indieBRAG Blog

Throwing Clay Shadows – Thea Atkinson

Author Interview: Thea Atkinson Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction; call it what you will: she prefers to describe her work as something akin to the left of mainstream. Her characters often find themselves in the darker edges of their own spirits but ultimately manage to find the light they seek. She has been an editor, a freelancer, and a teacher, but fiction is her passion. She now blogs and writes and twitters. Not necessarily in that order. Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.com Thea, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your book, Throwing Clay Shadows. Please tell me a little about your book. TCS began as part of a larger 3 time framed novel. Because it had reincarnation theories as its base, it explored the lives of five characters over three lifetimes and how they connected. It was really way too large a project to be considered a single novel. When I began to self publish through ebooks, I broke the book into pieces because I realized they could stand alone and not be connected to each other. TCS became a single novel about a girl who loses her mother in 1800s Scotland. Maggie comes…

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# Authors, Reviews, Trolls and the fight goes on!- Part 2

Our previous blog on "Reviews" triggered a great conversation. In this, the second blog on the subject, we offer authors some thoughts on dealing with negative reviews. I hope you will join us again and share your thoughts and experiences- 1. Take negative reviews into consideration. The reviewer just may be right! Well-¬written and thoughtful critical reviews can be helpful – painful, but helpful. Be open-minded. Listen. Read. Be willing to consider the opinion of others. In the end, you may still disagree but you may also gain some valuable learning. 2. Respond to fair-minded reviews. It is always nice to thank someone who takes the time to read and critique your book. You should do this even if you disagree with the review but be gracious, and NEVER enter into an emotional, heated discourse. No-one benefits and more times than not, it turns personal and ugly. 3. Consider reviewing books for other authors. This is the best way to create the "word of mouth" buzz that all authors want. In turn, your reviews may encourage others to review your book. But always be objective and professional. Never gush or attack; both are equally amateurish.4. Ignore the "trolls". Unfortunately, there…

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Authors, Reviews, Trolls and the fight goes on!

Wow! It seems the entire literary community is on fire about reviews and alleged "troll" attacks. First, let me say that indieBRAG does not depend on reviews for several very good reasons. A well-written review by a reviewer who genuinely cares about books is a valuable source of information – favorable or not. However, there are more than a few people out there who use this venue just to be mean and disagreeable. Others try to show their higher level "intellect" by picking any book apart. They believe that to critique means simply to find fault. As evidence of this I should note that even the universally acclaimed book, To Kill A Mockingbird, has received one star reviews! BLOG #1We will be offering some information about writing a respectful and responsible review.BLOG #2We will also be offering authors some advice and, hopefully, help in dealing with negative reviews. So here we go, be sure to join the conversation- Reviewers first- Our B.R.A.G. interviewer and a book reviewer from www.layeredpages.com Stephanie Moore: The most important thing to do when reviewing is to read the book first of course. You must understand what you are reading in order to write a good…

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Audio Books-The Next New Thing! Part 1.

Here are a few highlights from the 2011 Association of American Publishers report: Total book sales in all categories hit $805.7 million• Hardcover books fell 11.3%• Paperbacks fell 19%• eBook sales increased 115.8%• Downloaded audio books increased 8.8% to $6.5million.• The fastest growing category in the iTunes App store – books! For those of you who may be skeptical about audio books – I should point out that it was just a few short years ago that no one believed eBooks would ever catch on! If you put audiobooks into your search you will find HUNDREDS of companies getting into the audiobook production business. You no longer see "never" when readers are asked how often they listen to audiobooks; everyone is now ready and willing to give audiobooks a try. The past stigma about listening to books is long past. Listeners are no longer lazy but busy! We now use audiobooks while our hands are doing other things. After all, listening to stories has been part of every culture, teaching us and entertaining us, from the beginning of time. Audiobooks are here and growing in popularity, they are the next means of getting your book out there to new audience…

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Dirt – Sharon Dwyer

Author Interview: Sharon Dwyer I would like to introduce Author Sharon Dwyer, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for the book, "Dirt."Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Sharon, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your book, Dirt. Please tell me a little about your story? First I would like to thank indieBRAG for the award and the readers who enjoyed the book. Dirt is an historical fiction book that started out as YA and seemed to slip into the adult readers world. The story is centered around two children, Sammy and Birdie Larkin, who find themselves orphaned during the great Dust Bowl in the panhandle of Oklahoma. They decide to pretend their parents are still alive and continue to live on their family farm rather than be separated and sent to the state home for orphans. Living in a rural area, the fact that their parents are never seen goes unnoticed for some time. The children find ways to stave off the worse of their hunger and fend for themselves in a very hostile environment. That is until an incident causes them to rethink their actions. After I published the book, I've talked with quite a few people and…

