At indieBRAG, we always strive to find the diamonds in the coal heap! We set high standards—every reader must agree it is a book they would recommend to their best friend. One “no” or even “iffy” response killed the books. We slowly found that there were some treasures out there that we wanted people to know about so we began honoring them with our BRAGMedallion (Book Readers Appreciation Group).
Our medallion on a book is now recognized as a book worth a reader’s time and money. We have readers in 10 countries and books being nominated every day. Our authors become part of our community. We post anything that is happening with their book- book signings, readings, other awards, etc. Then we let readers know this book is an honoree on twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and other social media sites. We help them find reviewers and interviewers. And finally, we work with a wonderful blogger who posts BRAGMedallion Honoree interviews.
BRAGMedallion: Good News
The good news: According to publishing industry surveys, 8 out of 10 adults feel they have a book in them. In the past, few were able to realize this dream. However, the emergence of self-publishing companies such as Lulu and print-on-demand technology has made it possible for anyone to publish a book.
BRAGMedallion: Bad News
The bad news is that with so many new titles it can be hard for readers to find the true gems. Furthermore, as the understanding of what it means to self-publish evolves, we still sometimes see authors go the self-publishing route with the misunderstanding that their book does not need editing and so books go into print with grammatical and spelling errors. That’s where we come in. At BRAG MedallionTM, we hold indie authors to a higher standard: The decision to honor a self-published book must be unanimous among the group of our readers who review it.
Thus, our advice to budding indie authors is twofold. First, read before you write. The best guideline for writing a good book is to read the work of others―both to learn what is good and to avoid what is bad. Second, after you write your book, have it professionally edited. This constitutes line editing, preferably, or proofreading at a minimum. Nothing turns off a reader more quickly than a poorly written book. To help Lulu authors find high-quality self-published books, they should visit www.bragmedallion.com. It is an online community that welcomes all those who seek to learn how to become better writers, and those looking to gain recognition for their work. There, they will find a list of books by talented indie authors, as well as relevant advice and commentary from the world of self-publishing.
Being a Fan Matters
I was a fan of several authors and when searching out more of their books, found they were now self-publishing. These were great books! I began reading more SP books, but found that many were not up to the standards I had hoped for but, every once in while I found one that was as good as any traditionally published best seller. Why were they languishing in no-sale land? I gathered a group of readers- both individuals and book clubs- and we set out to find the good ones.
My advice to LuLu authors is make sure your book is ready for the scrutiny of readers before you submit it for review- there seldom is a second chance for a book. Then keep writing! If readers discover your book, they will want more. And lastly, visit us and see what we are doing for self-published books.