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 SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC ~Get more sales!

    Now we are going to get down to what you can and should be doing to get more sales! It is possible to do all of the following yourself; however, there are some things you probably should get skilled help with. Foreign Rights: This is where you license the right to translate and sell your book in a foreign market. Although you can do this on your own, it is exceedingly difficult. Without a foreign rights agent who knows that particular country there is no way of protecting your rights or guaranteeing that you will get paid. Amazon is considering offering this service to its authors at some point in the future but for now you had best seek an agent. And for those of you who can afford it, attending the Frankfurt International Book Fair in October, 2013 would be well worth your while. Literally hundreds of thousands of people from the global publishing industry attend this event and most are looking to buy (or sell) foreign rights. Global Distribution: Short of licensing the foreign rights of your book, this is something you can probably handle on your own. At most online booksellers (e.g., amazon, B&N, pubit,…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC ~ No one will care about you book as much as you do

  Did you know that Shakespeare kept complete control over his writing and never relinquished any of his rights to a printer or publisher? The same holds true for many other famous authors. Obviously this is not a new idea; it's just much easier to do today thanks to the rapidly expanding world of self-publishing. As a result, traditional publishers are scrambling to change in an attempt to swim with the tide of SP not against it. Those that don't are about to disappear forever because self-publishing is now becoming a tsunami! Evidence of this is provided by the fact that the top six publishers are now searching self-published books for their next big hit. This puts indieBRAG in a pivotal position within the emerging SP industry because through our process, the sea of self-published books is being methodically filtered and purified. Self-publishing gives you, the author the ability to keep control of your creative work product and capture more of the profits. So why then are some successful SP authors seeking deals with traditional publishers? Well for one thing, self-publishing is hard work. In addition to the first and most obvious task of actually writing a great book, there…

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Untying the Knot – Linda Gillard

Author Interview: Linda Gillard I would like to introduce Author Linda Gillard, the winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion.Read the entire interview at: Linda, please tell us about your book, Untying the Knot. If the ebook had a back cover, this is what it would say... "Everyone makes mistakes, but I sometimes think I've made more than most. Marrying Magnus was one of them. But the biggest mistake I ever made was divorcing him." A wife is meant to stand by her man. Especially an army wife. But Fay didn't. She walked away - from Magnus, her traumatised war-hero husband and from the home he was restoring: Tullibardine Tower, a ruinous 16th century tower house on a Perthshire hillside. Now their daughter Emily is marrying someone she shouldn't. And so is Magnus..." UNTYING THE KNOT was my fifth novel. I wanted to follow up the success of STAR GAZING which had been short-listed for Romantic Novel of the Year, but I didn't want to repeat myself. My aim was to write another unusual love story that would make readers laugh and cry, but I needed a new angle. I'd written about all kinds of love over the years but I hadn't…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC- Finding your Tribe!

    Decide who your audience is and go after them. Don't waste your time being too general. Knowing and targeting those who will have an interest in the type of book you write will increase the all-important word of mouth. Search the Internet for everything related to your genre – specific reading and writing groups, Internet boards and clubs. Once you have made contact, do not be afraid to talk about your book. Spend the time interacting with your fans wherever they are. People don't go on Facebook, Twitter and info boards to just read your ads; they want to get to know you. If you don't interact with them, they will quickly lose interest in you. Respond to their comments and share your thoughts and experiences that pertain to you as a writer and to your book. Make friends! You sell one book at a time and when readers interact with you they are more apt to tell a friend or share your book. These readers will become your tribe and will share in your success – let them. Reviews are a part of this process. Assuming you have done all the work and have written a good…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC

    Once again this year the SPBE was so informative and helpful to all the self-publishers who attended! I will be blogging about some of the things we learned and some of the people we met. This was our first year as exhibitors and it was well worth our time and money- we met some very important people and we were able to share our vision with so many. We met authors, publishers, editors and others who contribute to making your books a success. W also spoke with other companies in the indie book field such as audio book producers, all of which were very interested in indieBRAG. Many suggested we do joint ventures with them and we will consider this if they are helpful to our authors and readers. We spent a wonderful day with Katherine Ashe the author of the Montfort Series – one of our earliest Honorees. She did a terrific job of helping us spread the word and she gathered a great deal of information that will be helpful to us all. We really appreciate her support and her insights that will move us along in the future We also were able to spend a…

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The Acknowledgement Page May Be The Last One I Read

In the vein of the comment by Gloria H. I would like to add that there is another trap that all too many self-published authors fall into: it is the verbose, sometimes grandiose, and self-serving acknowledgement page, or even worse, pages. (I am using a male author to make my point but it applies equally to both sexes.) These invariably start off with something like, "I want to dedicate this book to my wife, Margie, who has put up with me for what seems like an eternity; my seven kids who are too numerous to name here but they know who they are; and the rest of my family, especially my aunt Rose and her Thursday night bridge group; also, my golf partner, Hole-In-One Harry, and the rest of our foursome at the club; and finally, my office wife, Darlene, who always made sure there was hot coffee waiting for me on those mind-muck mornings when I stumbled in to work after pulling an all-nighter. To all of you, I want to say thank-you for your support, your steadfast faith in me, and your encouragement..." Blah. Blah. Blah. Arguably, even worse was one indie thriller author who used the acknowledgement page to thank John Grisham and James Patterson, for the inspiration they provided that enabled him to write his book. Please! We know that you don't know these men, and you know that we know you don't know them; therefore, to credit them for inspiring you is not only the height of presumptuousness but just plain stupid. All of which says that whenever I read an acknowledgement that is greater than five or ten words, I shudder at what I will find on page one. So my advice to you who are about to self-publish a book is that unless you have written a mystery that cleverly incorporates chaos theory and you want to thank your professor at M.I.T. for his advice and guidance, just say a few words of thanks to your spouse, or your parents, and get on with your story! – Bob C. *The comments, advice and opinions expressed here are those of members of our reader group. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners, management, or employees of indieBRAG, LLC.

