Thriller writer Alison Morton shares her positive experience of applying a quality control award for self-published books and explains how it helps her gain credibility and recognition of her alternate history novels.
Last month, Sarah Dale announced to fellow ALLi members on our private members' Facebook forum: “Hope you don't mind me saying…but I've just heard I've won an Indie BRAG award for Bolder and Wiser! Not really sure what this meant, I applied on the spur of moment when Alison Morton won two, I think. Thanks Alison!” Fellow members poured on the congratulations; some went off to investigate further. In case you're still wondering what all that was about, I'll now explain.
Why Such Award Schemes Are Needed
Self-publishing is expanding exponentially; it has long ceased to be a minority interest. But along with the glorious freedom of writing any genre, mixed genres or no genre and the ability to control every aspect of a book’s production comes responsibility to the readers.
Some authors write books purely for their own pleasure, and that’s great fun and personally very satisfying, but self- or independent publishing today is a serious option for commercial writers. However, not everybody is conscientious in producing a well-rounded, page-turning book with impeccable production values. How is a reader able to distinguish the dross from the diamonds in today’s avalanche of self-published work?
This is where the B.R.A.G. Medallion® comes in. When Inceptio, the first in my series of Roma Nova thrillers, was awarded a Medallion, I was delighted; my writing had passed one of the highest bars around. Rapidly becoming recognised in the world of self-publishing as an impeccable seal of excellence, its selection process is rigorous, rejecting 90% of applicants. If a book carries a B.R.A.G. Medallion® sticker, it will be a quality-assured read, whatever its genre. I’m very proud to explain what the sticker means at book events and people seem impressed. More importantly, I’m sure it helps clinch the decision to buy my book.
Who are Indie B.R.A.G.?
‘Our mission is to discover new and 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 and we selectively consider non-fiction books as well.’
Since IndieBRAG was formed in 2012, they’ve received nearly 2,000 self-published books for consideration – a victim of their own success! Free for authors at first, they now charge a modest $20 fee to cover admin and website costs. And only the author or designated representative can submit a book.
What is Their Selection Process?
The selection process is tough! After an initial screening to ensure that the author's work meets certain minimum standards of quality and content, it’s then read by members drawn from their global reader group. They judge the merits of the book based on a comprehensive list of criteria, including plot, writing style, characters, copy editing, dialogue and cove, and interior layout.
The final test of a book’s eligibility is whether or not readers would recommend it to their best friend. On average, 50% of the books submitted to IndieBRAG fail to pass the initial screen and another 40% are subsequently rejected by the readers. Thus, only 10% of the books they consider are awarded the coveted B.R.A.G. Medallion.
All Medallion books are presented on the IndieBRAG website along with author interviews. President Geri Clouston, whom I interviewed on my blog here, and team attend the Self-Publishing Book Expo in the US, publish surveys, and run an excellent blog crammed with advice and insight including this gem about mutual support for authors.
In February, I heard that the second book in my Roma Nova series, Perfiditas, had also been selected. It took a long time to come down from that particular high. Now I’ve tempted fate and sent the third one off…
- Would you consider submitting your book for this kind of award?
- If you already have, was it a good or bad experience? Would you do it again?
- Please feel free to share your thoughts via the Comments box.
For more details about the Indie B.R.A.G. award scheme, visit its website: www.indiebrag.com.
“How gaining an @IndieBRAG award helps me sell my self-published books by @Alison_Morton via @IndieAuthorALLi: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-brag/”