award winning book

“Branding” with best selling author Steena Holmes

  Steen Holmes is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has sold over 2 million copies of her books. She is a sought after speaker on the subject of indie publishing and branding.  We are very pleased to have Steena Holmes, B.R.A.G .Medallion Honoree author of Finding Emma, join us here to share her thoughts and expertise. First of all, let me congratulate you, Steena, on all your success--selling books is not easy! For all self-published authors out there, I am taking a big step beyond giving advice on writing.  By the time a book gets to us at indieBRAG, learning how to write and asking advice about publishing a book is in the past.  We assume that when an author submits their book to us they are confident it is well written, edited, formatted and has an appealing cover.  If not, it probably will not make it to our library. So Steena, let’s talk about what you are an expert on--marketing and selling books. How important is finding your audience and how do you do that? For me, knowing my audience, finding those readers – that’s more important than anything else after the book. If…

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indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest Prizes!

                             The Grand Prize will include the following items, with an approximate retail value of over $1000.                           Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes.   Cover will be featured on the indieBRAG Homepage      Cover will be featured on the indieBRAG Facebook Page Cover will be featured on indieBRAG Twitter          Audio Book Radio One Hour interview, book excerpt reading       WordsAPlenty  - Editing of new book or re-editing (Value over $400)  Beta Reading (Value $75)    Silverwood Books Publishing  -  Publishing Package including the following:  12.5% discount on the Silver Service Package (Value $300) 12.5% discount Publishing Service Only Package - for authors with their own ISBN and that prefer to manage their own distribution and sales (Value $240)   Providence Book Promotions  -   1 free book blast (Value $125) on either: Partners in Crime Tours (for mystery & suspense genres) or Providence Book Promotions (for all genres)   Chill With A Book  -     Free Submission for one book (Value $20)     Layered Pages  -  Interview, review with…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud with Peter

Our readers are the foundation of what makes indieBRAG unique.  They not only select the books to become the next B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree but give feedback to our authors. This feedback is important not only to the authors but to the reader as well. Readers carry a lot of weight in what we regard as quality in self-publishing. Not only that but how readers see author’s platforms and performance on social media. Today Peter shares with us a little about his reading habits, reviewing books, how he finds books, book covers, and much more. Thank you, Peter for sharing with us today. First please tell us about your reading interest.  indieBRAG:    Thank you for joining us for this reader's event. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your survey. indieBRAG: How do you choose a book to read? On looking through the list of BRAG Medallion applications, I try to identify something that I hope will be interesting and well-written. I then check it out on Amazon, and if it still looks interesting I request it. If it doesn’t look interesting, I repeat the process until something better appears. I have sometimes been right through the list this…

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Writing Crime and Mystery Novels!

The indieBRAG Crime and Mystery Series   I am pleased to introduce RAR Clouston author of The Covenant Within Bob, welcome and thank you for sharing with us- Stephanie:   When writing crime fiction, there are usually several characters involved. What is your advice in presenting each character so they stand out? Bob: At the risk of sounding like my social psych professor in what seems like an eternity ago during my undergraduate days as a psychology major, we are all the product of both nature and nurture. And this is never truer than with the villains who populate thrillers and mystery stories.  We are shaped by the multitude of forces, both genetic and social, that make us who we are. What drives someone to a life of crime, or even worse, to become a heartless killer? An obvious answer is that they were the offspring of truly evil parents who gave them tainted genes, or raised them in a cruel and heartless home, or both. But there are also exceptions to this as evidenced by the cases of cold blooded killers who came from a “normal’ home. My point is this: we are all different and as such a writer…

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History In The Making With Gloria Zachgo

We would like to welcome Award winning Author Gloria Zachgo today to talk with us about some of the history in her story. Never Waste Tears takes you on a journey with Rebecca, Nathan, Hannah, Carl, and Sarah to homestead on the lonely Kansas prairie, where they pave the way for generations to come. They individually share their dreams, challenges, heartaches, and guilt. Each had their own reason to leave everything they knew. The land was free—the true price—often high, where opportunities and tragedies were in equal abundance. Those who were strong, didn’t waste their tears, but used them wisely to help wash away their grief. Gloria, why is Historical Fiction important to you?  Near the farm where I grew up, my sister and I found the scarce remains of a fire pit in a neighbor’s pasture. I was told it had been part of a dugout that our ancestors had lived in when they first settled in the area. Why would they have tried to farmstead on a rocky hill? Did their wagon break down and the woman said she’d go no farther? Was it the last of the free land that the government gave away? Or did a member…

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A Victorian San Francisco Christmas

