B.R.A.G.Medallion

What is a Virtual Book Blog Tour?

  It is a wonderful way to meet an author and find out about his or her book from the comfort of your home without having to go to a book signing! It is also a way that an author can reach a much larger audience without traveling across the country with a pile of books in tow. In the case of indieBRAG's first Blog Tour, Paula Lofting, author of Sons of the Wolf, will spend 10 days visiting with a great group of bloggers. They will interview her and review her book, which is one of our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. In some cases, they will offer giveaways as well. If you have already read Sons of the Wolf, you will enjoy getting to know Paula. If you haven't yet read it, I am sure you will want to after hearing more about it on its blog stops. Sons of the Wolf is the featured book on the homepage You will be able to follow the tour daily from the B.R.A.G. Blog Tour Page.  Have fun and be sure to let us know what you think-

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Liars, Leeches, and Other Losers

 To all you eager, new―and as yet unknown―authors who have finally finished your manuscript, welcome to the world of publishing, where dreams come true, and fame and fortune are only a book tour away. Or perhaps not! Let me see…how do I break this to you gently? Not one single literary agent will have anything to do with you. At most, your query letter will trigger a form rejection response as cold and pitiless as an IRS audit notice. And you can forget about sending your manuscript to any of the Big Six publishing houses. To them, you are lower than rust on the third rail in the subway, and equally untouchable. However, I doubt that these brutal facts will deter you from pursuing your dream, nor should they. So as you embark on this journey, let me just share with you a few words of caution about the liars, leeches and losers who populate the world of publishing. Let’s start with the first group of liars―your friends and family―albeit well-meaning ones. In your heart, you know that you have not written the next great American novel but you still think your book is pretty good. Damn good in fact!…

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Promote your latest book with a book trailer

   Words of Wisdom from Chris Robley at BookBaby- People love short videos. They're easier to watch and easier to share, and that makes them easy to talk about. One of the most fun, creative, and effective ways you can promote your new book on blogs and social media is by shooting (and then sharing) a book trailer– a video advertisement for your book similar to a film or TV trailer.Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're developing your book trailer ideas. 1. It's gotta be good!There are a lot of crappy book trailers out there. And to the big, bad, scary world of publishers, editors, critics, and agents, a crappy book trailer looks worse than NO book trailer at all. So if you're going to do it, it's worth doing right. The better your video, the more likely fans will share it, bloggers will post it, and critics will take notice.That being said, quality and budget are not always directly proportional. It's quite possible to shoot a great trailer yourself with consumer-grade gear and a little old fashioned elbow grease. Likewise, you can hire the world's most talented production team with all the fancy new…

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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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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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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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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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Happy 1st Anniversary indieBRAG!

  It is hard to believe that we launched indieBRAG and the B.R.A.G.Medallion one year ago! We will continue to shine a light on worthy books and tell the reading world that if they want a good book worth their time and money, to pick one with the B.R.A.G.Medallion. Our reading team now numbers 100 and live in 10 countries. We would not have been able to honor the books we have without all their dedication and support. They have considered nearly 1000 books and chosen 100 to carry our medallion. What a great job! Thank you all for joining our team. It is our great pleasure to be working with such a talented and hard working group – both authors and readers. I personally can say that I consider them my friends. All of us on the indieBRAG Team will continue to bring attention to our honored books and we have some new plans for the coming year which we hope will bring even more attention to these gems in the avalanche of self-published books. We all look forward to a successful and exciting 2013- Geri and the entire indieBRAG Team

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