My name is Dave. I just recently published a novel I'd written for NaNoWriMo (after editing it, of course). I haven't received any views for my book, so I was wondering if anyone here had advice on how to market it online.
Hi David, welcome. My first response is you need a new cover. This one is pleasant but it doesn't convey anything about the story or the genre. Your story seems very dark, which is fine, kids love dark, but your cover should reflect it. You need monsters and giants. It needn't cost much. There are lots of sites where you can get great stock images at low cost or hook up with a designer.
Dave, regardless of how dark or not dark the book is, a basically blank cover with a title on it is not going to sell very many copies. Your cover is your single most important piece of advertising, the one that everyone coming into contact with your book will see. People do judge a book by its cover, and some will look no further. If you were just posting the book because you had written it anyway and didn't care whether anyone bought it or not, that would be one thing, but clearly you do care, or you wouldn't have raised the question.
The second most important piece of advertising is your blurb. Yours isn't bad, but I would recommend a somewhat less matter-of-fact tone. Put a little emotion into it. Also, the semi-colon should really be a comma--and yes, some buyers will nitpick that kind of thing.
First off, congrats on writing a book. I'm a big fan of Nano. But we go to things you won't want to hear.
-The cover is TERRIBLE. Terrible. First off, all covers should have the title and the author's name on them. And while I'm sure you think the little specks in that teal background mean something, they don't show at all in either the thumbnail or the page view, so it just looks like a poorly centered title at the top of a blank teal page.
-The writing isn't good. In Chapter One, you've started something like 90% of your sentences with "The". The boy, The box, The chamber, The Floor. Dude, that's not good technique and it is off-putting to a reader.
-You need a lot more editing. You don't have a single bit of dialogue punctuated properly. "Lied down" is just wrong, wrong, wrong unless he was telling a fib about something other than up. There are other errors. If you paid someone for the editing, get your money back. They did a lousy job. If you did it yourself, pay someone who knows what they're doing.
-10 to 18 is a bizarre age range. I can't image letting my 11 year old read things that would interest a 16-18 year old and I can't imagine many 16-18 year olds that would want to read what my 11 year old reads. Run this book through a knowledgeable children's books critique group who can tell you IF this is appropriate for children or not and if so, what age range.
So, bottom line, this isn't ready to publish. Count your lucky stars you haven't received any reviews yet. They won't be what you want to hear.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Don't squander it on something that isn't ready. If you're serious about being a writer and want to write more, you want to have readers flow to your next book and your next book. They won't do that if it isn't good.
1) I've already changed the cover. I guess it just hasn't updated yet.
2) As for the dialogue's punctuation, are you referring to the use of ellipses?
3) I'm surprised you didn't say anything about the paragraph structure. Online format guidelines told me to use the Tab key at the start of every paragraph (except for the starts of new scenes). I did that, along with the double-spacing, but I think it looks like a trainwreck.
Online format guidelines told me to use the Tab key at the start of every paragraph (except for the starts of new scenes). I did that, along with the double-spacing
Don't do either of these things! Use a modified "normal" style in Word (or Open Office Writer) so that the indents are automagical. Don't ever double-space. How many e-books have you looked at? Download the free samples of the top ten or twenty-five best-sellers and examine how the professionals do it.
The dialogue punctuation has nothing to do with the ellipses, although you seem a little too fond of them. What you have done wrong is to put a full stop/period at the end of the quote and then capitalize the speaker.
You have "Not ... good." He said.
It should be "Not ... good," he said.
For a question, the same rule applies. "Where am I?" he asked. Not "Where am I?" He asked.
And so on.
As for the ellipses, the main character starts off with stilted dialogue, because he's not used to physically speaking. Over the course of the first ten chapters, his speech gradually changes. One word at a time, then two words at a time, and so on until he's speaking complete sentences.