I have no idea how I ever found out about IndieBRAG. I am sure it was just cruising around the internet. But, I have been a huge fan for a while. I love what they do and how they do it. Anything to help authors get the word out is super in my book.
Here is some information about this wonderful company plus an interview with the president.
Who is IndiBrag
Our mission is to discover talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Our primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres; however, we selectively consider non-fiction books as well.
It is important to note that indieBRAG is not a paid book review website or service and that being nominated for and/or receiving the B.R.A.G. Medallion, or any other feedback provided by indieBRAG or one or more of its readers, does not constitute and should not be interpreted to represent a book review. It is intended to simply provide impartial feedback to the author.
How did IndieBRAG come about?
My husband is a retired corporate executive and a self-published author. When he published his books quite a few years ago, we thought we had a leg up on promoting the books due to his career. This was when self-publishing was just taking off and we discovered two things about self-publishing:
The positive was that anyone could publish a book
The negative was that anyone could publish a book!
The market was flooded with so many poorly written, badly edited and unprofessionally produced books that it seemed impossible for the ones that deserved attention to rise to the top.
We began contacting a number of book clubs and asked if they would consider reading a few SP books and let us know what they thought. We knew from experience that getting all members of any group to agree a book was good wasn’t easy and ones that did pass this test deserved attention. So the B.R.A.G. Medallion, Book Readers Appreciation Group, was born!
What exactly does IndieBRAG do?
We now have nearly 300 readers globally who have signed up to read for us. We send them a list of book suggestions from our submitted books in the genres they request, we “gift” them the book and when they complete the book they fill out a report card. Our readers are kept anonymous so that they can be honest with their comments and decision without any pressure from the author, other reader or even us. The books that the readers deem “worth a reader’s time and money” are then awarded the B.R.A.G.Medallion and we do what we can to shine a light on them. Our readers are not all professionals- they are people who love books. We require at least a high school leaving but many of our readers do have advanced degrees. Some are authors, bloggers, editors but all are book lovers.
Think of us as the “Good Housekeeping” award for books. We are not book snobs. We read historical fiction alongside vampires! We are looking for good storytelling done to a professional standard.
How many authors take advantage of your services and is there a fee for the authors?
Our readers have considered thousands of books and to date, we have honored 811 books. In the beginning only about 90% of the books submitted made it through the system to receive the medallion but as time has gone by and our reputation for quality increased, it is now about 75%. Authors know it is a waste of money to submit a book that isn’t done to the best of their ability. We do charge a fee. I might add, that as our fee rose, so did the quality of books being submitted! We purchase all the books that we send out along with maintain an active website and social media. Our team is very dedicated and love what they do.
It is important for authors to know that they are not out there competing with self-published books but all books and the vast majority of readers never consider who publishes a book. Self-publishing is not an excuse for a poorly presented book. With services such as Createspace, authors can create their own publishing name so it is even less relevant to the readers. What is relevant is a good book. An author very seldom gets a second chance at a good first impression. If you put a bad books out with the expectation that you will do better the next time, you have to know that readers will probably not bother with reading your new book if they were burned the first time!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I was trained as a registered nurse but due to international moves, gave up that career and focused on home. One thing that was constant was my love of books. When my husband was a graduate student, I took the opportunity to read every book that was considered a “must read” that I had never had the time to read before. Books by authors such as Shakespeare, Austen, and Bronte –practically every author featured at the university book store!
When Bob began writing, I was his muse. We talked about plots and characters and considered scenarios. I was so thrilled to be a part of it. Although I would say I have quite an imagination, I am not a skilled story teller—that is his expertise!
Can you tell us about any awards or authors’ achievements?
Many of our authors have become bestselling authors- New York Times, Washington Post, Amazon etc. Some authors have gained notice from publishers and have decided to traditionally publish their next books. We do not encourage an “us against them” philosophy when it comes to publishing. We do encourage authors to do what is best for them and they are always B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree authors and their books remain on our library even if they choose to have that book re-published by a traditional publisher.
Many of our authors have become respected and honored for their work winning many prestigious awards. Some have become sought after speakers in their genre and self-publishing. We attend a number of conferences and seminars and I am always thrilled to see indieBRAG authors there speaking and sharing their expertise. Several of the panels we have had the opportunity to present included some of our authors.
We will be in Philadelphia next month at the Bookbaby Independent Authors Conference and know we will be seeing a number of our authors. I invite any authors out there to stop by and say hello and, if you are new, come learn more about indieBRAG!
“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.” William Faulkner From IndieBRAG blog.
Check this service out! Amazing place for readers and authors!