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The Mustard Seeds – Karen Mueller Bryson

Author Interview: Karen Mueller Bryson I would like to introduce Author Karen Mueller Bryson, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for the book, "The Mustard Seeds."Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.com Karen, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! Please tell me about your story, The Mustard Seeds. The story is about Elliot White, a 16-year old musical savant with Asperger's Syndrome. After his mom's sudden death, Elliot is forced to leave his performing arts high school in New York City and relocate to Winslow, Arizona to live with his eccentric aunt, Amaryllis Long. When Elliot discovers his new high school has no music program, he decides to form his own band of musical misfits, who it turns out, are unable to attract an audience. This is when Amaryllis inspires Elliot by giving him some mustard seeds, explaining that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. As their faith grows, Elliot and his band-mates begin to believe they will be able to give a public performance, but the school's principal, Mr. Winters, who just cut all of the arts programs, stands in their way. The premise of your story is heart felt and moving. What inspired you to write…

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A chat with best selling author Addison Moore

  Addison Moore is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she's not writing, she's reading. Addison's Celestra Series has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox.   Thanks you so much Addison for sharing your thoughts and experiences on self-publishing with us. It is encouraging to us all to see wonderful self-published authors, such as you, get the attention they deserve!I am sure the readers and authors at indieBRAG will appreciate your input- First of all, why did you self-publish? Did you try to get a traditional publishing deal?I started self-publishing in 2011, ironically after I procured my dream agent. I was deterred by how long it would take to get a traditional book into the market and I wanted to write more than a book a year. Did you use professional help for story or copy editing, cover design or in other ways?My husband and I…

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To KDP or not – that is the question!

A blog piece by Jim Kukral at the Huffington Post on the subject of KDP Select gave me food for thought and I began researching other points of view on this very popular means for indie authors to sell their books.As Mr. Kukral points out, there are two very strong sides to this issue. I think the big question is "making money" versus "building an audience". Many of our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree authors take advantage of KDP and utilize the opportunity to give their books away for free for a limited time. They get a bit of boost in sales and make a bit of money in the process. The question is – does this actually build their audience? As this article states, those who seek out free book downloads are not particularly loyal readers and may do little talking about or reviewing of books. I do not know the statistics, but I wonder how many authors who take advantage of KDP actually build a big following?Sales on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony eReader and other means of reading eBooks arguably do not match the sales that amazon.com does. On the other hand, by placing their book on a site…

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Dragonfriend – Roger Eschbacher

Author Interview: Roger Eschbacher I would like to introduce Author Roger Eschbacher, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for the book, "Dragonfriend."Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.blogspot.com Roger, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, Dragonfriend. Thank you, Stephanie. It was a very pleasant surprise to win the BRAG Medallion and I'm honored to be a recipient. Dragonfriend is a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel set in the days of King Arthur. The twist is that it's a side story to the main Arthurian legends and told through the eyes of a young page, Leonard, whose plan to help his knight get a seat at the Round Table goes horribly wrong. In an effort to set things right he goes on a dangerous quest, befriends a horde of cantankerous dragons, and does battle with a vile demon who has taken over Camelot. What were some of the research involved? I did a lot of online research about mythical creatures, Celtic/Welsh mythology, and Arthur and his knights. In general, I've always been fascinated by various western mythologies and the Arthurian legends – having read numerous books over the years – and so was able to draw on those…

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The Art of Social Media

    The Art of Social Media for Self-Publishing Authors Most if not all self-publishing authors do not have publicists to promote their work. Therefore, you must work diligently to have your books noticed. Social Media is a crucial key to networking and to publicize your book. You must be willing to put forth the time, but it is well worth the effort if done correctly. Companies such as BRAG are a wonderful example of on-line promoting and networking. If you are a BRAG Medallion Honoree, share to the world that you are! Share BRAG's website to other sites, talk about what it means to be a BRAG Honoree. When needing reviews, have legitimate reviewers read your book other than just family and friends. You need readers who will be objective and who could give their honest opinion and to give constructive criticism- when needed. Encourage reviewers to post their reviews on various sites, including book forums. On-line interviews are another tool for promoting your book. Holding interviews also gives the chance for the reader to feel more connected to you. Readers are more likely to buy your book if they know a little about you and what your interest…

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