Tag Archives: books

Paying It Forward For #RRBC Member / Author D. L. Finn

Today, I am taking part in Rave Reviews Book Club’s “Pay It Forward” day. What this means is, I am promoting a member of the book club here on The Indie Spot.


Now, here’s one of those interesting coincidences: The author I am promoting today is D. L. Finn, whose book, No Fairy Tale, is the book I just happen to be currently reading.

D. L. is an independent California girl, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1990, she and her husband packed up their kids, dogs, and cats, and relocated to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.

To say D. L. is a reader is a major understatement. She immerses herself in all sorts of books, crossing genre lines that include romance, horror, and fantasy. With vivid imagination, D. L. has long treasured creating her own reality on paper. So, when the family’s move placed her among towering oaks, high cedars, and fragrant pines, her creativity blossomed into a solid skill for telling stories that others are thrilled to read.

Her creations include three indie children’s books and an autobiography with poetry (which is the book I’m currently reading).

In 2016, No Fairy Tale was awarded the New Apple Annual Book Awards Official Selection in the Memoir Category! In 2017, the book became a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA) in the poetry category.

Though D. L. has endured difficult situations in her life, which has included addiction and abuse, she has risen above the turmoil to become one of the better writers in the indie author movement. Her words have a way of pulling the reader into the stories unfolding on the pages. Her poetry is simply beautiful.

It has been my pleasure and honor to introduce this author to the readers of this blog. It is my sincere hope that those who take the time to read this piece will become better acquainted with D. L. Finn and her work.

Let’s now take a closer look at this writer’s work.

The Books:

No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry

You are invited into D.L. Finn’s life, written through a princess’s viewpoint. While it’s usually assumed in fairy tales that the princess is beloved by all, this is one princess who doesn’t feel loved. She dreams of a moment when her father will walk through the castle door, sweep her up in his arms and proclaim how much he misses her. That never happens. Instead, she is introduced to a new step family. Just like in the fairy tales, this is where the story takes a dark twist; where addiction, abuse and adolescence thrive together in retched misery. From her lowest point as a hopeless fourteen-year-old girl who gives up all hope– comes a spark of faith. This is where she begins her quest for a happy ending.

Although the princess ends her very real fairy tale, D.L. Finn steps in and shares her thoughts, poetry and photographs. This entire narrative is the author’s reality from childhood through adulthood. She maintains the privacy of those involved while hanging on to her truth.

An Unusual Island

When Janine’s parents win a vacation to a private island, it’s the same week as her and her twin brother’s 16th birthday. Cool! She can’t wait to lounge on the beach and let the staff pamper her! Much to her disappointment, though, they leave the island to go sightseeing on a boat. Unlike the rest of her family, bouncing around the ocean isn’t her idea of fun. Even when her brother gets their dad to stop the boat to investigate the neon sea creature that he is sure is following them–nothing. Losing her new red hat is the highlight of her trip until an unexpected storm hits, and they shipwreck on an uncharted island. After tending to some wounds from the crash, they search the island in hopes of finding human civilization. Although they don’t find what they are looking for, it appears they aren’t alone. When they return to their campsite—a fully cooked dinner is waiting for them! Why? And a better question is why did they eat it? It was as if they stepped into a fairytale– or nightmare. Who is on the island with them and what do they want?

Elizabeth’s War

It’s April of 1917, and World War I has reached Elizabeth’s family on their wheat farm in North Dakota. Although the battles are being fought overseas, the war has affected her in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Elizabeth is thrust into a new role after her brother and father leave the farm to do their part in the war. And she’s only eleven years old!
Having almost died as a toddler, Elizabeth has been babied most of her life. Now she must learn to help out around the farm; cooking, cleaning, and tending to the garden and livestock. No longer can she run from her responsibilities, as she did when her horse Rosie was giving birth. There were complications during the delivery, and Elizabeth panicked and froze. The foal didn’t make it.
Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet as a huge Christmas Eve snowstorm rages outside, cutting her family off from any help; and her mother is about to have a baby! Her brother and sister are laid up with chicken pox. Does Elizabeth face her fears or run from them? Can she help her family, who need her more now than ever? Or will she retreat like she did when Rosie needed her?

