Supporting Each Other!

These are great ideas to consider- 1. Buy a self-published book 2. Leave an honest review. (In fact, leave a review on more than one site!) 3. Thank the author publicly on social media. 4. Recommend the book to someone else. 5. Follow them on social media. 6. Engage with them on social media. 7. Ignore critics of the self-publishing industry. 8. Write your own good book. 9. Serve as a beta reader or reviewer for a book. 10. Write a blog post about the book. 11. Enter an author's contest or giveaway. 12. Become a book blogger or reviewer. 13. Interview an author. 14. Refer any potentially good reviewers to an author. 15. Don't obtain an illegal copy of the book. 16. Mention a book in a group or forum. 17. Buy a second copy of the print version for a friend or for your local library. 18. Download a copy from Amazon's Lending Library. 19. Invite an author to speak at a local event. 20. Purchase a copy of the book for a school or organization. 21. Nominate a book for a contest. 22. Suggest a book to an editor of a magazine or newspaper. 23. Offer your…

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Searching for the Golden Hinde by David Wesley Hill

                                                                  "The Golden Hinde off New Albion"by Simon Kozhin, oil on canvas, 2007. Little is known about the Golden Hinde even though she is one of the most famous sailing vessels in maritime history. No one can say for sure if she was built in England or if she was a prize of war. Originally christened the Pelican, she was the flagship of the small fleet in which Francis Drake and 164 men, gentlemen, and sailors embarked from Plymouth, England in 1577 on the three-year adventure that would become the second successful circumnavigation of the world—and one of the most profitable pirate voyages of all time. Drake changed the name of the Pelican to the Golden Hinde just before the fleet entered the Straits of Magellan in late August, 1578. He did so "in remembrance of his honorable friend and favourer," Sir Christopher Hatton, a major backer of the expedition and an intimate of the queen, since Hatton's family crest was a "hind trippant or." Drake felt the need to flatter Hatton because he feared the lord—one of his employers—would be displeased with him upon learning that Drake had executed Thomas Doughty in July for reasons that are…

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Editing by Ellie

How to Be a Better Writer #1: Don't Count on Spell-Check Greetings, authors! I'm Ellie, an editor by day and a voracious reader by night, and I'm thrilled to be a new member of the indieBRAG blog team. Each month, I'll be sharing tricks and tweaks you can use to shine up your writing. I've been reading books for indieBRAG for quite awhile and have discovered so many talented authors this way. But sometimes it's hard to ignore my inner writer-editor so I can relax, have fun and just read (I'm sure you can agree!). Sure, it's annoying, but that little voice has led me to some helpful insights into how we can all improve already good writing. One biggie has to do with spelling. Not the basics; more like spelling 2.0. Poll your Facebook buddies about their biggest writing pet peeves, and you'll see a lot of gripes about there/there/they're or to/too/two. Makes perfect sense. Homonyms -- sound-alike words that mean different things -- are tricky stuff. Even so, readers tend to notice when they're misused. Your book could have a fantastic storyline that uses an impressively diverse vocabulary, but if you flub on words like the ones above,…

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Martin Crosbie’s views on Interviews!

  "What's your favorite color?""Do you have a pet that inspired you to write your book?""Is there a food that you need to eat in order to create?"These are all actual, real questions that interviewers have asked me. I have a real concern that the interviews posted on sites and social networks are in danger of becoming so mundane and ordinary that the only people reading them will be immediate friends and family of the author. Try reading some interviews and decide for yourself. Compare the answers and you'll see similarities. Think about sporting events for a moment. You know the interview that the player gives after the game and talks about everyone giving one hundred and ten percent, or, when she or he mentions that although she or he scored the winning goal it was all about the team winning. Those are noble thoughts but they're sterile. I'm bored of them. I want to know what the player, or author is really thinking. Unfortunately, that has become quite difficult.There are no shortages of places where authors can procure interviews and promote their work. We're very fortunate. From this very site - B.R.A.G. to fine sites like Indies Unlimited and…

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Gratitude- A Simple idea we all know about

grat•i•tude Noun the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff. Synonymsthanks, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness. A simple idea we all know about I was contacted by a reviewer recently who mentioned how seldom he gets any gratitude for the time he takes reviewing a book or interviewing an author. Quite honestly, I was taken aback with this lack of simple politeness. I believe that whether a review is good or not, you as an author should thank the reader for taking the time and, in some cases, spending the money to consider your book. Although this will not necessarily change their minds about your writing, it might make them consider giving you another chance with your next book! When dealing with the "uglies" out there, one response is all you need to make. No need to get into a discussion with someone who does not like your work. Remember, they are entitled to their opinion even if it does not please you. Thanking a reviewer who gave your book a positive review will most likely encourage them to mention you more often, and word of mouth is what makes a book…

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Oh My, Too Many Books!

