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Ask And Ye Shall Receive | INDIE

Ask And Ye Shall Receive | INDIE Books

Engage Your Guilty Pleasure

At some point it has to come out.

Because it is such a huge part of me and I can’t keep talking from my voice and experiences without coming clean about this part of myself. And if I lose some of you, then I understand. We all have our boundaries.

But you guys…

I love board games.

I am a board gamer.

Fee yew.

Now that that is out, I can type freely and really go to town in my board gaming geekdom. As it is deep and fierce (and lovely and ridiculous amounts of fun).

So when I am looking for my next favorite game (a not so subtle parallel to the next favorite book I keep talking to you about, guiding you towards, training you in the ways of author hunting and gathering) I started going to a really popular board game ranking site called Board Game Geek.

(I am not going to put the link here because I want you to keep reading me, but I bet if you get really creative and – after you finish reading my blog – go crazy and pop a .com on the end of that name you just might get lucky.)

(Subtle suggestion only.)

I have now played most of the top 100 board games listed.

And when new games come out I watch them rank up the board. And if I really like the game, I watch it like a sports tourney.

(Holy crud it jumped from 22 to 14! It beat out this similarly righteously rad game. What?!? Score!!!)

But I didn’t like every game.

Then I was through the top 100 and started into the top 200.

That got a little more spotty in the love-it area.

Then I went into the 300-500 range. And then under 1000.

I discovered there were many lower ranked games that I loved a lot more than the higher ranked games.


But I was feeling a trend, and realizing that well, even the very “best” games, not all of them were “my” game. The kind of game I liked, let alone loved and wanted to play again and again and have in my collection of “My Favorite Games.”

And what everyone liked wasn’t exactly what I liked.

(I know that may sound utterly obvious, but when I am down in something deep I sometimes miss that I’m in a forest, cause all those lovely trees are in the way.)

So I went on a search for more of what I liked.

I watched reviews of games by tons of different reviewers, and most of the games that most of them liked were also not “my game.”

I was a little lost.

How do I find my new favorite game that is “my” new favorite game.

Then I realized that there were reviewers where most of the games they liked, I liked too. And they didn’t like the ones I didn’t like.

We had the same(ish) taste in games.


And I got really excited.

(I did feel dumb for a minute since that seemed also seemed similarly obvious, but I’m not a stupid person. And then I realized TOP lists can be deceiving and they don’t mean that I will like something and they DEFIANTELY don’t mean that I should like something. And when I realized THAT I stopped feeling stupid and felt very, very free.)

Instead of the lists of my favorites coming from outside and me being told, I get to find the list-maker that I related to be inspired to try, but can still have my own opinion.

So I did a happy dance.

(Which is not hard to get me to do.)

And then I started watching all of that person’s reviews and making lists of stuff to try and not to not try. And I was back in business.

And it didn’t matter what number those games fell on the Ultimate GAME BOARD LIST I had been following so religiously. If they liked it, it was likely I would too. (Though not a guarantee.) Whether or not the masses preferred 1000 other games over it. The likelihood that I would like it was HIGH and that is what mattered.

I had found a new place to start!

I found my list.

"Look in the quiet places. The places that are not speaking out and shouting. Indie authors thrive there. New authors are born there. You’ve been yelled at long enough."

It’s So Loud In Here

There is something called the crying baby syndrome.

Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

You pay attention to what is yelling at you.

And if you walk into any bookstore, or good golly any grocery store, and you are just standing in line at the checkout thinking your own thoughts like maybe the angels following Junior around protecting him are actually Whiskers the cat’s angels protecting him instead.

(Because you know Whiskers has a good heart but if you’re getting your tiny kitty face smooshed into a kids toy face-mask by an innocent 4 year-old who thinks you’re his best friend but doesn’t full understand the function of nerve-endings, you’re still a cat and may have some claw remarks to make about how acute and high functioning your little smooshed kitty nerve-endings are and you know Whiskers would feel really bad for scratching Junior later, so maybe the angels…)

…and then you hear a faint “ma’am” and you look up.


Her name shouts from both sides of the checkstand gauntlet you have to pass through, bespeckled with Chicklets and Snickers. And candy that just keeps getting stranger.

Yep, you just got author slammed.

And you will again.

Squeaky wheel.

Especially when you realize you are one lemon short. And you have to go back. And be yelled at again.


So you need to look in the quiet places. The places that are not speaking out and shouting. Indie authors thrive there. New authors are born there. You’ve been yelled at long enough.

And your next favorite book lives there.

(PS For more on Junior and Whiskers read this blog.)

To Boldly Ask What You May Not Have Asked Before!

“So, what’s your most favoritest book?”

That may not be your particular turn of phrase, but translate to your comfort zone and start spreading it around liberally.

Then pay attention to the enthusiastic answers.

That means that they are LOVING their book.

So maybe YOU will love it.

If it’s that friend that loooooooves everything, then apply salt at your discretion.

