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."

Working with a Book Cover Designer

  Some wonderful advice from our friend Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphic on working with a graphic designer to get the best cover possible- Every now and again I am approached by a potential new client who knows exactly what they want and basically how the book cover design process works. But more often than not, authors have written their manuscripts and want an attractive cover designed so they can get their new books listed on Amazon and other online book selling outlets, yet have no idea where to start. And most, especially first time authors, do not have any idea whatsoever as to how the book cover design process works or even where to begin. This is not a bad thing – authors write and designers design! Hopefully I can shed some light on the process by offering a few top tips when contacting book cover designers for the first time. 1. Have an estimated expectation for when you plan to publish your book as the book cover designer will need to know when the project will be expected to be completed. And please consider that most designers are carrying multiple projects/clients at all times in order to earn…

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Author Interview with Anna Belfrage Stephanie: Hello, Anna! It is a delight to be chatting with you again! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion for your book, The Prodigal Son, which I have read and enjoyed very much! Anna: Thank you, Stephanie – and may I say I am very glad to be here today, and extremely proud of having won the B.R.A.G Medallion. Stephanie: Your medallion is well deserved! Please tell your audience about your story. Anna: Set in 17th century Scotland, The Prodigal Son is the story of Matthew Graham's struggle to balance his religious convictions with the need of his family, and foremost those of his time-traveler wife, Alexandra Lind, who has little understanding for Matthew's continued support of his co-religionists, not when it can potentially cost him his life. At the time, the early 1660's, the political upheaval that so scarred the British Isles during the 17th century have come almost full circle. Charles II, son of the beheaded Charles I, has been restored, the Commonwealth replaced by a ruling monarch. While the restoration is greeted with relief by many (and not only the royalists; Oliver Cromwell was at times a harsh ruler), the people of…

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Author Interview with Mariana R. Silva-Buck Mariana R. Silva-Buck is a photographer, a writer and a mother who has worked with children since she was a teenager, from teaching summer camp to volunteering at the orphanage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she was born and raised. She received her B.A. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and currently lives in Wales, MA with her husband, her daughter and their big bud Zandor. She is a SCBWI member and has also earned the title of International correspondent from the Brazilian Sovereing Academy of Arts of Rio de Janeiro Estate. Her passion for children, literature, multiculturalism and learning inspired her to write the children's book, The Adventures of Zandor. Stephanie: Hello, Mariana! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. Please tell me about your book, The Adventures of Zandor. Mariana: Hi Stephanie. Thank you so much for interviewing me. Well, The Adventures of Zandor is the story of a little dog who teaches us to believe in the power of imagination, the importance of overcoming our fears and what can happen if you simply try. Zandor is a dog who loves to play in the yard, however his biggest dream…

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Ebook reader or not!

  EBook reader or not! Ok, it is no news that kids think technology is cool! If carrying an eBook reader makes you look cool, reading on one is even better. I like to read both my Kindle and a regular book- both are fun but I always have my Kindle when I am in the car or when I am traveling. Most of the eBooks are not as expensive and I can take lots with me- I have the whole series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, my favorite books! I go to visit my MomMom's in Wisconsin in the summer and I can take all my books with me- and it fits in my backpack along with all my other "must haves"- hair brush, headband, snacks, teddy bear. A girl has to have her things. Even when I am waiting for my brother- which seems all the time- I read my Kindle. Do you know that Barnes and Noble have "The NOOK Kids Store" on line and you can find books by age and they tell you which are the most popular? Amazon lists children's eBooks but I don't think it is quite as easy. I only wish…

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a new year full of new books!

