade readers and young adults. His ISLAND OF FOG series has received extremely positive feedback from readers of all ages including Piers Anthony (best-selling author of the Magic of Xanth series) and Writer's Digest. Keith is a self-employed website designer with a wife and daughter. Originally from England, he moved to the United States in 2001 where he now resides in the sticks of Chickamauga, Georgia. Apart from writing, he collects young adult and children's books. He has a bookshelf crammed full of secondhand hardbacks of varying authors from the 1940s-1960s, in particular those he grew up with in the UK. He owns EnidBlyton.net and is webmaster of EnidBlytonSociety.co.uk, both dedicated to the great author. Visit UnearthlyTales.com for more. Hello Keith, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! Please tell me about your book, Island of Fog.Keith: Thank you! A lonely, foggy island is home to eight families. Twelve-year-old Hal and his friends have always wondered what happened all those years ago on the mainland, that unseen place Out There beyond the fog, and after an astonishing discovery in the woods the children are more determined…

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A Rendezvous To Die for- Betty McMahon

Author Interview: Betty McMahon Stephanie: Hello Betty! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. I see that your book (A Rendezvous to Die For) falls under the mystery genre and I do love a good mystery. Please tell me about your story. Betty: Photographer Cassandra Cassidy does weddings – but only to pay the rent. She'd prefer more interesting subjects. Which gets our reckless heroine in a lot of trouble. During a newspaper assignment to cover a 1830s Rendezvous reenactment, she points her camera inside a sweat lodge, clicks the shutter, and finds the body of her nemesis with a tomahawk in his loathsome head. She can't help but think "good riddance," but the local constabulary thinks our meddling photog is the main suspect. Soon she's up to her f-stops searching for the real killer – with her only investigative skills camera-related. Stephanie: What was your inspiration for your story and how long did it take you to write it? Betty: I'd been a working journalist for many years and decided to take a Writer's Digest course in fiction writing. My mystery book was generated out of the exercises for that class. It took me a long time to write it,…

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Reno splits- Phillip Winberry

Author Interview:  Phillip winberry Stephanie: Phillip, it is a pleasure to be interviewing you! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your novel, "Reno Splits." What an interesting title! Please tell me a little about your story. Phillip: Thanks for having me as your guest, Stephanie. Winning the BRAG Medallion for Reno Splits is a great honor, a surprise to say the least. I'm glad you like the title. It's meant to convey the essence of the divorce ranch era that prevailed in the mid twentieth century in a place that styled itself as the 'Biggest Little City in the World.' During a period of about 35 years (from 1931 to the mid 1960s) Reno was a mecca for divorce seeking women, particularly eastern socialites and Hollywood starlets wanting a quick and easy way to split the sheets of an unhappy marriage. While establishing the six weeks residency required by the state of Nevada before being granted their independence, many of the split-seekers lived a luxurious and pampered lifestyle sampling Reno's dazzling nightlife, high-stakes gambling, and majestic scenery. When New York lawyer Sam Carr's twin sister, Sally, disappeared on the day she was scheduled to receive her divorce and later…

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Searching for Lincholn’s ghost- Barbara Dzikowski

Author Interview:  Barbara Dzikowski   Stephanie: I would like to introduce Barbara Dzikowski. Winner of the BRAG Medallion. Searching for Lincoln's Ghost is Barbara J. Dzikowski's debut novel. She earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in counseling from Indiana University. These areas of study fueled her desire to create fiction that closely examines the human heart and its complex search for love and meaning. Fascinated by the passion, idealism, and lost hope of the 1960s, she is putting the finishing touches on her second novel, Losing Is Still Ours, about two families struggling with the changes and uncertainties of that decade, with a particular focus on the cataclysmic year of 1968. She is also hard at work on her third novel, which depicts a family's personal struggle while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. I have been so intrigued about your story, "Searching for Lincoln's Ghost." Please tell me a little about it. Barbara D. Barbara: Searching for Lincoln's Ghost is a story about coming of age during the tumultuous 1960s. Although it begins as a "look back" from an adult's perspective, at its heart, it's a story about Andi Powell, a young, lonely,…

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The Highland Games- Gael Harrison

Author Interview:  Gael Harrison   I would like to introduce Gael Harrison. Winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion. Gael was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1954, where her father was a rubber planter. At the age of eleven, she returned to Scotland to complete her schooling at Morrison's Academy in Crieff. She qualified as a teacher in Dundee in 1975, and married in the same year. She and her husband moved to Singapore and later to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia. Together with their three young children the family moved back to Scotland and lived for the next eleven years in an old manse in Glenelg, on the west coast of Scotland. After her divorce Gael moved to Edinburgh and worked as a teacher. In 2001 she took the VSO challenge with Save the Children UK, and spent a year in the north of Vietnam working as a pre-school teacher trainer. After that assignment, she spent the next three years at the United Nations International School in Hanoi and during that time she met her husband, John. For the last ten years they have been working in Kiev, Qatar, Australia and New Zealand. They are now back in Scotland…

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Mom, Am I different- Jennifer Adkins

Author Interview: Jennifer Adkins   S: I would like to introduce Jennifer Adkins today. Hello Jennifer! Thank you for chatting with me today and congratulations on the BRAG Medallion! First I would like for you to tell me what has inspired you to write?J: I was first inspired to begin writing when I was in third grade. I was fortunate during those formative years in my life to have been blessed with an amazing teacher who helped develop and mold me into the writer and teacher that I am today. I remember being obsessed with the creative writing prompt box in her classroom. This obsession soon transcended the classroom and became something that I did for fun at home and even with my friends. S: Please tell me about your book, "Mom, Am I Different." J: "Mom, Am I Different" is the story of a young girl's journey of self-discovery. Inherently introspective and curious, she is struggling to reconcile the fact that her thoughts and interests do not align with other children her age. With loving guidance from her mother, she begins to look at the world through a different lens, giving her the confidence to embrace her differences and…

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Pegasus-A Dragon Tale – Gina LoBiondo

Author Interview:  Gina LoBiondo Stephanie: Hi, Gina! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your book, "Pegasus — A Dragon's Tale". Please tell me about your story.Gina: Thank you so much, Stephanie, it was a real honour! Pegasus – A Dragon's Tale is the heartwarming story of two young bear cubs that come across an unusual egg while out playing one day. They decide to take it home and it soon hatches into a baby dragon. All too soon, however, Pegasus has outgrown the cubs and their father, the King, makes a heartbreaking decision. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens.I wrote it originally as a short story with two human Princesses but when my god-son got married and became an instant father, I rewrote it using my new niece and nephew as the main characters. I had also gotten Kameela, who was 8 at the time, a Build-A-Bear and decided to turn the brother and sister characters into bears. That's basically how the whole thing came about.Stephanie: Is this your first children's book or are there others?Gina: This is actually my first published book. I've been writing since I was 13 (nearly 40 years) so…

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