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."

Reading Around the World- Where Does Your Country Rate?

  1,600 people in 30 countries were surveyed by the NOP World Culture Score Index to find out how many hours are spent reading. The results are both interesting and significant. It appears that trends bunch in geographic clusters- Asian countries read the most, while Southern Hemisphere countries including South Africa, Australia, and Argentina show similar results. Strangely, industrialized first world countries are at the bottom of the rankings. Better minds than mine will have to interpret these findings as interesting as they are. This same study asked which genres were favored. The most popular genre was fantasy! 32% of the people surveyed said this was the genre they favored, especially among men, followed by the Russian classics, and historical fiction. Not surprisingly, romance was favored by females around the world. Modern prose came in as the least favored. Although India has the highest number of hours read per week, 25% of the country is illiterate. I think we can deduce from this that those who can read, read a lot. In contrast, only about one half of the adults in the USA read books and only about one fifth are regular book buyers.Why does this matter? Here are a couple…

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Author Interview with Author Linda Godfrey Linda S. Godfrey is the award-winning author of over a dozen non-fiction books on strange creatures, people and places and recently released her debut paranormal/urban fantasy, God Johnson: the Unforgiven Diary of the Disciple of a Lesser God as a self-published e-book, the first in a series. Godfrey is also an artist and illustrator and a former newspaper reporter. She has been a featured guest on dozens of national TV and radio shows including Monsterquest, Sean Hannity's America, Lost Tapes, Inside Edition, SyFy's Haunted Highway, Monsters and Mysteries, Wisconsin and Michigan Public Radio, CoasttoCoastAM radio and many more. She lives with her husband and Lhasa apso, Grendel, on the edge of Southeast Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest, and her latest nonfiction book, "American Monsters; A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America" will be released in August by Tarcher/Penguin. Stephanie: Hello, Linda! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Please tell me about your book, God Johnson: The Unforgiven Diary of the Disciple of a Lesser God. Linda: Thanks so much for the honor, and I'd be happy to discuss God Johnson! Premise: A geeky, lesser known deity named God Johnson takes on…

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gimme shelter- louis spirito

Author Interview with Louis Spirito   Louis Spirito has written for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, WOOF! Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Men's Fitness, Bird Talk, Woof!, Black Belt and Bride's Magazine (the last two in the same month). As a screenwriter, he's sold material to Universal Studios, Alliance-Atlantis, Triumph Pictures and Daniel Blatt Productions. His work has been honored by WorldFest Houston, the Nuyorican Poets Café, Writer's Digest, and the Nicholl Fellowship Competition. GIMME SHELTER is his first book. It was recently awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Nonfiction. A lifelong dog lover and recovering 'angry guy', Lou originally hails from Elizabeth, NJ. He attended Iona College (B.A.) and Fordham University (M.A.) in New York City. Lou lives in Malibu, California with his wife, Eugenie, the love of his life, and their rescue Pit Bull, Tanner. When he's not scribbling, Lou teaches Okinawan GoJu Ryu karate and works with juvenile offenders the Los Angeles County Probation Camps where officials plan to use Gimme Shelter as an anger management/literary resource. In their down time, Lou and his wife travel to Italy where they were married and where they have dual U.S.- Italian citizenship. Stephanie: Louis, it is a pleasure to…

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The New International Author Fair

  The Business Of Books The first of the International Author Fair series organized by Authoright kicked off in London Friday February 28th. Its mission: to equip authors with the commercial, technical and political knowledge of where things are in the business of books and where they are going. The event is a sure sign that the industry is coming to terms with change and realizes it needs to create some kind of structure amid the new trends led by Amazon and indie publishing. Indeed, according to the panel chaired by the genial Porter Anderson around 75% of books could well be self-published by the year 2020. But this is not 2020 and the real challenge in today's changing world for both for writers and readers, is recognizing and sorting out the junk from the good stuff. There is apparently an awful lot of self-published books that really are not up to standard, consequently much of the discussion was about means of professionalizing indie publishing. I was surprised, though, that nothing was said about book approval platforms such as indieBRAG, which constitute a filter for the reader and a pedestal for the writer who is serious about their work. Workshops,…

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South of Burnt Rocks West of the Moon- gj berger

Author Interview with GJ Berger When G. J. was eight, his mom told him the story of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants and a great army. He asked her what happened to Hannibal after that. Mom didn't know, but he was hooked, had to find out, had to write about it. G. J. spent much of his young life on the road and at sea. Often working as a crew member on a tramp steamer. Wherever his travels took him, old walls, canals, even storage holes deep in the ground, made him wonder about how they got there, about the people who built them, how they lived and got along.The result is this and two other novels-to-be wherein the places, the history, even some of the "Burnt Rocks" characters do and did exist. When not writing, G. J. tries to roam around the places he writes about, likes to sit and soak up the times back then and bring them to modern life in his stories. G. J. is convinced that for all the changes in last 2000 years, people loved and hated, suffered and rejoiced, destroyed and built the same ways then as they do today. G. J.…

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A Glut of e-Books – Quality over Quantity?

