A Success Story!

A Self-Published Sleeper: Author of 'The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep' Speaks The originally self-published Swedish children’s book The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep may seem to be an overnight sensation, but its success, claims author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, is actually the result of a slow build over roughly five years. According to Ehrlin, the sudden spike in international sales for the book—which Random House Children's Books bought for seven figures in August and released on Friday—is thanks to a perfect storm: word-of mouth praise driven by e-book giveaways, coupled with Amazon U.K. providing entrée to consumer media once the self-published book had taken off. During a phone interview with PW from the New York City office of his new publisher, Ehrlin, 37, who received a B.A. in psychology from Jonkoping University in Sweden, has no formal training in pedagogy or any direct experience working with children. But he has worked with adults, as a communications expert and management coach, and said the idea for writing Rabbit about five years ago and self-publishing it in 2011 in Sweden was driven by his experience working with this group. Rabbit marks Ehrlin's third foray into publishing. In 2006 he self-published…

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Big Changes Coming!

It has been over three years since indieBRAG, LLC launched its quality standards certification service for self-published books, a first for the industry. Since then, we have received an average of 100 book nominations a month and awarded over 500 B.R.A.G Medallions. We are proud of our library of high-quality indie books and we are grateful to the over 200 readers who have played a vital role in accomplishing this important and necessary task. As those of you on our global reader team know, we offer general guidelines to help in the evaluation of each book; however, the final determination to award a B.R.A.G. Medallion is whether or not a reader would recommend the book to their best friend. Until now, we have not provided feedback to authors beyond a final “Yes” or “No” decision. This is due to the limitations of our current book submission and review process. However, that is about to change! In response to many requests from authors and readers alike, we are significantly upgrading our operating system. While we are not yet ready to share the details, once the new system is implemented authors will be provided with constructive feedback in addition to the final…

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Book Giveaways – Do They Make Any Sense? By Florence Osmund

You want me to do what? Offer my book for free? Just give it away? I would never do that. I put too much work into writing it and spent a small fortune on editing, cover design, and formatting. And what would people think—that I put such little value on my book that I’m willing to give it away? Nope. Not me. That was some of my earlier thinking. I’ve since changed my attitude. Let me explain how giving away books makes good business sense. KDP Select My experience with book giveaways is with Amazon’s KDP Select program for Kindle e-books. When you enroll your book in KDP Select, you have access to certain promotional tools including free book promotions where you are allowed to price your book for "free" for up to five days during each 90-day enrollment period. The book then also qualifies for Kindle Unlimited (an e-book subscription service) and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. The main caveat is that as long as your e-book is enrolled in the program, it is exclusive to the Kindle Store—you agree not to sell it from any other venue. I personally don’t have a problem with that, but some people…

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Attention Mainstream & Indie Authors

Some Lessons to Learn About Self-Publishing There is no question that the poor quality of the vast majority of self-published books has tainted the well and made all self-published books the target of criticism. We all wish that weren’t the case; however, the good news is that many in mainstream publishing have begun to notice that there are a small but growing number of self-published books that deserve attention. They are in every way as good as traditionally published books and many are better. Evidence of this was provided in the awards ceremony at the recent 2015 Historical Novel Society Conference, where three awards were presented: I think this proves two things: First, the best of indie books are competitive to mainstream published books. And second, indieBRAG is finding and supporting great self-published books. In conclusion, it is YOUR job as a self-published author to do the work to make your book the best that it can be. If you do, it is OUR job to do everything we can to shine a light on you and your book.  

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Reviewing Historical Fiction – what every Indie Writer Should Know

Helen Hollick - author, editor of Historical Novel indie books and author of 3 B.R.A.G.Medallion Honorees- shares her wisdom with us! It is all very well writing an historical novel – doing all that research, checking and re-checking to ensure no factual errors or anachronistic bloopers creep in, (like the narrative in a Medieval novel proudly announcing; “she froze, like a rabbit caught in the headlights,”) but what happens after you have finished the editing, sorted the formatting and finally got your book into print? You want it to sell, of course. The best way to do this is by word of mouth. Create a buzz, get people talking about your novel. Easier said than done though! A good way to get started is obtaining an Indie B.R.A.G medallion and gaining some genuine honest, reliable, reviews. Which is where I come in. I am an author – traditionally published with my Historical Fiction in the US, but my nautical fantasy adventure series, the Sea Witch Voyages are Indie Published (and all have B.R.A.G. medallions). But for this article, my other role is the primary one: I am also the Historical Novel Society’s Managing Editor for Indie Reviews. We welcome indie…

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Mystical Mystery Bundle

Three BRAG Medallion Honorees have created a Mystical Mystery Bundle April 21 – 26, 2015   The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions – access to secrets she could regret uncovering. Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again. The Mae Martin Series No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all. The First Lie – Virginia King Selkie Moon Mystery Series, Book One Selkie Moon is a woman on the run. In a mad dash for freedom she's escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii. But her refuge begins to unravel and she's running from something else entirely. A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her. Not that she's psychic, no way. But…

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A Word of Thanks to indieBRAG readers

We are all authors of our own life's story, dutifully crafting each chapter, sometimes in harmony with a disciplined plot line, but more often than not simply reacting to the accidents of fate that appear without warning at the end of one chapter or the beginning of the next. And although few but our family and friends will share in the unfolding tale as we live each sentence and paragraph that does not diminish the importance of having been here; of living and loving, of laughing and crying, and yes, eventually, dying. Millions of us get up each day to write the next chapter in the book of our lives without fanfare or promise, but there are some, perhaps braver than the rest, perhaps more egotistical, or more likely simply afraid of being forgotten, who are not content to let the mark of their having passed this way to be etched solely in the minds and memories of those who loved them. Instead they seek to leave a more permanent imprint, however tiny and insignificant it may be, upon the collective narrative of mankind. Most don't write the story of their own lives, because these would be dry or tortured…

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The indieBRAG Survey Results

  Author Survey - Part One Each year we submit a survey to our Readers and Authors to find out what they like and don't like about books, about what works for authors and how they might spend their time and money more wisely. Robert has prepared the following for you which will appear in 4 blogs and posted on Fridays. As many of you are aware, last October we conducted the indieBRAG Second Annual Survey among our Readers and Authors of a B.R.A.G Medallion book. As promised, I would now like to share with you the key findings from those two surveys, and compare the results versus the 2013 Survey where relevant. I will present the key findings from both surveys in two parts beginning today with the Author Survey: Part One. Overview Participation in the survey by authors of Medallion books dropped this year to roughly 20% of our total number of authors, which compares to 33% last year. While we were disappointed by this lower participation rate, the sample was still large enough to provide some useful, albeit directional, findings. Self- Versus Traditional Publishing • As was the case last year, approximately 80% of survey respondents have…

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