By M. Louisa Locke-Award Winning Author   Because the most recent book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, Pilfered Promises, is set during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1880, I spent a good deal of time researching how residents of that city were celebrating the holidays that year, including looking for articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. What I found was that many of the traditions that we are familiar with today started in the Nineteenth century…including the importance of advertising special holiday sales! “The Arcade: We are offering this week SPECIAL and EXTRAORDINARY INDUCEMENTS to buyers of HOLIDAY PRESENTS, especially in our SILK DEPARTMENT” ––San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 1880 However, these traditions were actually relatively new. Before the mid-1880s, most native-born Americans, particularly Protestants from the Northeast, saw Thanksgiving and not Christmas as the key national holiday. In fact, throughout the 1800s, a number of Protestant denominations were very resistant to the celebration of the birth of Christ in any fashion beyond religious observances. Not surprisingly, it was the Southern state of Louisiana, where there was a significant Catholic population, that first declared December 25th a holiday (in 1837), and Christmas wasn’t declared a national legal…

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IndieBRAG Cover Crush: Betrayal by Michele Kallio

Cover Crush by Colleen Turner   Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary Synopsis Betrayal tells the story of two women, modern day Lydia Hamilton and Elisabeth Beeton, a lady’s maid to Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry the Eighth. Lydia is happily in love with her physician boyfriend, Dan Taylor, until she begins to have nightmares that seem all too realistic.  She dreams of a girl, a prison cell and a beheading.  In her dreams Lydia finds herself in the Elisabeth’s body experiencing Elisabeth’s 16th century life.  Lydia tries to ignore these vivid dreams as long as she can, that is, until Elisabeth’s diary arrives in the mail.  Suddenly, Lydia is caught up in a quest to uncover the truth behind Elisabeth’s betrayal. Thoughts on the cover If you know me you know I love historical fiction, especially the kind that incorporates a little mystery into the mix. My first thoughts when seeing this cover were, “what sorts of secrets are within those letters? And what do those letters have to do with the stately home behind it?” That pull of mystery makes this cover very intriguing for me and makes it hard to…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Gloria Zachgo

Today, award winning author Gloria Zachgo is here with us to talk about her writing!  It’s a natural for Gloria to write stories with Kansas settings. She grew up on a farm in Lincoln County, Kansas, where she attended one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the country. After graduating from Brown Mackie Business School she married her high school sweetheart. Living out of state for several years, Gloria and her husband moved back to their Kansas roots.  While their children were young, she ran a small business out of their home.  When her children left the nest, she pursued a lifelong dream and took various art lessons. Always wanting to learn new things she joined a creative writing group in 2006. She soon found she had a passion for writing fictional short stories.  One particular short story was written from the prompts of a gingerbread man and a small toy horse. It led to her first novel, The Rocking Horse.   “I knew there was more to the story. I kept seeing the image of a young woman, all alone, with a quirky little toy trying to give her a message.” After her debut novel won honorable mention in the 20th Annual…

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A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

When we think of Thanksgiving we can smell the aroma of a turkey baking and pumpkin pie cooling, whipped cream and whipped potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy. It’s a tradition so ingrained in memory our thoughts automatically rush to full bellies and football, family and friends. Not so long ago, during the Great Depression, most of the country could only dream of a table laden with a fat turkey and all the fixings. And if you lived in the dust bowl in the 1930’s you forgot how to dream of a table filled with food or even a table with any food. But the American people are strong, resilient, and hopeful.   Envision living at the worst of times in a part of the country where daily survival meant fighting the wind storms and praying the small garden you planted would yield a potato or two and the chickens would survive for a few more weeks. Thanksgiving still meant a holiday and sharing. It provided a reason to get together and be thankful. I imagine during those times what a Thanksgiving would be like for those in small towns made up of farmers and ranchers, where neighbors knew each other…

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The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving Story

Every schoolchild knows the bare bones of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving story. Inexperienced settlers who came to the New World for religious freedom would have starved during their first year in Plymouth, if not succored by Indians who taught them how to raise corn adapted to New England’s climate. The Pilgrims feasted to celebrate their successful harvest, and invited their Indian saviors. That, in a very small nutshell, is what happened. Here’s the rest of the story:   The 1620 settlers were a mixed bag. Many were Calvinist Separatists who took refuge in Holland in 1608 to escape persecution by the Catholic-leaning King James. A decade later, the Dutch were growing weary of cultural differences with the Saints, as the English Separatists called themselves. The feeling was mutual. The Dutch loved celebrating the Sabbath with a pot of beer, the Saints’ children were speaking Dutch, and falling into ‘extravagante & dangerous courses, getting ye raines of[f] their neks, & departing from their parents.’ In 1617 the Saints decided that if they were to remain pure, they had to leave Holland. They sent agents to London to search out a place to settle in the New World. The original choice was…

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