We are back in school after a wonderful Christmas! It is now time for me to think about books once again.  I have a couple of books I really want to talk to the authors about, so check back soon.  Do you have some questions for one of the authors of a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree?  Just let me know in the comments and I will be sure to ask. Talk to you soon-

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Author Interview with Karen Aminadra Karen Aminadra is an English author who was born in London, and grew up in Hertfordshire, England. As a teacher, she worked in academies, schools, and universities in Ecuador, Russia, and Spain as well as the U.K. She returned to England in 2005 where she met the man who was to become her husband. They settled in Northamptonshire where Karen embarked on a writing career to fulfil a life-long ambition. She is now the author of five novels, Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues, Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2, Relative Deceit, The Uncanny Life of Polly, and It's a Man's World. In 2012 she received a B.R.A.G Medallion ™ for her debut novel Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues and in 2013 she was once again honoured with a B.R.A.G Medallion ™ for Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2. More information can be found on her two blogs and Stephanie: Hello, Karen! It is always a pleasure to chat with you and congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. First off I would like to say that your stories are fantastic and I have enjoyed them very much. They…

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Don’t Quit Your Day Job…Yet!

    According to an article by Alison Flood in theguardian (see link below) writing is a very hard way to make a living. She points out that while we often hear about the eight-figure deals that a few fortunate authors (very few) are able to secure, the vast majority of authors, both traditionally and self-published barely scrape by on their earnings. However, her article concludes with a quote by successful indie author Hugh Howey that holds out hope for the future of self-publishing. "...The simple fact is this: getting paid for your writing is not easy. But self-publishing is making it easier. How much easier? We don't have sufficient data to know. But a conservative estimate would be that five to 10 times as many people are paying bills with their craft today as there was just a few years ago. And that should be celebrated." So hang in there and keep writing! Bob The Guardian

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Author interview with J.A. Blake J.A. Blake (Jennifer) has been working in school public relations and marketing for more than 15 years. Her areas of strength are in feature and press release writing, publication design, speech writing and presentation, special event planning, and meeting facilitation. She has won numerous commendations from professional organizations, including awards from the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals. In addition to her work with schools, Jennifer is the owner of Blake Communications, a small company specializing in writing, design, and editing services. Jennifer received a Bachelor's Degree in English from Neumann University and a Master of Science in Management from Rosemont College. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America. She is a lifelong writer and reader who, in her spare time, enjoys traveling with her husband, Kai, and playing with their dogs – two pugs named Calvin and Lucy. Stephanie: Jennifer, congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion! I absolutely love the title of your book, "They All Fall Down." Please tell me a little about your story. They All Fall Down Book Cover Jennifer: They All Fall Down is about London Drake, an aspiring musician with a…

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sarah’s journey- david beasley

Author Interview with David Beasley David Beasley was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and graduated from McMaster University with a BA in Arts. He worked, studied and wrote in several European countries for five years and then In Manhattan, New York for 35 years, where he worked as a research librarian in the New York Public Research Libraries for much of that time. He organized a union for library workers and used his experience to write a trilogy of mystery novels—The Jenny, The Grand Conspiracy, Overworld/Underworld. He earned a Masters Degree in Library Science and a PhD in political economics from the progressive New School for Social Research. He returned to Canada in 1992 and has been writing and publishing under the imprint Davus Publishing. He has written much fiction, including historical fiction novels, but has been recognized by the award of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his non-fiction and biographies. His blog on his website features the Major John Richardson Newsletter which gathers information on and controversies about Canada's first novelist, whose biography he wrote. He returned to Canada in 1992 and has been writing and publishing under the imprint Davus Publishing in Simcoe, Ontario. Stephanie: Hello…

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Reading and Your Brain!

It is well documented that reading is essential for our children to be successful in school and in their future careers. In fact, how well and how often a child reads for pleasure has more effect on their future success in school than any other factor – including their social and economic backgrounds. We spend countless hours and a great deal of money preparing our physical being with make-up, hair, clothes, bathing and doing exercise from a young age. And yet, we find it difficult to put aside a few moments a day to read. The benefits of reading non-fiction are obvious in learning skills and educating ourselves in fields such as history, science, language and on and on. But psychologists now believe that reading fiction can also have enormous benefits to both young and old in helping them understand the human character. Reading fiction increases our ability to build social ties and our empathy toward others. It can actually develop our social brains and make us more adept at camaraderie, collaboration and even love! There is an emotional response that occurs to most readers when they have read a book that successfully describes their exact predicament. A perfect example…

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