self-publish

First Impressions… By Helen Hollick

Covers. It never ceases to amaze me how bad some indie-published covers can be. As Managing Editor of the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews I see a lot of indie historical fiction – all UK published books initially come through my postbox (and some US ones as well) before being sent out to my UK review team. That first look at a book as it comes out of its packaging can have such an enormous influence on that vitally important first impression – and can even influence the difference between accepting a novel for review or rejecting it. A good cover – usually professionally designed and produced, can create immediate interest; “Oh, this looks good!”  Alternatively, some are ­– I hate to say this, because most authors put a lot of time, trouble and effort into self-publishing their books, but it has to be said – some covers are absolutely awful. Yes, your family member may be good at art, but this person is not a graphics designer. The result will look amateurish, and if the cover gives the impression of not being top-quality professional, then it will be assumed that the text inside is not up to par either.…

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My Classy Women by J.F. Ridgley

I never thought about my first published book like this, but in a way, it is my own vow of revenge… against all the rejections I got over the years. Yes. I can honestly tell you, these little letters/emails from editors and agents are like the water-drip torture. It tears at your soul. Now not all rejections were harsh or rude. Many were very pleasant as tofu is mild. But some were just plain impolite. They ask for a submission but explain that if you don’t hear from us, consider it rejected. You don’t know if they even got your query.  Now, I don’t know if editors or agents still do this still. But I feel this should be outlawed. So I came to a breaking point and considered quitting writing. Just give up this brain fart. Who was I to think I could write anyway? Weeding gardens is easier. Cleaning bathroom etc. Well I didn’t want to.   To thwart that, I attended an RWA conference with full intentions getting recharged, finding out what I was doing wrong, and figuring out now NOT TO QUIT. As RWA conferences are, they had lots for me. Lots, And other writers who…

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Cover Crush: Of Sea and Seed by Annie Daylon

I have said this before and I will say again. I am not a cover designer but I do have an artist’s eye and can agree that cover design plays an important role in the overall presentation of the book and gladly admit I judge a book by its cover. Overall presentation is important to pull a reader in. When I read a story I want to be completely immersed. A grand cover helps that along. Imagery and all-if you will. Today’s cover crush is a story that recently was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. What an evocative cover! Not only that, the title alone can draw a reader in to find out more of the story.  Let’s take a look at the book description:  OF SEA AND SEED launches The Kerrigan Chronicles, the story of three generations staggered by love, betrayal, war, and the effects of a tsunami that ravages the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland in 1929. Family matriarch, storyteller, and ghost—Kathleen Kerrigan—confesses that heaven does not open its gates to women of her ilk. In her afterlife she is adrift, doomed, like some ancient mariner, to atone for mortal sin by telling repeatedly the story of her downfall. With the lyrical…

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Congratulations- Sue Fortin!

Congratulations Sue! I hope your new publishing deal with Harper Collins is a wonderful and fruitful experience- Thank you, it's very exciting. Since Harper Impulse is digital publishing, will you continue to have a print copy of your book available and, if so, how will that work? Harper Impulse are working on a digital first basis, so although there are no guarantees every title will be published in paperback, there is the scope for it at some point. Many self-published authors are seeking deals with traditional publishers while many are not. What is it that you find appealing about such a deal? Oh gosh, that's a loaded question  It really is a matter of personal choice and for me, there were several reasons. To self-publish proficiently and to a high standard can be quite expensive and I really wouldn't like to add up how much I spent on having my book edited, edited and edited again, together with having the cover professional designed and then the costs of promotion. To do this again for a second novel, I wasn't sure if I could invest so heavily. Another factor, was how wide reaching I could be as an indie author.…

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A great shout out of thanks to all of our fans and friends!

