I have the pleasure of introducing, Geri Dunlap Clouston, the president if indieBRAG.
Geri,what prompted you to get involved in the self-publishing industry?
A number of years ago my husband and I decided to self-publish his books and we soon found the process to be both rewarding and frustrating. As the self-publishing industry has rapidly expanded, so too has the problem of separating quality indie books from the many that are not worth a reader’s time and money. Our frustration became the catalyst for indieBRAG, LLC!
Our process of evaluating self-published books is unique. We do not do reviews and we do not charge authors anything. Our global reading team answers one key question - “Is this a book that you would recommend to your best friend?”
Once the decision from all the readers of a particular book are in, it must receive a unanimous “yes” for it to receive a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM. I think you will agree that getting any group to unanimously agree on anything is a pretty significant accomplishment.
To protect the integrity of our process, our readers remain anonymous. They may not say they read for us and they may not have any contact with the author. In this way, they can make a judgment without pressure from us, the author, or other reviewers, bloggers, or readers.
There are quite a few cons to self-publishing that an aspiring author needs to take into consideration. They must be prepared to do all the work and pay for everything, including the cover, editing, printing and promoting their book. Importantly, once the book is available, the author needs to bring it to the reading public’s attention. This can be very time consuming and often frustrating.
Conventional wisdom states that word of mouth is the single most important element in selling a book. Once an author has written the best book they can, they need to get the word out. This requires an understanding of social media. Then, as the book becomes known, it will succeed or fail on its own merits. Readers who enjoyed it will tell other readers and so on. We consider the B.R.A.G.MedallionTM a proxy for word of mouth - providing enlightenment of the readers, by the readers, and for the readers of self-published books.
Read, Read, Read! Learn what is good and bad from other books – especially self-published books. In this way a budding author can avoid some of the pitfalls other authors fall into by seeing them for themselves.
Edit, Edit, Edit! Our experience has found that it is nearly impossible to proof read you own work so I would strongly advise authors that this is a good place to put their money.
The cover matters! Authors must make sure that it tells their story and catches the eye. A great cover is often the first thing that gets a reader to look at a book.
And self-published authors must remember they rarely get a second chance to make a first impression. Before they put their book out to the reading public and the scrutiny of critics, they need to make sure it is the best it can possibly be, and then believe in it!
I have four married children and four beautiful grandchildren. I am the wife of a self-published author and, of course, an avid reader! I retired as an RN a number of years ago and during my husband’s business career we spent a great deal of our lives as “corporate gypsies”- moving and traveling around this country and the world.
I am very proud of what we have accomplished so far with indieBRAG and I am thrilled to be able to help shine a light on deserving self-published books. But perhaps the biggest joy I have gotten from this exciting new venture is the ever-growing group of wonderful friends I have made among our readers and authors. Together we are working hard to bring the very best in self-publishing to the reading public.
Book Giveaway Information:
Please leave a comment in the comment area along with your email address to qualify your chance to win one of these great Kindle books shown below! Each book listed is the winner of the BRAG Medallion. Giveaways end October 24th!
Vinegarone is not a BRAG book. The author kindly is giving this book as a giveaway. You will be able to purchase this book, October 6th 2012.