Today I thought i would invite a lovely lady who has done done much for those self-published authors like me to talk about her involvement with indieBRAG and how she founded the organisation and why. Most Indie authors know of BRAG, but not many have met the lady who works very hard to help SP authors gain respectability in an ever growing market of self-published and mainstream authors. So please welcome GERI DUNLAP CLOUSTON!!!
Thanks so much inviting me Paula-
To say that I am a book person would be an understatement! I have been reading, and reading a lot, since I was a little child. At 5 years old I ruined our dining room table by pressing too hard with my pencil without anything under my paper- I was copying word for word from a fairy tale book thinking this made me a writer. Sad to say, I am still not a writer! One of my favorite book series was Cherry Ames. This was about a nurse in every conceivable situation – war nurse, pediatrics nurse, surgical assistant. I was probably the only child who couldn’t wait to get my tonsils out so I could go to the hospital. I guess it is no surprise I became a nurse and loved it as much as the books.
Several years ago my husband (who is a writer!) and I went to a conference in New York City for self-published authors and the one theme we heard over and over was “how do we get anyone to pay attention to our book”. From there indieBRAG and the B.R.A.G.Medallion were born. Our Book Readers Appreciation Group now numbers over 150 readers in 11 countries. Nearly 2000 books have been considered and, to date, 166 books have been honored.
Bestselling author Hugh Howie said recently that what most publishers miss is the importance of the reader. I think this is so true. What we are doing is asking readers to tell other readers which books are worth their time and money. Our indieBRAG teams support our authors and help to shine a light on their deserving books. In return we ask them to support each other. By making the B.R.A.G.Medallion recognized as the source of good books, all the authors benefit. We hope that readers looking for an enjoyable read will first find one wearing the B.R.A.G.Medallion.
Many of our books are nominated by other authors often surprising the author of the book. This is just one example of the generosity of self-published authors and their willingness to share their good –and bad- experiences. Every single day working with these wonderful people is a joy to me.
The internet provides such an incredible place to work! It allows us to have the tech team in Milwaukee, other team members in Georgia, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and even our PR member in London. We can communicate with our readers and authors all over the world at any time.
One great benefit for me working here in Plymouth is that I can spend time in this bucolic setting with my latest family member- Storm Sky’s Fortune’s Gift, better known as Atka. Atka is a very large 10 week old Malamute pup who is growing every day and will end up over 100 pounds. I consider him my exercise machine right now since he prefers to be carried instead of walking – I do hope he gets over this stage soon!
I suppose the only down side of doing something you love in a place you love is that it is very hard to get up and walk away from the computer!
I hope all of our wonderful authors will continue to support us and each other. Some of our best plans for the future have come from our readers and authors – so, keep your ideas coming!
The very best to all of you-