Announcing the Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards for 2014

Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards We are pleased to announce the Indies Unlimited Readers’ Choice Excellence Awards. This is our way of providing recognition to those in the indie community who have given valuable assistance, resources, information, or other support to improve the quality and visibility of indie authors.

This is the second year of what we hope will become an annual tradition. Awards will be given in three categories:

Best Book Review Site
We feel book review sites are critical to book discovery. Having a lot of great reviews on your book’s page is nice, but book review sites introduce your book to their followers, giving you a better shot at finding new readers. These sites and reviewers deserve our thanks.

Best Writers’ Resource Site
From writing tips to marketing strategy, there are sites out there that help you get it done. Lots of oases dot the indie savannah. Where are your favorite watering holes? Which sites add value to your day and help make you a better writer?

Best Book Promotion Site
There are slews of sites out there today designed to sell books for authors. The sole focus of these sites is the direct marketing of books – no author interviews, features, or giveaways. Just connecting readers with books through targeted advertising. Which of these sites do you count on to sell books?

Obviously, as the sponsor of these awards, Indies Unlimited is excluded from the process. Oh well, it is more blessed to give than to receive. *sniff*

Nominations for each category will open on Sunday. Rules for nominations and voting will be posted at that time. Just so nobody gets too excited, there are no cars or money at stake here. The finalists and winners will receive handsome, hand-crafted digital plaques commemorating their victory. It is not merely the plaque, but the votes of confidence and thanks behind it that give the award its proper meaning. We hope you are as excited about the awards as we are, and we look forward to your enthusiastic participation.

Bacon Aporkalypse: The Cookbook

Bacon Aporkalypse by L.A. Lewandowski, cover by K. S. BrooksOne of the writing projects I assigned myself in 2014 was a cookbook. I love cookbooks and have collected them for years. The last time I counted them I had seventy-three, not including the over-stuffed binder and the pile of gourmet magazines. I’ve cooked from all of them at one time or another, and often a dish I prepare is a combination of several recipes. I have also maintained a food blog since 2009, which has been a labor of love.

The best cookbooks combine stories, whimsical or factual, with the recipes. One of my favorites, Italy — A Culinary Journey, contains many classic recipes organized by region. The photography of the food and the landscapes, cities, et cetera, is breathtaking, and the historically based stories that accompany each section are charming. I have read that cookbook countless times and dreamed of seeing the coast of Puglia where my grandparents were born.

I did not have the energy or resources to take on a project of this magnitude. I decided to do something a bit quirky — to combine my newfound affection for flash fiction with recipes I’ve prepared. Better yet, because I love bacon, I included bacon or pork in as many of the stories as I could, and attached a link at the end of the story to a yummy recipe. Sounds easy, right? Um, no. Continue reading “Bacon Aporkalypse: The Cookbook”

Indie Authors & eBooks: Freedom to be Free

No money needed for free ebooksSince the first indie authors figured out a way to make their eBooks free on Amazon, other indies have been badmouthing them. Some of the same authors – with an assist from traditionally published authors, their publishers, and various publishing pundits – have been making the same arguments about cheap eBooks. (Cheap being 99 cents, $2.99, or whatever is less than what that particular whiner thinks is the “right price.”)

There are plenty of good reasons why authors might want to make one of their books free or relatively cheap, whether for a limited time or for the foreseeable future. There are also bad reasons to do so. An indie author considering this should understand their rationale for how they price their book, have reason to believe this will accomplish what they’re hoping for, and a way to measure whether or not it is working. Just as any good businessperson would do when making pricing decisions on their products. Continue reading “Indie Authors & eBooks: Freedom to be Free”