Things on a Tree

What a way to spend Christmas Eve! Thirteen-year-old Aimee is sick and missing her dad, who died in a car accident last year. While the rest of her family are outside playing in the snow, she is alone by their Christmas tree. Aimee sighs as the tears begin to fall. She wishes she still believed in Santa Claus. Then she could ask him to change the last year. Yeah, right, she thought. She turns away from the tree, and falls asleep. Later that night, Aimee awakens to a strange noise. Clink! Clink! Clink! Her fever must be higher than she thought, because she can’t believe what she is seeing running down her purple blanket! But everything happening to her is very real, including the fact someone wants her dead. Aimee is thrust into a world of magic, wonder and greed. Her journey takes her from her snowy rooftop, to the streets of New York and the North Pole with the promise to return her father to her family. Who could she trust when things aren’t always what they seem?

 

Social Media:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Book Trailers:

No Fairy Tale

 

Elizabeth’s War

Gearing Up For the 2017 #RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!

2017 WC&BE

Once again, Rave Reviews Book Club is taking the lead on cutting edge ideas for promoting indie authors. Picking up where we left off last year, this year’s Writers’ Conference & Book Expo promises to be bigger and better! If you are an indie author and you’re still figuring out the marketing landscape, then this event is one you don’t want to miss.

Simply follow the links below for all the latest information you’ll need to know to be involved.

 
This is the year for bigger and better here at RRBC. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to reach a new audience while gaining new skill sets designed to help indie authors succeed.

 

 

 

Catching Up With #RRBC Spotlight Author Wendy Scott!

Hello, everybody! I am honored to share this blog with a fellow writer and Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author for the month of June. As part of the celebration, Wendy Scott is making the rounds at various blogs. Today, she’s gracing us with her presence here at The Indie Spot! For those who may not know Ms. Scott, Wendy is a super supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club. So let’s all make her feel welcome by leaving her your comments and well wishes. That being said, take it away, Wendy…

Fantasy Author Wendy Scott’s RRBC Journey.

When I first joined RRBC I had no idea of the literary roller coaster I’d jumped on.

I was so excited when my books and book trailers went live on the RRBC catalogue pages.

There was no time to pause for breath before I was involved in my first book trailer party. What a blast! 30 days of book trailers. I was impressed and inspired by the variety of book trailers. I won books and a coveted Book of the Month Spot.

I’m convinced the RRBC Tweet team doesn’t sleep! My followers skyrocketed as my tweets were retweeted into twitterland.

The lovely Gwendolyn Plano interviewed me on Behind The Pen. I was worried no one would understand my Kiwi accent!

Until RRBC I’d never taken part in or hosted a blog tour. Wow – an influx of visitors posted their comments on my site.

RRBC core focus is reading and posting honest reviews of other members’ books. I haven’t made the 100 club yet but it’s on my list! So many wonderful RRBC authors and books.

One of my highlights was when one of my children’s books earned Nonnie’s Seal of Approval.

Another highlight was being invited to join the VIP lounge and RWISA.

Yet another was being accepted as a RaveWaves host for Bring On The Spotlight.

There’s also the annual virtual RRBC Book Expo and Conference where I had fun presenting on a couple of topics.

Other features are the annual RRBC anthologies, the monthly Pipeline Magazine, and the KCT awards.

I was honoured (hugely surprised!) to be presented with a couple of Rave Awards in 2016.

The best part is the family-friendly vibe of this global community of authors where we help promote each other. Pay-it-forward is truly alive and thriving in RRBC-land.

  

 

Readers come and find your next read in the RRBC catalogue.

Authors come and join RRBC’s dynamic community – just say Wendy invited you! https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/

 

 

 

Amazon US 124 reviews 4.4* rating

 

Amazon US Lodestone https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMQX7DO

Amazon UK Lodestone https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AMQX7DO

 

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Connect with Wendy:

Twitter @WendyJayneScott

FB https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyScott

Author Profile Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Scott/e/B009B1N8NA/

Website http://www.wendyjscott.com/contact.html

Pinterest https://nz.pinterest.com/wendyscottbooks/lodestone-witch-hunt/

 

Scrap Irony

Some interesting tidbits here from the blog of Joseph Ajlouny.