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Your Cover Never Gets A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

Respectfully, I have a word of cautionary advice for all you self-published authors who want to have your book read by a wide audience. It doesn't matter how good your tale is, it may not get read if you don't put the same degree of effort into designing the cover that you did into crafting the story. Bland and boring covers lacking in visual appeal, or those that give no indication of what I am about to read, turn me off before I even pick it up off the bookstore shelf, or read the description on-line. I guess I feel that if the cover isn't well-conceived perhaps the story won't be either. As a result, I may have passed up some good books that just didn't get my attention. A great example of a book with a compelling cover is one of the BRAG Medallion recipients listed on this website. It is Richard Dennings's The Last Seal. The book's cover portrays London burning, which is a central plot line and without having reading a word it captured my attention. – Gloria H. *The comments, advice and opinions expressed here are those of members of our reader group. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners, management, or employees of indieBRAG, LLC.

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I certainly appreciate the love affair with a good book

  Get with the times- I certainly appreciate the love affair with a good book - I have shelves full of them. BUT, like it or not, "the times, they are a-changin" (actually have changed). To not have your book available as an e-books is just crazy. We have reached a point where more people are buying e-books than print books and the gap will only get wider. Let's face it, fewer and fewer people are willing to spend $15- $30+ on just any book. This is not to say that you shouldn't publish a traditional book. When I love a book, I want it on my book shelves – somehow a library with only a Kindle or Nook on the shelf just doesn't do it for me! The initial cost of a n ebook reader is quickly recouped when reading books that cost $0- $10! Also, both and offer the opportunity to "sample" a book at no cost – no more being disappointed by a book that cost you in both time and money. ebooks authors, ebooks. According to AAP Publishers February 2011 Sales Report For February 2011, e-Books ranked as the #1 format among all categories of Trade publishing (Adult Hardcover, Adult Paperback, Adult Mass Market, Children's/Young Adult Hardcover, Children's/Young Adult Paperback). These statistics come from the trade publishers so we can assume that if you add self publishing to these figures they will be much higher! GJC *The comments, advice and opinions expressed here are those of members of our reader group. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners, management, or employees of indieBRAG, LLC.

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Interrupting a Great Story

When I think about why I love to read, I think about getting so lost in the story that I can't hear the teakettle whistling or even feel the need to reach for a cookie. Perhaps the story has the kind of dialogue that lets me see the characters in full animation sparking words and phrases back and forth like a tennis match. Sometimes the author is such a wordsmith that the village comes to life with stores, sidewalks, children, and a mountain behind and I just know that I've been there. If the writer is exquisite, the words flow like poetry, oozing out like oil paints to wrap my soul in time and place. When the story captures me, it flows and I am carried away to other places, other times, and it is brilliant. I don't like to have a great story interrupted, especially by the author themselves. Unfortunately, the best writers can be ruined by bad formatting or poor editing. Recently I read an e-book that was written by a true wordsmith, a writer that pushed the story along with the best dialogue and turned a phrase with pure poetry, a story-tellers dream. The grammar was perfect, but the dialogue was set up with odd punctuation marks that forced me to remember when a character was talking and who it was. The other problem was the writer's love affair with historic authenticity, to the point that there were footnotes at the bottom of each page. If I had been reading a paper book, I could have stayed with the flow of the story, but the e-book formatted on my Kindle in such a way that the footnotes usually ended up in the middle of the page and often in the middle of a sentence, so my eyes would have to jump over the footnote to continue with the thought. Good story floats imagination and poor grammar or distracting format can build a dam in the middle of the strongest river. - Bethany

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Proper use of the Adjective

The reason why I became a book reviewer was not only because my love for reading but because of my concerns for this age of immediate publication and the quality of the books that are being written and published. I fear that this will lower the reading standards of our future generations. I feel as a reader and a parent that we must filter out these poorly written books and find the gems! They're out there but we must stumble over many to find them. One of the concerns I have is I'm seeing more and more stories that contain adjectives in front of almost every single noun. I find that it hurts the integrity of the story and distracts the reader. If the adjective helps the quality of the word, then fine. In my opinion a strong writer knows when to use the "perfect" adjective. Another issue I have with adjectives is the use of what I call, "cliche" adjectives. I find them useless and again it lowers the quality of the noun and story. I hope that writers take what I say with a grain of salt, really consider my input as a reader and put it to good use. Steph Stephanie Moore Hopkins Author of Layered Pages Co-Founder of Ladies & Literature Book Reviewer for Historical Novel Society (on-line) Interviewer Business email address

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