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."

The Highland Games- Gael Harrison

Author Interview:  Gael Harrison   I would like to introduce Gael Harrison. Winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion. Gael was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1954, where her father was a rubber planter. At the age of eleven, she returned to Scotland to complete her schooling at Morrison's Academy in Crieff. She qualified as a teacher in Dundee in 1975, and married in the same year. She and her husband moved to Singapore and later to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia. Together with their three young children the family moved back to Scotland and lived for the next eleven years in an old manse in Glenelg, on the west coast of Scotland. After her divorce Gael moved to Edinburgh and worked as a teacher. In 2001 she took the VSO challenge with Save the Children UK, and spent a year in the north of Vietnam working as a pre-school teacher trainer. After that assignment, she spent the next three years at the United Nations International School in Hanoi and during that time she met her husband, John. For the last ten years they have been working in Kiev, Qatar, Australia and New Zealand. They are now back in Scotland…

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Mom, Am I different- Jennifer Adkins

Author Interview: Jennifer Adkins   S: I would like to introduce Jennifer Adkins today. Hello Jennifer! Thank you for chatting with me today and congratulations on the BRAG Medallion! First I would like for you to tell me what has inspired you to write?J: I was first inspired to begin writing when I was in third grade. I was fortunate during those formative years in my life to have been blessed with an amazing teacher who helped develop and mold me into the writer and teacher that I am today. I remember being obsessed with the creative writing prompt box in her classroom. This obsession soon transcended the classroom and became something that I did for fun at home and even with my friends. S: Please tell me about your book, "Mom, Am I Different." J: "Mom, Am I Different" is the story of a young girl's journey of self-discovery. Inherently introspective and curious, she is struggling to reconcile the fact that her thoughts and interests do not align with other children her age. With loving guidance from her mother, she begins to look at the world through a different lens, giving her the confidence to embrace her differences and…

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Pegasus-A Dragon Tale – Gina LoBiondo

Author Interview:  Gina LoBiondo Stephanie: Hi, Gina! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your book, "Pegasus — A Dragon's Tale". Please tell me about your story.Gina: Thank you so much, Stephanie, it was a real honour! Pegasus – A Dragon's Tale is the heartwarming story of two young bear cubs that come across an unusual egg while out playing one day. They decide to take it home and it soon hatches into a baby dragon. All too soon, however, Pegasus has outgrown the cubs and their father, the King, makes a heartbreaking decision. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens.I wrote it originally as a short story with two human Princesses but when my god-son got married and became an instant father, I rewrote it using my new niece and nephew as the main characters. I had also gotten Kameela, who was 8 at the time, a Build-A-Bear and decided to turn the brother and sister characters into bears. That's basically how the whole thing came about.Stephanie: Is this your first children's book or are there others?Gina: This is actually my first published book. I've been writing since I was 13 (nearly 40 years) so…

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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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