J. Ajlouny, Author

Scrap Irony

These items can be described as “things I discovered while looking up other things.” I have tons of them and I will continue to supplement this compilation from time to time. They are in no particular order but each is a great conversation starter. The only thing they have in common is that they are not commonly known, and that’s what makes them fascinating. I have many more such items so I will continue to supplement this compilation when the spirit moves me. So read on and you will learn things you never knew or thought you would.

Giraffes have the same number of bones in their neck as do human beings: six.

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Jackie Robinson is well-known as the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues, beginning in the 1947 season as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. But what is almost completely unknown is the…

View original post 4,482 more words

The Taxing Process of Writing!

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Today I am sharing space here with indie author and publisher Traci Sanders. Traci has written a fantastic new series that will help even the seasoned pro write it better. Here, in her own words, is Ms. Sanders…

MY 3 BOOKS

Tip 358: What you can “write off” as an author

(tax deductions)

*This tip can be found in Living The Write Life: Tips on making the most of your writing skills, now available in digital and paperback format.
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Are you an Indie author? If so, you are a contractor, whether you like it or not. Regardless which company you publish with, you will be required to answer a few basic questions to set up your tax account with them. When you sell any books, they need to know how and where to send your money.
Therefore, no matter how much (or how little) money you make on your books, you must claim it, because the publishing companies do.
 
The good news is, you also have tax deductions available.
 
Here is a list of deductions you can claim as an author:
         Office supplies
         Telephone/internet fees
         Cabs, subways, bus fares
         Book, magazines, reference material
         Agents’ commissions (if included in income)
         Film and processing – book trailer fees
         Copying – brochures, flyers for events
         Editorial fees – costs to hire professional editors
         Promotional fees – advertising materials
         Office rent – If you use a dedicated space for your writing – cannot claim for two businesses at once
         Utilities – a percentage for your writing (dedicated) space
         Memberships (professional organizations) – book club fees, writing organizations
         Messengers, private mail carriers, postage – shipping costs for giveaways, etc.
         Business insurance
         Tax preparation fees
         Travel costs – for out of town events – conferences, signings, etc.
         Business meals and entertainment
         Equipment – rentals of video/audio equipment for events
         Software – writing/editing/illustration software
         Legal and professional fees – patent lawyer, copyright lawyer
         I actually claim the books I buy and read because I consider them “study material” for my craft, especially those in my genre.
         As a public figure, for instance, when you do book signings and other events, you must have a professional appearance; therefore, you can write off your salon costs, new clothes, and even the food you serve at the event. Just be sure to keep the receipts and make notes on them.
         If you are at lunch and you pass out a business card or book to someone, write off that lunch by writing the person’s name and the book you talked about at what became your “business luncheon.”
         Treating your writing business like a professional entity will help you save money and avoid tax audits in the process, especially if you are like me and operate a separate business at the same time. The deductions must be kept separate.
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Here are a couple add-ons to this tip, shared by Stephen Geez:
 
Research can be an important expense to track. That 250-word essay I’ll be writing about what it’s like to spend a month scuba diving in the Caymen Islands is definitely going to require some hands-on research…
 
Just thought of another point that used to be very useful: If you’re writing for a client, an assignment, an intended buy, or even if you eventually sell to a client, you might be surprised by how much the end-user will be willing to reimburse expenses that s/he can write off. Don’t leave that money unclaimed if a bit of assertiveness might compensate you. You could find that the combo of reimbursement and your own write-offs can cover 100% of the income.
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Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. 

An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Giveaway!

I’ve decided to give away two prizes during this tour:
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish – Volume I 
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book – Volume II 
To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com.
GOOD LUCK!

Bonus: Video Tip!

Writers: Don’t Get Lost in the Traffic!

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Wrote a great book, did you? Looking for ways to reach readers, are you? Well, have I got the place for you. It’s called RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! Yep! I’ve been telling you all about it for the past three-plus years.

And just what exactly is RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB? I’m glad you asked. RRBC is an online community of readers and writers whose sole goal is to support one another. Members buy, read, and review fellow members books. It’s what we do.

But wait!!! There’s more!!!

Book Club Badge Suggestion copy (1)

By joining the RRBC community, you will have your book(s) placed in the club’s online catalog, making it available to the entire membership (currently at just under 400). Those who choose to be supportive of fellow members will discover the perks of membership. Books of the Month? We select three titles and promote them on Twitter, blogs, and Facebook each and every month. Many club members purchase these titles and review them.

