Books

Did you know that many of our indieBRAG readers are authors? Why should that matter?

  I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of authors reading books – even if they don’t like to read.  Does that strike anyone else as very strange-- Not the importance of reading, but an author not liking to read?  How can an author write a compelling story and expect readers to enjoy their work if they don’t enjoy reading?  Mind boggling. Reading for indieBRAG gives a reader an opportunity to analyze both the good and not so good attempts at writing a worthy book.  I have often been told by authors that after reading a book for indieBRAG they have gone back to change things in their current works.  It is not uncommon to find things they don’t particularly like only to realize they have committed the same error in their writing.  So, you see, it isn’t important to only read the great classics, but to also learn from those who are trying to appeal to your audience as an author. Stephen King has also said in his book on writing: “The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing… Constant reading will pull you into…

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The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Colleen Turner

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. This week we have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Colleen Turner talks with us about this. Colleen, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? I would say a 4...I love a great cover! Why are they important to you? The first thing that will draw my attention to a book is the cover. If it can catch my eye with his pop of color, detailing, etc. then I'm always going to pick it up and at least read the back of the book to see if it sounds like something I would enjoy. What do you not like in book covers? I don't like too bland a cover...I need…

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Traditionally published authors are not your enemy!

Self- Publishing vs. Traditionally Published - let the war begin! Self-published authors are not competing with other self-published authors but ALL authors. Once a book is available for sale, it must be up to the standard that readers expect from all good books. You rarely get a second chance for a good first impression!  Once you put out a book that lacks professionalism, readers will be less likely to try your next book.  This can be a very difficult hurdle to get over. Traditionally published authors are not your enemy.  Most traditionally published authors don’t have any advantages that you can’t achieve. Traditionally Published books are: Edited by the publisher Cover art is done by the publisher Some help with promotion is provided- most is expected from the author unless they have high sales. Lower royalty payments Self- Published books are: Editing is provided by the author Cover provided by the author Promotion done by the author Higher royalty payments. If a SP author pays for professional help, they will probably come out about equal in money made. Doing the work requires time and money but the author maintains complete control- something that is often very important. The self-publishing community…

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One Reader’s Voice Out Loud With Stuart

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 Stuart shares with us a little about his reading habits, reviewing books, how he finds books, and much more. Thank you, Stuart for sharing with us today. indieBRAG: How do you find books and what do you think of social media and books? Via a variety of routes. As a bibliophile, I have a tendency to buy more books than I have time to read, so my shelves currently hold around 120 volumes I have yet to read. Also, I review on my website, so I’m often approached by authors, their agents, or their publishers, to read/review books. I’m as selective with these as with any other: sometimes books offered leave a lot to be desired!  I use Goodreads, and recommendations come via that site. Sometimes another…

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A Writer’s Life With Award Winning Author Noel Coughlan

We would like to welcome Award Winning Author Noel Coughlan to indieBRAG today. He is here to talk with us about his writing. Noel lives in western Ireland with his wife and daughter. From a young age, he was always writing a book. Generally, the first page over and over. Sometimes, he even reached the second page before he had shredded the entire copy book.  In his teenage years, He wrote some poetry, some of which would make a Vogon blush.  When he was fourteen, he had a dream. It was of a world where the inhabitants believed that each hue of light was a separate god, and that matter was simply another form of light. He writes stories in this so-called Photocosm and also other fantasy and science fiction. When writing, what makes you feel happiest? The thing I most enjoy is when the characters write their own story. Aside from saving me a load of work, I get to sit back and savour what’s happening like a reader. There’s been a couple of times in my books when I had two possible outcomes for particular scenes and I didn’t know which one to take until the words appeared…

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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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My Bookish Life by indieBRAG Reader Tracy

I’m a bookaholic.  I love to read books, shop for books and collect books. I love the feel of a book, the smell of a book, and the weight of a book. I’m a full-fledged addict and I’m not seeking a cure…ever! Luckily I grew up in a household where books littered the floors, bedside tables and crammed homemade bookshelves crafted by my dad. My mom loved mysteries, my dad books on the civil war. We were library regulars, and my mom subscribed to the Book of the Month Club, and Readers Digest Condensed Books.  Gifts of books were a regular part of my childhood. I loved Golden Books, fairy tales, Dr. Seuss and Dare Wright’s Lonely Doll series.  When I started reading instead of just being read to, I loved Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins. In high school my pleasure reading turned to non-fiction and biography. My taste ran the gamut from English and U.S. History to movie star tell-alls and Presidential bios. I loved it all! During my teens I started a collection of “smelly” books. My collection isn’t really smelly, okay maybe a bit aromatic, but it is filled with old and captivating books that have…

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Interview with Catherine Lorraine

We'd like to welcome, indieBRAG Reader Catherine Lorraine to talk with us today about her reading!  Catherine, what is important about reading for you? Reading is a very important part of my life…I read to relax and to get away from everyday stress.   I read to learn and escape to exotic places. Even though I read many books in a year…..I usually only read before going to bed, sometimes on week-ends and when I am going to appointments where I have to wait. Do you enjoy reading for BRAG and what positive experiences have had?  I like to read for BRAG as this gives me a chance to read books I might never have found on my own. I have found a few new favourites and have become a fan always waiting for that next book.  BRAG also challenges me to read books I might have never picked up to read and I have been excited by a few books that I have read.  I also am a fan of Indie Authors….I am so glad that they have found a way to publish their books without the help of big publishers.  I must admit that a few years ago I…

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A Message From Award Winning Author Vicki Pardoe

When I was six years old, my family moved to a house that was very close to a public library.  I couldn’t wait to get over to the large, gothic looking building to apply for my new library card.  Every time I went to the library, I would check out five books, which was my limit.  I was always so excited that I would run home and take the books to my bedroom.  Not knowing which book to start reading, I would pick up each book and read the first chapter of the book.  Sometimes I would continue taking turns with the books, but other times one book would become so interesting to me that I would have to stick with that one until I was totally finished reading it and then go back to the others. This book ritual continued on during my entire childhood.  It didn’t matter what in the world was going on outside my bedroom door, because in my room I was flying high on broomsticks with witches, standing next to Martians exploring Earth, or helping Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys solve mysteries.  As an adult, I found that I didn’t want to just read…

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When Do We Become “They”? by Plum McCauley

      We’ve all seen the articles recounting examples of the staggering ignorance of our student population—college students who aren’t sure who won the Civil War, what the Holocaust was, or even when World War Two took place. I remember years ago reading about a teacher who bemoaned the fact that his students didn’t know which came first, the Renaissance or the Reformation. I wasn’t sympathetic. My only reaction was to think that if any of my college freshman composition students even knew what those historical events were I’d fall into a dead faint... There’s probably not one of us in education who doesn’t wail like a Greek Chorus over The Current State of Education in America.  We wring our hands, frustrated by our seeming inability to DO anything.  This issue reared its head again for me recently when I was looking over the new IndieBRAG website.  I had excitedly awaited the changes in genre divisions, hoping that we’d at last have a proper middle grade section into which I could insert my own mystery/adventure novel for the 9-12 year-old set.  As any of you know who have a BRAG medallion for a children’s book, the wide range of…

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