indieBRAG Blog

Feud- Derek Birks

Author Interview: Derek Birks   Stephanie: I would like to welcome Author Derek Birks to my blog today! So delighted he has taken the time to chat with me today. Derek, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your novel, "Feud." Historical Fiction is my all time favourite genre and I'm happy to say I have your book on my kindle waiting for me to read! I can't wait! Please tell me about your story? Derek: Feud is basically a story about a family, the Elders, who are caught up in a feud over land with their neighbours, the ambitious Radcliffes. Because it takes place during the Wars of the Roses, they are also embroiled in a war.The Elder family comprises: Ned, a young swordsman; Emma, his serious, but conventional sister who has run the household since her mother's early death and her sister Eleanor, a beautiful redhead who knows few social boundaries and is more than a match for most men.At the start of the book each of the three is thrown into a frightening and unfamiliar situation. The book traces their separate paths towards a resolution of the feud as the war itself reaches a point of climax…

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A Theft of Opportunity!

  This is a very interesting article on an unknown author making it big but, the real story is the damage to publishing being done by this mega merger between Penguin and Random House. As the New York Times Editorial Board states, the more opportunities to get your book before a publisher and the more diverse the publishing, the better chance an unknown author has of getting his book before the public. They are limiting the competition, lessening the opportunities for authors and robbing the reading public of some really good books! 47 Rejections, Then the Booker Long ListBy THE EDITORIAL BOARDPublished: July 31, 2013 Donal Ryan, a civil servant from Limerick, Ireland, wrote two novels. He sent them to agents and publishers and got back 47 rejections over three years. Finally an intern at Lilliput Press in Dublin fished "The Thing About December" out of the slush pile. Around the same time, an editor at Doubleday Ireland took interest in "The Spinning Heart." Suddenly Mr. Ryan had a two-book deal, and from there his fortunes only improved. The Booker Foundation announced last week that "The Spinning Heart" had made the cut for the Man Booker Prize long list.Such things…

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Agent Assisted Self Publishing

    How exciting, you got an agent- just one step from getting a publisher! Whoa, not so fast. Although few self-published authors use agents they can provide some valuable assistance. With the advent of digital and self-publishing, agents, like everyone in the publishing world, have had to reinvent themselves. Many agents are now moving into Agent Assisted Self-Publishing. Like any business owner, and as a SP author that is what you are, do not sign until you know exactly what you are getting for your money and how much control you may be losing. With permission from The Alliance of Independent Authors' (ALLi), we are sharing information they provided. We would love to have you join the conversation and share your experiences- Agent-assisted SP takes many different forms. At one end of the scale, it mean an agency encouraging one of their authors to upload their backlist, and showing them how, without taking any payment, content with the revenue boost this will give to the trade-published titles they represent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         At the other are the many agents now uploading files to Amazon or other retailers in an account in their own name, and collecting 15% of the sales revenue ad…

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You can’t shatter Me- Tahlia Newland

Author Interview: Tahlia Newland Award winning author Tahlia Newland writes contemporary fantasy and magical realism with a metaphysical twist. When not reading, writing, reviewing or mentoring authors you may find her being an extremely casual high school teacher or making decorative masks. Tahlia began writing full time in 2008 after twenty years in the performing arts and a five-year stint as a creative and performing arts teacher in a High School. In 2012, she set up the Awesome Indies List to showcase quality independent fiction. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in an Australian rainforest south of Sydney. Creativity is her middle name! Stephanie: Hello, Tahlia! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! That is great news! Please tell me about your book, "You Can't Shatter me." Tahlia: Hi Stephanie, thanks for having me over. You Can't Shatter Me is magical realism, so it's like a contemporary fiction but with very extended metaphors. Many readers say that the main characters have a great imagination, for others it's like a cross between contemporary fiction and urban fantasy. So, it's different in style to most YA books. It's about a couple of sixteen-year-olds, a girl, Carly, and…

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Getting into Brick & Mortar Book Stores~