  I just spent the day cleaning out my bookshelves- too many books for too little space. It seems I've kept every book I ever enjoyed – not sure why. I probably should have been giving them to my local library, or selling them in a garage sale, but I didn't. In my defense, I kept them all because I thought I might want to read them again one day. But since I kept buying more books that I couldn't wait to read, this didn't ever, or rarely ever, happened. So my shelves are overflowing with my treasures –beautifully bound classics, historical fiction (lots of these), fun reads, tear jerkers, bodice rippers (I admit it), even a few non-fiction books (memoirs, biographies and travelogues, oh my)...all books that I just could not give up. However, life moves on and things change; now I only buy and read books on my Kindle. They are much less expensive and I can take as many books as I like with me everywhere. I don't have to get sore arms holding a heavy book up in front of me in those dreadful airplane seats (never on take-off or landing, of course, except when the…

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Can An Author Have It Both Ways?

Along with the ease of self-publishing came the ability to publish cheaply, and this may be one of the biggest problems with self-publishing today. Some of the disadvantages of getting a traditional publishing house contract are a loss of control and much lower royalties. The publisher chooses a cover they think will sell and they edit a book, including copy, line, and development editing. Even so, I have to say that not all traditionally published books are edited to perfection, or to the author's satisfaction, despite the fact that the publisher uses professional editors. Most self-published authors love the higher royalty percentage but often don't want, or can't afford, to hire the appropriate professional talent to make their book a quality product. I think it is accepted that in most cases an indie author simply can not properly edit their own work. Being so close to it, an author often sees what they think is there and not what is actually written on the page. Catching spelling mistakes is hard work (let's hope I didn't miss any in this blog), and in many cases, they fall in love with their own words. This makes it very hard to remove words,…

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Reading Around the World- Where Does Your Country Rate?

  1,600 people in 30 countries were surveyed by the NOP World Culture Score Index to find out how many hours are spent reading. The results are both interesting and significant. It appears that trends bunch in geographic clusters- Asian countries read the most, while Southern Hemisphere countries including South Africa, Australia, and Argentina show similar results. Strangely, industrialized first world countries are at the bottom of the rankings. Better minds than mine will have to interpret these findings as interesting as they are. This same study asked which genres were favored. The most popular genre was fantasy! 32% of the people surveyed said this was the genre they favored, especially among men, followed by the Russian classics, and historical fiction. Not surprisingly, romance was favored by females around the world. Modern prose came in as the least favored. Although India has the highest number of hours read per week, 25% of the country is illiterate. I think we can deduce from this that those who can read, read a lot. In contrast, only about one half of the adults in the USA read books and only about one fifth are regular book buyers.Why does this matter? Here are a couple…

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The New International Author Fair

  The Business Of Books The first of the International Author Fair series organized by Authoright kicked off in London Friday February 28th. Its mission: to equip authors with the commercial, technical and political knowledge of where things are in the business of books and where they are going. The event is a sure sign that the industry is coming to terms with change and realizes it needs to create some kind of structure amid the new trends led by Amazon and indie publishing. Indeed, according to the panel chaired by the genial Porter Anderson around 75% of books could well be self-published by the year 2020. But this is not 2020 and the real challenge in today's changing world for both for writers and readers, is recognizing and sorting out the junk from the good stuff. There is apparently an awful lot of self-published books that really are not up to standard, consequently much of the discussion was about means of professionalizing indie publishing. I was surprised, though, that nothing was said about book approval platforms such as indieBRAG, which constitute a filter for the reader and a pedestal for the writer who is serious about their work. Workshops,…

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