indieBRAG Blog

Folio Prize to allow self-published work

  The Folio Prize has confirmed it is to consider self-published entries, a move which has been welcomed by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).Sixty titles on the 80-strong longlist will be put forward by the Folio's academy, made up of members of the literary community, and it is understood they will be allowed to select self-published works.The remaining 20 will be called in by judges following publishers writing letters of support for particular titles. Self-published authors will be able to act as publishers and write letters of support for their own titles, which will then be considered to be called in.Dan Holloway is campaign manager of ALLi's Open Up To Indies program, which encourages prizes, festivals, the media and other bodies to be inclusive of self-published writers and works.He said: "This is important news and greatly welcomed by ALLi's Open Up To Indies Campaign. Whilst self-publishing has been stripped of much of its stigma by a string of high profile commercial successes, the suspicion remains in some quarters, notably the media, that the self-published corpus is not a place to find works of outstanding artistic merit that could take their place alongside the works of a Hilary Mantel or…

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Eat, Drink, Read!

    Where do you usually read - in bed, in a favorite chair? Maybe in a backyard swing on a summer day? I spend most of my reading time at night in bed - could be that's why I seem tired all the time! Where do you read? Do you eat while you're reading? I came across this list of Best and Worst foods to eat while you are reading and although there are some good suggestions, they left out two of the best (and easiest): chocolate and potato chips! I have been known to settle down with a good book, a glass of wine (also sadly left off the list) and a bag of chips. I can think of only a few things that can top that. What would you add to the list? Best 1. Bite-sized pasta - You eat this primly, with one hand and a fork, leaving the other hand free for the book. 2. Soup - Most soups are one-hand affairs. 3. Crackers, cookies, and carbs in general - But beware. Not only do they get crumbs in your pages you will also eat too much while reading. 4. Hard pretzels - Bite-sized and…

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No Other Love – Isabel Morin

Author Interview: Isabel Morin I would like to introduce Isabel Morin author of the B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree No Other LoveRead the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.com Stephanie: Isabel, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! Please tell me about your book, "No Other Love." Isabel: It's a historical romance set in 19th century Massachusetts (both in the country and in Boston) and revolves around a heroine (Rose) who's trying to find her father's killer. She's convinced his murder is connected with her family's refusal to allow a railroad line to be run through their farm in western Massachusetts, so she takes a job in the railroad president's home to find out more. The president happens to have a handsome son, and there are of course many reasons they can't act on their mutual attraction. I don't tend to read thrillers and wasn't inclined to write one, so the mystery aspect takes a back seat to the relationship. Stephanie: That sounds really interesting. What was the inspiration for your story? Isabel: I love reading a good historical because it's such an escape, and also you have clearer class distinctions, especially if you have a servant-master relationship. Then I saw the movie "Gosford Park," and I…

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Blog Series on the “three Rs of Writing”

      Finally let's deal with Respect Respect is perhaps the hardest of the three "Rs" to acquire. Being financially successful and well-known does not necessarily mean you will be respected. This is especially true for self-published authors who enter the publishing ring with one hand tied behind their backs. Although the stigma is lessening, self-published books are still not accepted by professional reviewers such as the NY Times, or accepted by prestigious writing competitions. There are a lot of well-written indie books out there; I have personally read several that are every bit as good as, or even better than, the best that the big publishing houses have to offer. It is because of this literary snobbery that self-published books are held to a higher standard. If you want to be taken seriously as an author – and assuming that you have written a good book – then you had better make sure that it is meticulously edited: copyedited at a minimum and line edited if you can afford it. Not to do so plays directly to the indie stereotype, and will doom your work to the trash heap of broken dreams and forgotten titles. Now to end…

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Blog Series on the “three Rs of Writing”

    Now let's deal with Recognition. You might think that recognition and wealth go hand in hand but that's not always the case. I'm sure you've heard about movies that critics loved but nobody went to see. The same applies to books. You can write a really good – possibly even great – book but it will not bring you fame and fortune unless you identify your audience and go after them. How? Find bloggers, reviewers and events that focus on your genre. Use social media to get your name and your book out there. And build a website. A good one. Some authors don't do this, which is a big mistake! You may think that if no one knows you how will they find your website? But it is a self-fulfilling prophesy – without a website how will your audience ever get to know you? Today readers want to reach out and touch you (figuratively and in some cases perhaps even literally). They want to connect with you on a personal level. You must be prepared to bare your soul to them. Websites that simply list your books won't get many return visits. In my last blog in…

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Food for Love & Romance Novels!