    I saw a couple of James Bond movies last night. They're showing classic films at our local theatre. So, I got to see Thunderball and On Her Majesty's Secret Service on the big screen. It was very cool. So today, in my usual pedantic manner, I Googled and Wikipediaed all things James Bond looking for little known facts about the movies. And, in my research I checked out Ian Fleming, the author of the Bond books. Did you know that he wrote Casino Royale, the first book in the Bond series, in only two months? He even did the art work within that time frame. Keep that in mind as you read this article. I wrote a blog recently about word count targets. You can find it Here.   Some of the authors commenting at the end of the article talked about producing as much as a book a month. It's being done. I have a friend who publishes a new book every four to six weeks. She's selling about twenty thousand e-books monthly. It seems like there are a lot of books hitting Amazon's product pages right now. Authors have found a genre where they excel and they're…

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Time to Stop Groveling to Traditional Publishers!

  Previously authors spent so much of their time trying to get a publisher and most were lucky to get rejections since, in many cases, there wasn't even a response (letter right to the trash!) Now authors who decide to self-publish will need to spend much of their time finding their audience. The truth is they were going to have to do most of this on their own even with a publisher. I have had authors tell me they were told by agents to include their marketing plans to send to the publishers. The biggest challenge an author has today is not getting a publisher but finding a way to rise to the top of the avalanche of books being published. I am talking about all books since readers really don't care who publishes a book – a good book is a good book. At indieBRAG our readers around the world only read self-published books, but you would be greatly mistaken if you think a reader would rather read a mediocre book by a traditional publisher over a good self-published one. The fact that more self-published authors are finding ways to rise to the top says that traditional publishers are…

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Author Interview with Angie Harris Stephanie: Hello, Angie! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion! Please tell me a little about your books, Momma's Little Helpers and Monster Feet. Angie: Thank you very much. I am still reeling about the news! Momma's Little Helpers received the Medallion first so why don't we start with that one. Momma's Little Helpers is a story about five young girls who embark upon an adventure to rally support for their sick Mother. They turn to Santa to help obtain help from many mystical characters such as the Sandman. It holds several messages for young children including the importance of teamwork and giving support to those in need. It truly is surprising how much support the young girls are able to rally. Monster Feet is about a young girl named Sue who experiences recurring nightmares. Each night she wakes up to find she has different feet—animal feet! Sue comes up with a prayer which she recites every night in an effort to deter her dreams. But each night the nightmares return. Sue eventually overcomes her fears and learns to embrace the new feet. It is a very fun book and children absolutely love it! Stephanie: Is…

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Author Interview with Paul Collis Stephanie: I am honored to welcome, Paul Collis to my blog today. Hello, Paul! I am delighted to be chatting withyou today and congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion! Please tell me about your book, The Scottish Movie. Paul: Before I start, I'd like to thank you and all the people involved with B.R.A.G. for their time and effort spent promoting independent authors. Acknowledgement encourages us, and I'm sure it helps readers choose their next book. OK. The blurb on the novel's back cover is more tease than description, so I thought your readers might prefer a synopsis. I'll try to avoid spoilers. Part One. London, 1606. Shakespeare is desperate for a new play to please the paranoid King James, and he's short of ideas. By chance he comes across an ideal plot, written by Henry Greville, an unknown youngster, and steals it. A few months later, Henry hears that a play very much like his, now called 'Macbeth', is about to be performed at the Globe Theater. Distraught, and with no legal way to challenge the theater or its famous playwright, he decides to take matters into his own hands and sabotage the royal…

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Author Interview with Donna Walsh Inglehart     Donna Walsh Inglehart began her professional life in Maine, where she founded a wilderness camp for teenagers. After earning an M.A. in English at Middlebury College, she taught writing for many years to students of all ages. Donna wrote professionally in a variety of contexts before turning to fiction, and in 1992, Little, Brown published a novel she'd written for her young daughters, set in the Thousand Islands. Years later, Donna returned to that locale with Grindstone, a historical novel based on documented accounts of a Confederate spy ring operating in the region. Grindstone centers on the island world of a young Irish immigrant and a soldier returning from the war. Donna then teamed up with award-winning photographer, Ian Coristine, and together they wrote One in a Thousand, Ian's memoir, released by McClellan Interactive Publishing as an iPad App eBook. Donna is currently working on a prequel to Grindstone, set in the Thousand Islands during the War of 1812 and the Rebellions of 1837. Stephanie: Hello, Donna! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. That is wonderful! Please tell me about your book, Grindstone. Donna:…

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