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Welcome! Irish Firebrands: Christine Plouvier, Indie Author, invites you to celebrate my first work of fiction. Here you can enjoy the view from a ringside seat, as I conjure up “The Story of the Story,” through blog Posts and special feature Pages. You don’t need to be a WordPress blogger to read this blog, although membership does confer advantages, when it comes to using some functions.

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Main Menu

Home – Here you’ll find the most recent blog posts, with links to related content and older posts in the queue.
About – Read a short synopsis of the book, get links to retailers, read Un-Asked Questions about Irish Firebrands (if you have others, you can use the Guestbook page to ask them), get news about other projects, and find out a bit about the strange life led by the author.
Index – Alphabetical list of blog posts.
Trailer – Links to the Irish Firebrands book trailer videos (external sites).
Sample Chapters – Find Chapter PDF, and Audiobook here, plus back matter from the book. The back matter includes a pronunciation guide, acknowledgments and complete bibliography of works consulted during the writing of the novel.
Audioblog – A work in progress, where selected posts have been recorded as audible files, using a text-to-speech generator.
Feedback – Contact the author, participate in polls, and rate the blog.
Library – Virtual bookshelf displaying some of the bibliography of Irish Firebrands. (Sorry, images not clickable.)
Shop – Links to purchase Irish Firebrands books and Boutique products.
Irish Vocabulary – Many of the Gaeilge words, phrases, names, proper nouns (and even a song) that appear in Irish Firebrands. Link to an Irish text-to-speech generator.
Ephemera – Where fun stuff lives after its debut on the home page.
Downloads – Get printable PDFs of posters, selected blog posts in a newsletter format, and other fun stuff from Irish Firebrands.

Widget Sidebar (location in sidebar may not match position on this list)

Fireplace Tools – Monthly archive drop-down menu, and the search engine for contents of this blog.
Torchlight from the Trailer – Slideshow highlights from the book trailer video.
Get it While it’s Hot! – Link to RSS feed.
Embers in Your Email – Click the Ignite! button to set up a relationship with this blog.
Click Image to Shop– Click book cover for links to booksellers and boutique. Selected retailers in sidebar.
Ask your Library – E-book and paperback sources for public library acquisitions.
Do I Smell Smoke? – Quick link “Table of Contents” for 20 recent blog posts.
Warm Your Hands – Clickable logo links to a sample chapter of Irish Firebrands.
Bonfires! – Avatars take you to meet friends in the blogosphere.
Proud to be an Indie Author– Support Indie Writing & Publishing: Get your blog badges here!
The Plover Pipes Here, Too – Visit other members of the Firebrands family of blogs.
Visit FIREBRANDS – Bags, mugs and more, featuring Irish Firebrands artwork, at the Firebrands Gift Shop.
Found in the Ashes – Meta stuff. Visit WordPress.com to start your own free blog.
On Curated Lists – Find Irish Firebrands and other works by Indie Authors listed here. Add a new author to your TBR today! :)

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Another Library Heard From!

lib congress logohgtn library logoPPL LIBRARY LOGO

Now on the shelf in the Peabody Public Library: Irish Firebrands….

The PPL is a member of the Indiana State Library system. The Evergreen Indiana catalog makes Irish Firebrands available for circulation at more than 100 libraries throughout the state.

Catalog - Irish firebrands _ a novel_Page_1

Click image to see full catalog entry.

Authors: Here are a few things that may help independently published books to get into libraries:

  1. Meaningful back matter. Even writing fiction requires research. Document it in a bibliography, using a standard format (APA, MLA, Chicago). Non-fiction should be indexed, and appendices can add value.
  2. Registered copyright. In the United States, this gives the Library of Congress the option of adding the book to their permanent collection. (Books with bibliographies, appendices, and indices may have an advantage, here.) A book that is retained by the Library of Congress will have cataloging information added to its record, which may help simplify a busy local librarian’s work.
  3. “Extended” or library distribution included when publishing, because libraries are often restricted to purchasing via these channels.*
  4. The work is relevant. There should be a credible reason for a library to consider adding the work: Local author; state-resident author; “native of” author (even if no longer a resident, if the author spent “formative years” there); alumnus-author (for school libraries); or for a special collection (such as an ethnic or other topical interest).
  5. Word-of-mouth. The request or recommendation of a library patron can be influential.

*Are your books available to libraries (distribution through Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor for paperbacks, and OverDrive for e-books)? The remuneration system may favor long books (like mine), but I think the exposure to library patrons is worth the small amount a shorter book may garner from a library purchase. But if a library distribution channel wouldn’t pay at all, a copy donated directly to a library is more likely to find a reader (even if the book goes into the Friends of the Library Sale) than the indiscriminate freebie download days promoted by A Major Online Retailer. Downloaders don’t necessarily become readers. And when you come down to it, why do we write? To be read.

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Recording Audible Text with Balabolka

audiobook logoI’ve posted a few sample chapters and audioblog posts recorded with other text-to-speech generators, which you can read about in my post, Oyez! Oyez! The TTS program I’m using for an audiobook of Irish Firebrands, is Balabolka.

Balabolka

Balabolka is a free download that works with the voices you have (or install) on your computer. It comes with complete instructions, and no special knowledge is required for use. But because computer voices don’t always sound the way you want them, you may need to adjust the recording.

This can be a labor-intensive task, and I found it helpful to simultaneously open a document that listed the most frequently used tags. I could then copy and paste the tag I wanted, right where I needed it, instead of typing it out, every time. I’ve tidied up the chart, and it appears below. If you’d like to try Balabolka, you can download a PDF of my cheat sheet by clicking on the image.

Balabolka coding

The listed tags will work with all voices supported by the program; however, most pronunciation problems are specific to the voice you’re using. Balabolka has some other fixes you can try, but I ended up using my own list of spelling adjustments. These will differ according to syntax, as well as what individual users think are understandable, but I hope to come up with a list of generic suggestions to share.

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Here’s a Word from our Sponsor….

READER FLOWCHART

Click on the image, to copy and share.

Indie Authors, please don’t forget to publish in paper. Some of us need to have that format.

Brought to you by

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Irish Firebrands: Fiction that fuses several genres, in the literary tradition of novelists who write because they have an epic story to tell.

Available Online and in Public Libraries, Worldwide:
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1484165706, ISBN-10: 1484165705
B&N ID 2940016093796, E-book ISBN-13: 978-1301513826

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