  History is rife with the human pursuit of aphrodisiacs in many forms. Scientific tests have proven that some aromas can cause a greater effect on the body than the actual ingestion of foods. Here are some common foods of love used through the ages. • Alcohol: lowers inhibitions and increases confidence; however, over-indulgence has a sedative effect not conducive to a romantic tryst. • Asparagus: three courses of asparagus were served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its reputed aphrodisiac powers. • Banana: due not only to its shape, but also its creamy, lush texture, some studies show its enzyme bromelain enhances male performance. • Caviar: is high in zinc, which stimulates the formation of testosterone, maintaining male functionality. • Champagne: viewed as the "drink of love," moderate quantities lower inhibitions and cause a warm glow in the body. • Chocolate: contains both a sedative which relaxes and lowers inhibitions and a stimulant to increase activity and the desire for physical contact. It was actually banned from some monasteries centuries ago. • Figs: seasonal crops were celebrated by ancient Greeks in a frenzied copulation ritual. • Ginseng: increases desire for physical contact. • Perfumes: made of natural foodstuffs such…

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The Triangle Murders – Lynne Kennedy

Author Interview: Lynne Kennedy I would like to introduce Author Lynne Kennedy, winner of the BRAG Medallion for the book, "The Triangle Murders".Read the entire interview at: www.layeredpages.com Hello Lynne! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about you book, "The Triangle Murders." Lynne: Like all of my books to date, "The Triangle Murders" is a historic mystery woven around events that actually happened. That mystery is solved today by modern technology. Quick Synopsis: When a young reporter is pushed from a ninth story window in Greenwich Village, NYPD Homicide Lieutenant Frank Mead soon connects the case to a murder that took place at the same site a hundred years earlier, during the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Stephanie: Is this your first mystery novel you have written? Lynne: I've written three. Besides "The Triangle Murders," "Time Exposure" is a mystery that revolves around Civil War photography- it's available online and in paperback. Coming within the next few months is "Deadly Provenance," which is about the Nazi confiscation of art and a missing Van Gogh painting. Stephanie: What is some of the recourse you used in your research? Lynne: I've written a lot about research in my blogs.…

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Blog Series on the “three Rs of Writing”

    Writing a book – hard!Editing a book – much harder!!Making it a bestseller – nearly impossible!!! The first two require talent and commitment along with hard work and time.The third takes all of those plus introspection and honesty.You must decide which of the "three Rs of writing" you want: Reward, Recognition, Respect? Most authors (if they're being honest) would say they want all three. But they are not necessarily mutually inclusive: First let's talk about Reward. If wealth is all you seek, then you had better write romance novels – and lots of them! Many of the top selling eBooks are in this genre and most are by authors who have written more than one. There seems to be a huge and insatiable demand for them. But once you get an audience, you need to keep them by giving them more of the same and quickly. A book a year is not an option. Good romance sells! (With emphasis, of course, on the word good).When Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, Anna Quindlen, was asked what books we might be surprised to find on her shelves she replied:"A pretty full set of Georgette Heyer. Which, by the way,…

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IF YOU WANT OPPORTUNITY TO NOTICE, GO KNOCK ON ITS DOOR!

indieBRAG is excited to be a witnesses to/and participant in the dramatic upsurge of self-publishing. Once considered a second-class citizen (or worse) in the world of publishing, self-publishing is now a force to be reckoned with; it has awakened the heretofore sleeping giants of traditional publishing. Clear evidence of this was Penguins' acquisition of Author Solutions last year. The executives at Penguin and other traditional publishers may be arrogant but they are not stupid. They seek to create a self-sustaining and highly efficient business model in which an indie author pays them to have their book published; does all the work promoting their book; and, if/when the book somehow manages to gain some meaningful measure of recognition and success, the big boys swoop in to offer the author a contract. They have, in effect, created a give and take relationship with indie authors whereby you give and they take! Only time will tell if signing a contract with a traditional publisher is something that a successful indie author will or should want. One advantage of such a deal is that a publisher can gain distribution in retail book stores; something that indie authors have great difficulty achieving. However, as eBooks…

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FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS AND LEAVE THE ALGORITHMS TO OTHERS!

At The Media Briefing's Digital Media Strategies conference in London recently, it was reported that less than 3% of book sales on Amazon came from buyers who were simply browsing, and only 10% were derived from their "bought this/also bought" recommendations. These pale in comparison to 48% of sales from buyers who already knew the author or book they wanted, and were simply buying it online.The obvious conclusion is that most indie authors spend entirely too much time trying to get their title ranked higher by Amazon's algorithm! Instead, authors should focus on gaining name recognition. How? By connecting with their target audience: by reaching out to the people who are interested in their genre - bloggers, genre-specific websites and Facebook pages, as well as other relevant social media forums.Another interesting fact cited in London was that 17% of book sales were influenced by a book being listed on "Bestseller" or "Top 100" lists. For those indie authors who are fortunate enough to have their book placed on such a list, but find it near the bottom, another way to stand out is by having an appealing cover. This is true even if the book is only available as an…

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