Richard Due, author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree, The Moon Coin, recently had his books accepted into Barnes and Noble brick and mortar bookstore! We asked him to share how he was able to manage this since this is often something most self-published authors are unable to do. I wish I had a more exciting story to tell, but getting a self-published book into Barnes and Noble is all about time, diligence, and whether or not they want your book. In a nutshell, here's how I got the Moon Realm series into Barnes and Noble. Last fall I submitted to their Small Press Dept., at their Headquarters on 5th Ave, in New York. On their website, they said that if I didn't hear back from them I should resend, as they get 2,000 submissions a week, which means, every once and a while, they have chuck everything and start over. I got a letter back from them maybe two weeks later requesting paperback copies of The Moon Coin (the only Moon Realm book in paper at that time). That was back in November. My next task was to get a distributor or wholesaler. B&N had sent me a list of them.…

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The Edinburgh International Book Festival

  The Edinburgh International Book Festival began in 1983 and is now a key event in the August Festival season, celebrated annually in Scotland's capital city. Biennial at first, the Book Festival became a yearly celebration in 1997.Throughout its history, the Book Festival has grown rapidly in size and scope to become the largest and most dynamic festival of its kind in the world. In its first year the Book Festival played host to just 30 'Meet the Author' events. Today, the Festival programmes over 700 events, which are enjoyed by people of all ages.An important feature of the Book Festival's programme is a high profile debates and discussions series. Each year writers from all over the world gather to become part of this unique forum in which audience and author meet to exchange thoughts and opinions on some of the world's most pressing issues.Running alongside the general programme is the highly regarded Children's Programme, which has grown to become a leading showcase for children's writers and illustrators. Incorporating workshops, storytelling, panel discussions, author events and book signings, the Children's Programme is popular with both the public and schools alike and now ranks as the world's premier books and reading…

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Some “New” ideas for Social Media

    For those who self-publish, and even those who traditionally publish, social media has become the main means of creating buzz about their book. It is well recognized that word of mouth is the primary reason a book sells. However, generating word of mouth in the first place is a daunting challenge. Accordingly, we thought we would share with you some ideas – some of which you may have already tried, and others you might consider.If you aren't doing so already, you should be using social media to help readers get to know and like you but it clearly takes time and persistence. You need to engage your fans and start a conversation with them. Share your interests and seek to form friendships. Be positive and entertaining; make it fun and enjoyable for both you and them. Remember these are the people who will tell the world about your book. However, this is not the place to vent your frustration. And importantly, do not spam your book; there is such a thing as overkill in promoting your book. Let's talk about some of the ways you might be able to encourage readers to pick your book: FacebookSet up a…

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How to Read With Your Child

Start Young and Stay With It   At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. Guide your child by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language. Children learn to love the sound of language before they even notice the existence of printed words on a page. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. When the rhythm and melody of language become a part of a child's life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk. Even after children learn to read by themselves, it's still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers' understanding and motivate them to improve their skills. It's Part of LifeAlthough the life of a parent…

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Blog#2 – READING TO YOUR CHILD

  Reading, and reading well, is the single most important advantage you can give your child. Not only does it provide advantages for better leaning, it develops a child's sense of imagination – one of the most important means of creating a better world for us all. Imagination fuels the minds of inventors and researchers, it expands our horizon in science, medicine, transportation ... well you get it. Create imagination in our children and create a better world. We all know that reading is a good thing, but below are thoughts on just how reading to your child between the ages of two to five can benefit both the child and the parent. 1. A stronger relationship with you. As your child grows older, he'll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together. 2. Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is…

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How important is reading? Just check out these statistics!

 Over the next several postings, we will be opening up a discussion on the importance of reading to and with your children.   The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television- spending more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor's degree! Unfortunately, people are not reading as much as they used to. Less than a third of 13-year-olds were daily readers in 2007, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. For 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20 year period. It is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. 60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems. U.S. adults ranked 12th among 20 high income countries in composite (document, prose, and quantitative) literacy. More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills…

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