Spotlight Author? Well, let me explain it to you. When chosen to stand in the spotlight, the author embarks on a month-long journey that includes wicked Twitter support, a blog tour, a seat on the shelf with club President Nonnie Jules (chit-chatting about you and your book), and a live interview on one of the RRBC Blog Talk Radio programs.

Look, most of us here are writers. We understand the marketing struggles indie authors face in today’s world. RRBC is meant to be a tool for the writer. But it requires more than just signing up. Support is vital. Those who don’t support, well, they receive little support themselves. It is through support that members become familiar with the names of fellow members. Marketing, branding — this is a foothold, an opportunity to meet other authors who also happen to be readers. This is the writer’s chance to build a foundation on which to establish their work.

If it sounds like something you may be interested in, stop by the RRBC site and have a look around. It only costs $25 per year.

Click here to visit the RRBC SITE!

Peggy Hattendorf: Author & RWISA Member!

Greetings and welcome to The Indie Spot. It is my privilege and honor to introduce to you author and RWISA member Peggy Hattendorf — in her own words! Take it away, Peggy…

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The Interview

1) How long have you been writing?

My professional writing started in the mid-1970’s, when I created volunteer and staff handbooks for a number of agencies in the non-profit field.

I entertained the idea of writing a novel about 10 years ago but purposely shelved the plan for nearly two years due to other commitments. The notion of writing fiction still gnawed at me and I would jot down potential characters, ideas and storylines during this hiatus. When I finally dusted off my old notes, scribbles and research and read over the material, I realized I had the makings for a good story. With new found enthusiasm, I set about writing my first novel. My background with upscale and luxury travel products served a cornerstones in the character development and storyline.

2) How many books have you authored?
At present, I have one novel Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty.

3) Do you have a writing schedule?

Yes. Currently I am working on my second book in the family dynasty series. This one still focuses on the wealthy Barrington family, and I utilize some of my travel destination research for the magazine to add new locations and settings for the book.

4) You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

I was honored and humbled to have been selected by personal invitation from Nonnie as one of the first 10 people to join RWISA. I believe I was invited into this organization because I am a strong and focused writer with a distinct voice and style. I take writing very seriously and continue to strive to be the best in all I produce. With my debut novel, I’ve been able to create a captivating story with well defined characters in exquisite settings and locations; appropriately interrupting the narrative with savvy and funny dialogue while maintaining suspense with plot twists and turns to keep the reader engaged until the very end.

5) Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

I am a serious writer who continues to advance my professional endeavors, hone my skills and strive for excellence. I write with passion and want to translate that deep purpose to the reader. As a character driven writer, I use that passion to create a compelling and richly developed cast. I write in my head and start assembling this small grouping around a central theme and the storyline develops. I use logic, structure and organization in developing clear ideas and how to express them in a solid story. I’m grounded in data, research and fact-checking for credibility and authenticity. For example, in certain instances, it’s more appropriate for character and life-style to use more formal language in dialogue. I deliver a readable story with good content, a strong storyline, an intriguing plot, crackling dialogue from well crafted characters presented in elegant settings around the world.

6) If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?

I was fortunate years ago to have had this experience. My husband and I had dinner with the late Allen Reed Folsom and his wife Karen at their home in Malibu. He was a screenwriter for years but his big break came with his thriller, The Day After Tomorrow, about a Neo-Nazi cult. We were with them shortly after he sold this debut novel in 1993 for $2 million dollars, a record at that time. As elated as he was to have sold his novel, he said it took him decades to get to that point. He was diligently working on his second book at the time of our visit. Had I known then, I would someday venture into this whelm, I would have been armed with a list of questions to ask him over dinner.

There is another author, Patricia Cornwall that I would find most interesting to involve in conversation. She is a seasoned serial writer and I am writing my second book in my family dynasty series. Her Scarpetta Series is one of my favorites as she uses a strong female lead, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner by training. I too have a strong female lead, also a career woman, Christiana Lynn Barrington. If I could “pick” Ms. Cornwall’s brain, I would inquire as to how she keeps a series “fresh” and interesting writing a total of 35 books in 27 years. As she also writes children’s books and cookbooks, I would be curious as to what prompted her move into other genres. In addition, I would ask if she found her work as a journalist an asset in writing fiction.

7) Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

I do love being an INDIE writer and am not looking for outside representation. But with that said, if I was offered a publishing contract today, from a recognized publishing house, it would warrant my time and attention to understand the facts and terms of the contract. My desire is to have Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty adapted into a television movie or mini-series and that might be one of the major advantages of having an agent.

8) As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to have the third and final book in my family dynasty series complete. In so doing, this will require more travel for my inspirations, settings and research.

9) What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

I joined a very supportive network – Rave Reviews Book Club. I would tell any new author to commence the overall marketing process well before completion of the book and go online and immediately join Rave Reviews Book Club.

10) Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?

I would suggest Rebecca Reilly. I believe she is a gifted writer as demonstrated in her book Haunting Megan.

11) What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

Enjoy each and every step of this “creative journey” and don’t be in a rush to publish.

12) Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?

There are certainly a number of prominent authors who publish several books per year to satisfy contractual terms of their publishers and keep their readership engaged through new releases. Some writers are co-authoring books possibly to keep ahead of the competition. It is hard to place a chronological time period on quality work. I believe each body of work should be judged on the quality alone without regard to the amount of time it took to produce the manuscript.

13) If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?

I would absolutely halt the release date if the book was not deemed ready for publication. At the same time, I would issue a statement that the release date had to be pushed back and add the new publication date to keep up the interest from my fan and readership base. In the interim, I would continue to have contact with my readership via blogs etc.

14) In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

In my opinion, a “great book” is based on a number of key elements and I use the broad categories of fiction and non-fiction works. For a fiction book, I look for the following: *interesting storyline, * intriguing plot, * proper pace and flow, * well-defined characters, *crisp dialogue and * above all it must be a readable story! In a non-fiction book you also need an interesting storyline and proper pace and flow. Moreover, a non-fiction book must: * present an engaging topic, subject or person, * deliver insight or knowledge – possibly not known prior to reading the book and * be well researched with verifiable data and first-hand documentation, if possible. No matter the type of book or genre, it must be well written and hold the reader’s attention.

15) If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?

I take my writing career very seriously and strive to deliver quality and excellence in all my work. Unfortunately, some editing issues have been brought to my attention and I have engaged Nonnie Jules and her team at 4Wills Publishing to address the items not identified and corrected by the former contracted editors.

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The Importance of your Author Brand and Reputation

By Peggy Hattendorf

Improper branding or a tarnished reputation can sink your career.

Proper messaging and a solid reputation, on the other hand, add both tangible and intangible benefits. A recognized brand is a strategic tool and important business asset which can determine your success as an author – as much as quality or price. Branding is imperative to commercializing your business, advancing product exposure and leading to increased demand for your books and products.

The American Marketing Association defines brand as, “a name, term, sign, symbol or combination of these, intended to identify the goods and services of the seller and to differentiate it from competitors.”  Branding is all activities that raise awareness for your business and helps shape consumers’ perceptions, awareness, associations and loyalty.

Professional reputation is defined as the “public” opinion about your business determined in part by the image and quality of products and services and further conditioned by consumer understanding, knowledge and intuition.  A “good” reputation helps build brand loyalty. The terms brand and reputation are interrelated and sometimes a strong brand image can combat some reputation issues.

Branding:

  • Improves recognition.
  • Assists in promotion of products/books/services.
  • Attributes quality, value and reliability.
  • Associates an image – “luxury” or “mass-market” as examples.
  • Creates trust, credibility, legitimacy and loyalty.
  • Supports advertising.
  • Differentiates from the competition.
  • Generates customer sales.
  • Builds financial value and resources.

Reputation:

  • Defines public beliefs or opinions generally held about a person or business.
  • Harder to build than to destroy.
  • Requires effort, patience and time to build.
  • Needs consistency and constant attention.
  • Represents your value in the marketplace.

The establishment of a solid brand, positive image and a good reputation are key elements for creating success in the literary world.

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Social Media

Twitter handler – @peggyhattendorf

Facebook – www.facebook.com/peggy.hattendorf

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Web Site/Blog

Website/blog – www.peggyhattendorf.com

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Thank you for supporting our RWISA (RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Members!  Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub.