self published books

Villains are People, Too

  Quick, name your favorite horror villain. The haunted house in Amityville Horror? The zombies in World War Z? The shark in Jaws? That might be a tough question because, often, the villain in horror is a mindless force of nature or so abstract as to be faceless. Sometimes that works well because mystery is a big part of horror and showing too much about the villain can diminish the dread. If there’s an unusually great premise or protagonist to carry the weight of the story and provide interesting developments throughout, an archetypical or simplified villain may be all that’s needed. When the villain is a real, identifiable individual, however, horror stories often stoop to tired motivations, resulting in a one-dimensional villain who lacks any real motivation and is just evil for evil’s sake. Whether it’s a cackling, mustachioed baddie bent on world domination or just an evil capitalist happy to pave over gentle nature as part of a real estate project, thinly-written villains make for a dull story. In contrast, who’s the most famous of all horror villains? Dracula would certainly be a strong contender . . .  as would Hannibal Lecter, his modern-day counterpart (who prefers food he can…

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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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Hot Air Balloons during the Civil War

By Christopher Zuniga The Union and the Confederate armies both used Hot Air Balloons for spying during the Civil War. The first person to receive an order to build an Hot Air Balloons for the Union army was John Wise. In April of 1861 Murat Hasket wrote a letter to the U.S. treasury Salmon D. that the U.S. should create a balloon corps to use as a spying devise under Thaddeus Lowe's command. On July 17, 1861 Abraham Lincoln agree to form a balloon corps. During this time the opposing side tried to shoot down the spying balloon. After Lincoln heard that, he ordered Lowe to build four more additional balloons. The balloons that Lowe made were measured to be from 32,000 ft to 15,000 ft and were also able to climb up to 5,000 ft into the air. One of Lowe balloons was shot down on November 16, 1861. Lowe was not keeping orders so he resigned from balloon corps on May 8, 1861. By August 1861 the corps disbanded. Lowe also designed an aircraft carrier that was used to transport hot air balloons and allow them to be used in areas closer to the battles. They would launch…

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Finding Emma & the Missing Children Society

Missing Children's Society of CanadaWhen six-year-old Tania Murrell disappeared from Edmonton, Alberta, in 1983, the search efforts for her receivednational media attention and inspired the first non-profits in Canada dedicated to the search for missing children.These first search agencies focused on public awareness and prevention programs. With the exception of posterdistributions, little attention was put on the actual search for missing children or on support of searching families.Out of this need to do more for searching families, the Missing Children Society of Canada was created in 1986.Since that time, MCSC has assisted law enforcement and searching families in thousands of cases.The 2011 year marks our 25th anniversary of continuing the search for missing children. As we look to our future, weare as driven as ever to continue the search for our missing children.Looking Back on our 25 Year Legacy1986May 25th is officially declared "National Missing Children's Day" in Canada by then Solicitor General Perrin Beatty.In November 1986, the MCSC was created by our founder and first Executive Director, Rhonda Morgan. Wanting totake a more hands-on role in the search for missing children, Rhonda trained to become a licensed professionalinvestigator in 1985. She went on to found MCSC and develop its…

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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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Booker Prize shortlist turns its back on ‘readability’

Last year's head judge, Dame Stella Rimington, was pilloried for saying she prized books that "people would read and enjoy". Her fellow judge, the former Labour MP Chris Mullin, added that he liked a novel to "zip along". The chairman of the 2012 judging panel, Sir Peter Stothard, has loftier ideals. "I felt very, very strongly that I wanted to avoid that thing where people say, 'Wow, I loved it, it's terrific'," he said of the judging process. "I'm afraid quite a lot of what counts for criticism these days is of that sort: how many stars did it get? Did I have a good time? Would my children like it? It is opinion masquerading as literary criticism," said Sir Peter, who is editor of the Times Literary Supplement.  To read full article: Our Thoughts: Let me first state the obvious - we are not in competition with the Booker Prize! We also do not wish to suggest that what they do is invalid. The Booker Prize means that the winners will become best sellers and yet are often not very "readable". Although we only work with self-published books, we have developed a system just the opposite of what this esteemed group of critics aspire to. Self- published books are often looked down upon as unworthy of traditional publication which we have proven, I believe, to not always be the case. We have readers located around the globe who read books for us and give us one determination –is this a book you would recommend to your best friend? When all the readers have provide their decision, we honor the book with our B.R.A.G.Medallion only if it has received a unanimous "Yes". In this way we are finding books that "readers" feel are worth your time and money. After all, most of us read to be amused, thrilled, titillated and, yes, educated. We hope to encourage readers who want to find a great book to visit our website and support books that are good but probably will not reach the glorified heights that one with the title of Booker Prize Winner will inevitably reach. www.bragmedallion.com

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Writing As Your Legacy

  There are seven billion human beings on earth as I write these words; a mind-boggling number that is difficult to grasp. One way to look at it is that if Bill Gates, the richest man in America, were to distribute his enormous fortune equally to every person in the world, we would each only get $9.42. Hardly worth the effort, so relax Mr. Gates we won't push for income redistribution. Out of that teeming mass of seven billion people very few of us will ever be rich or powerful or famous. Most of us will be born, live, and die without ever having made any impact upon the world whatsoever. An exception, perhaps, are those of us who have been blessed with children, thereby helping to perpetuate the human race―a critical if not noteworthy accomplishment. Lest you become overwhelmed by the futility of our shared existence, take heart. There is something you can do to help ensure that your footprints are etched into the bedrock of history, rather than blown away on the sands of time: namely, write a book. Yes, you. Conventional wisdom says that 80% of us feel we have a book inside us. But unless you take the time to commit it to paper, or even better, to an electronic file, your name will soon be forgotten after you're gone. The same holds true even for those of you who have children. If don't believe me, ask yourself this question: what are the names of your great grandparents? My case rests. So stop making excuses; stop procrastinating. Find the time to write that book bouncing around inside your brain. There has never been a better time to do this. The relatively new and rapidly expanding world of self-publishing has given you the opportunity. Seize it! Once you have written it, have it professionally edited, and then release it to the world. Even if it is not a best-seller, it will live on long after you have shuffled off this mortal coil―and someday, somewhere, someone will read it and know that you were here. Robert                                                                                                                                          indieBRAG

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Ebook or Print? Join the conversation!

 Amazon UK's report that ebook sales have outstripped the sales of all print formats combined. According to unaudited figures released by [Amazon UK] on Monday, since the start of 2012, for every 100 hardback and paperback book sold on its site, customers downloaded 114 ebooks.                                                                                                                                        Posted by Victoria Strauss for Write Beware                                                                         Read full article @ http://accrispin.blogspot.com/ Self-publishing is exploding and the number of successful self-published authors is also growing. It is now an accepted and viable alternative to traditional publishing so the debate over whether self-publishing is a wise choice is diminishing. Now the discussion seems to be turning to how best to publish: in print or as an eBook. There are many advantages to eBook publishing; it is cheaper, faster, and, I suppose, the lower purchase price often contributes to higher sales volume. However, it is difficult for many indie authors to give up seeing their precious work sitting on the shelf or desk. The feel, look, and even the smell of a new book all create a feeling that a digital file on an eBook reader never will. Moreover, it is hard to impress your friends with your novel stored in an eBook reader like you can with a book placed casually on the coffee table. "Oh that? It's my latest book". Our B.R.A.G.MedallionTM Honorees have done it all ways: print only, eBook only, and both print and eBook. But which is best? We would love to have your thoughts on this. As readers, which do you prefer? As writers, how did you decide to publish as you did? Join the conversation -

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Summer, the ocean —-and Pirates!

In the early 1700's a very headstrong and tough girl from Cork, Ireland (she beat a man for making unwanted advances!) married into the adventurous world of Piracy --- actually she married several pirates! After marrying her "dream" pirate in 1719, she helped steal a sloop and made a life of piracy in the Caribbean. Dressed as a man she proved to be as good as many a man at fighting and stealing. After being caught and tried, she escaped hanging but her fate is unknown. As with many pirates, Anne Bonny's story has become that of legend. Books of interest: Helen Hollick has written 3 books in the Sea Witch Series that will make you feel the very spray from the sea as this story carries you into a world of danger, love and treachery! Following the pirate Jesamiah Acorne and his woman, Tiola, upon the high seas will give you the thrill and romance of the life of a pirate.

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Self-Published Books are our life at indieBRAG!

Literary Snobbery There is no question that self-publishing has created a plethora of poorly written and badly edited books because there are no controls over what is published or by whom. Now anyone can publish anything: good, bad, or downright ugly. And they do. However, the risk of purchasing a "bad" book is not limited to indie books. Have you ever picked up a book published by one of the major publishing houses, read a few pages and then asked yourself, "Really? This is a best seller?" Of course you have, so let's get past the assumption that all traditionally published books are good. They are not! Many a successful author has written a bestseller and then fallen into the trap of pursuing quantity over quality, and relying on their name recognition to sell follow-up books that fall far short of the first one. And the big publishing houses are all too willing to join them in this money grab. That said, in the burgeoning world of self-published books, there are diamonds in the coal bin but few professional reviewers are willing to dig for them; I guess they don't want to get their hands dirty. For example, I had an experience with a book reviewer at a major newspaper. I asked her to read a self-published book that was getting some great reviews by our readers. She was very interested until she asked who published it. "Oh, no," she said, "I can't read that." "Why not?" I asked, "Ralph Waldo Emerson self-published some of his books". "That's different. That was a long time ago" (Really?) "Well did you know that John Grisham also self-published at first?" "This author is no John Grisham!" "How do you know that if you aren't willing to give the author a chance?" "Do NOT send me that book". Click. Literary snobbery lives! Our readers are reading as fast as they can to identify self-published books that deserve to be read. Now I will confess that the majority of the books we review are not chosen to receive a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM. That is because we want our medallion to represent a certain standard of excellence, and thereby assure potential purchasers that the book is worth their time and money. But it is encouraging to note that our readers, many of whom had not read a self-published book before, are excited about how many really good books are out there―our mission is to keep finding them!

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