As we approach our first anniversary, the B.R.A.G.Medallion has become recognized as a symbol of great reading. Our reading team now numbers more than 100, representing 10 countries around the world. These dedicated men and women read tirelessly on our behalf, in our search through the rapidly expanding inventory of self-published books, to find those that are worth a reader's time and money. The number of authors seeking to be honored with the B.R.A.G.Medallion has grown so large, and so robust, that we have decided to close unsolicited nominations temporarily. This will allow us to ensure that the books on our reading list get the full attention they deserve. We are proud of the fact that by the first anniversary of our launch on April 4, 2013, we will have honored our 100th book! Congratulations to all our medallion-honored authors - we will continue to do all we can to bring attention to your wonderful work! The indieBRAG Team Find a book that is worth your time and money!

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Book Trailers- are they worth it?

I have read a lot about book trailers, and I have watched my share of them, and here is my final thought on whether they are worth it – I don't know! There seems to be little evidence that book trailers help sell books. I enjoyed watching some of them and a few actually got me interested in taking a look at the book. However, in general, most looked amateurish; they were just a slideshow with music. They were more helpful if I went to the book's website first and then watched the video. In other words, they did not grab my attention on their own; rather they simply added to my overall interest in the book. But the point is I'm not sure they would encourage me to actually buy the book. Obviously, I am biased but I do enjoy being able to click on a book trailer when I go to one of our B.R.A.G.MedallionTM Honoree detail pages. But, there again, I have already sought the book out and I know it is well worth the investment of my time and money. So here is what I think- A book trailer is a nice enhancement to all the…

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# Authors, Reviews, Trolls and the fight goes on!- Part 2

Our previous blog on "Reviews" triggered a great conversation. In this, the second blog on the subject, we offer authors some thoughts on dealing with negative reviews. I hope you will join us again and share your thoughts and experiences- 1. Take negative reviews into consideration. The reviewer just may be right! Well-¬written and thoughtful critical reviews can be helpful – painful, but helpful. Be open-minded. Listen. Read. Be willing to consider the opinion of others. In the end, you may still disagree but you may also gain some valuable learning. 2. Respond to fair-minded reviews. It is always nice to thank someone who takes the time to read and critique your book. You should do this even if you disagree with the review but be gracious, and NEVER enter into an emotional, heated discourse. No-one benefits and more times than not, it turns personal and ugly. 3. Consider reviewing books for other authors. This is the best way to create the "word of mouth" buzz that all authors want. In turn, your reviews may encourage others to review your book. But always be objective and professional. Never gush or attack; both are equally amateurish.4. Ignore the "trolls". Unfortunately, there…

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Audio Books-The Next New Thing! Part 1.

Here are a few highlights from the 2011 Association of American Publishers report: Total book sales in all categories hit $805.7 million• Hardcover books fell 11.3%• Paperbacks fell 19%• eBook sales increased 115.8%• Downloaded audio books increased 8.8% to $6.5million.• The fastest growing category in the iTunes App store – books! For those of you who may be skeptical about audio books – I should point out that it was just a few short years ago that no one believed eBooks would ever catch on! If you put audiobooks into your search you will find HUNDREDS of companies getting into the audiobook production business. You no longer see "never" when readers are asked how often they listen to audiobooks; everyone is now ready and willing to give audiobooks a try. The past stigma about listening to books is long past. Listeners are no longer lazy but busy! We now use audiobooks while our hands are doing other things. After all, listening to stories has been part of every culture, teaching us and entertaining us, from the beginning of time. Audiobooks are here and growing in popularity, they are the next means of getting your book out there to new audience…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC

    Once again this year the SPBE was so informative and helpful to all the self-publishers who attended! I will be blogging about some of the things we learned and some of the people we met. This was our first year as exhibitors and it was well worth our time and money- we met some very important people and we were able to share our vision with so many. We met authors, publishers, editors and others who contribute to making your books a success. W also spoke with other companies in the indie book field such as audio book producers, all of which were very interested in indieBRAG. Many suggested we do joint ventures with them and we will consider this if they are helpful to our authors and readers. We spent a wonderful day with Katherine Ashe the author of the Montfort Series – one of our earliest Honorees. She did a terrific job of helping us spread the word and she gathered a great deal of information that will be helpful to us all. We really appreciate her support and her insights that will move us along in the future We also were able to spend a…

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