But if you ask someone about their favorite book and it suddenly perks them up out of their grey work-doldrum face and their words start to bring out color in their eyes and sunshine in their skin, and even though it might be about a family of underwater basket weavers crashed on a desert planet with no hope of survival until they discover that their hand movements done in unison is a communicative dance that awakens the planet water spirit who had forgotten itself over the distance of time but the new released fresh waters threaten the creatures of the previously waterless world that had developed and…

…they babble on and on.

Yeah, probably not your jam, right?

I mean underwater something space something-something, that sounds totally implausible - how can you be interested in that nonsensical malarky?!?

You think dramatically in a style not unlike my own…at times.

“But wait a second!” I shout with a hand raised in a stop motion to halt your fleeing efforts from the fruits of your question asking.

What if that book IS your jam?

“Impossible!” you rave as another person you asked spouts on emphatically about additional uninteresting garble.

Wait, wait, just…hear me out…

"Once you get that they are loving their book - that tear their hair out, begging you to let them talk to you about it, please this is such an incredibly good book, it changed my life, my soul... Proceed to perform these steps IMMEDIATELY!"

It’s Not What You Think!

“This smart girl meets this rich guy who is a total jerk, insults the crap out of her and her family, destroys her sister’s life and then is shocked when the girl doesn’t want to marry him. It’s the most romantic story ever!!”

“This underage girl falls in love with an 90 year old guy that looks like a teenager and has a hard time not killing her whenever he smells her. It’s the most romantic story ever!!”

Now I LOVE one of these books and not so much the other. (More on the glitter-doused infection caused by that second book that likely effected your ability to find your next favorite book in this blog!)

And neither description is inaccurate. Actually pretty on the money.

Especially the emphatic nature of that last line.

BUT, neither of those descriptions will drive most people to give it a try. No matter HOW excited the speaker was about it.

So what does this have to do with you?

This is me saying – listen to the excitement, not the content.

Because it will be wrong.

(And I personally don’t want anyone to describe a book or movie or any story to me. Because they usually start at the end and then what’s the point.)

So stop them. Right away!

Once you get that they are loving their book - that tear their hair out, begging you to let them talk to you about it, please this is such an incredibly good book, it changed my life, my soul…

Proceed to perform these steps IMMEDIATELY:

1) Tell them to stop talking – you’re sold.

2) Get a piece of paper (….or your phone) and write down the title and author (or take a picture of the book with said phone.)

3) Pull the book up on Amazon and read the sample chapters (Or just check it out at the library)

Did you get to the end of the sample chapters and want more?


If not, no harm. No fowl. (I did that on purpose.)

(And it’s true. There has yet to be a bird-sighting in this blog.)

(Because it was actually a plane dressed like superman.)

(Oh my, I’m a little punchy.)

(You’re welcome.)

Rinse and Repeat, Grasshopper.

Now…do it again.

And again.

Test out everyone you know’s favorite book or books.

Everyone you meet.

See whose taste is like yours.

Boom! You found your own list. Maybe even lists!

At the very least you will find a lot of new books and authors that you will like, maybe even love.

And maybe, just maybe, you will find…


It’ll Be Totally Easier If I Just Judge A Book By Its Cover

“So,” you say. “If I want to find great new books and authors I just…wait for people to recommend them to me?”

“You could…” I say.

“Oh, I know I totally don’t like mystery books, so if anyone is recommending a mystery I can just skip that one.”

*deep breath*

You could. But…

I think you might be missing out.

“Really?” you ask calmly and introspectively (as we are both working on our emotional maturity and all this swooning can be hard on the joints.)

“’Tis true, my dear,” I reply in kind.

Because, especially with indie authors and indie books, there is such a freedom and amount of crossover between genres that you may be cutting out whole galaxies of favorite book opportunities if you universally decide against a predetermined “type of book.”

Because in INDIE, with indie authors just free to tell the best story they want to, the gloves are off and the creative waters are aflowing!

Like that new weird restaurant with extreme lighting, a strange menu, and a long line of hungry people around the block, I am talking…


More next week, and looking to dazzle you!

Stephanie Writt

Writer, instructor, graphic artist and all around lovely soul, with a generous sense of humor  (yes, I am totally writing this myself), takes delight in sharing her geeky knowledge and ridiculous joy in reading, writing and business. As the current Director of Operation at WMG Publishing Inc., she has the privilege and mischievous pleasure in writing this blog every week. 

I Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny That This Book May Contain Stories About Whiskers' Family. (Tis A Noble And...Friendly Cat Family)

Everyone knows dogs save people. Cats do too, in a different way.

Although cats feign an aloof detachment, they possess great heart. A cat rescue comes on its own terms and in its own time, and always with dignified heroism.

From a fantastic Midnight Louie story by Carole Nelson Douglas, where Louie meets Sherlock Holmes, to a familiar rescuing other familiars from a natural disaster, this volume showcases a broad spectrum of heroic cats.


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