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andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 10:07 AM
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Hello Authors,

Would it be possible to receive some constructive criticism from those who know what they are talking about?( obviously, I am not going to ignore new authors opinions if they want to share)
This is my first book, and I know for sure I cannot count on my family or friends for 100% honesty as they want to support me( doing more harm with their positive reviews)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Dreams-Andreea-Pryde-ebook/dp/B07721ZTDT/

Thank you.

Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,542
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 10:33 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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andreea danciu wrote:
Hello Authors,

Would it be possible to receive some constructive criticism from those who know what they are talking about?( obviously, I am not going to ignore new authors opinions if they want to share)
This is my first book, and I know for sure I cannot count on my family or friends for 100% honesty as they want to support me( doing more harm with their positive reviews)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Dreams-Andreea-Pryde-ebook/dp/B07721ZTDT/

Thank you.


The cover is a mess. To many overlapping images and it's hard to tell what it is. Certainly doesn't convey Romance/Romantic comedy/Romantic suspense.

I don't think I've ever seen a Romantic Comedy/Romantic Suspense book. It's usually one or the other. Which one is it?

Your pitch isn't compelling. It needs to have a stronger hook and be more seamless.

Writing a pitch is hard. I think it's easier to write a book than a pitch. Study the pitches of books similar to yours (in the top 100) and use them as a guide. Ditto for the cover.

Romance is very competitive. Good Luck.
Omar Hill

Posts: 6
Registered: 08/02/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 10:50 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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I will second the opinion on the cover. If it was me I would picture the youth in the shadows. This ties into your plot about the young lady dreaming about someone in the shadows. As for the pitch, remember strong sentences. I suggest the following:

The transfer student was trouble. Ever since his arrival X, Y, Z had occurred. Still <name> could not be help but be drawn to him as he seemed to be the very one she had dreamed of since the tender age of eight.

Hope that helps,

Omar
Elodie

Posts: 698
Registered: 03/23/14
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 11:18 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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The image of the cover itself isn't too bad, it made me want to take a closer look as to what's going on there. I saw flames, a guy, and I think a girl, and possibly even a rose near the guys' neck warping out into the flames. But the text is horrible and you can hardly make it out.
Change the text - mainly the colouring, and you might have something there...
The blurb needs some work, but I don't want to tell you what to write there. This book actually sounds like a novel I'm 1/3rd into (apart from the squirrels - which made me curious), and I don't want to make them too similar.
For some reason I can't see the categories you're in.

Edited to add: Your reviews seem fake.
No criticism, just realism.

Edited by: Elodie on Nov 7, 2017 11:20 AM
Dana Blankenship

Posts: 13
Registered: 09/22/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 11:25 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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Ditto on the cover. Too busy. Certainly portrays dreamy confusion, but too much so. Online, difficult to make out title.

After only a few paragraphs, I think you need to do a sentence by sentence edit. If you reword to get rid of frequent use of 'was,' you could tighten it up considerably.

Watch for things like "... tonight he came again in my dream." Perhaps not in British slang, but in American slang, this could mean something unintended.

Good luck with your book.
Dage
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 11:28 AM   in response to: Elodie in response to: Elodie
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Thank you for your suggestions.

The cover represents a scene from the 19th chapter. I will try to make it less messy.

as for the reviews... those are my friends who wanted to do good ( and I want to kill them for their "honest" opinion )

as for the text, I am afraid of giving too much information, although it is clear for now is not enough.

How does this sound? Better?

      • Ever since Ariana Shannon was eight years old, she had a dream about a mysterious person, covered by shadows, always protecting her in the middle of a blaze.
A few days since her last dream about, a boy transferred into her class. Mysterious and dangerous, everyone around was afraid of him. Scared to talk or even look at him, they kept their distance labeling him as a troublemaker since the very first day... with one exception... and three squirrels.
He traveled the world, mostly in inhabited places. Because of the harsh conditions and the dangers he had to face daily, he developed a survival instinct that made him lose control over his actions whenever he was in a life-threatening situation.
How can he live among humans again, if his life pushed him in the wildness? Can he learn to trust those around him, or will he prove to be a menace?
With a turbulent past and an unfortunate secret, what kind of future awaits when two different destinies collide? ***

Edited by: andreea danciu on Nov 7, 2017 12:39 PM
C. Gold

Posts: 495
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 1:48 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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This sounds like paranormal romance rather than romantic comedy or romantic suspense. The cover doesn't convey your genre at all, whichever one it really is.

If you can afford it, I recommend hiring an editor to work on your blurb and Look Inside material. You have numerous comma/grammar issues, tense swapping between present and past, and repetitive words/phrases/concepts. Plus, the story outside the dream flits between things that either don't make sense or are jumbled in a time sense.

One such instance is you state she isn't interested in the opposite sex or has short relationships because of her dream boy, yet then she's suddenly on a group date with Adam - telling us this right out of the blue as a few sentences in passing is jarring. The date is mentioned as an afterthought, yet we have a new person, Adam, and potentially others there with her since it's a group date. But nothing is told of these people or what she's thinking during the date or showing us the date itself. This is an example of telling, not showing, and it does nothing to bring your reader closer to your character. First person view is usually used to let us get into the head space of the person doing the talking and can be a very powerful tool when used for that.

Other issues:

... or I should rather say, for how long?
I asked myself these questions because I was walking for some time around the lake and I haven't seen anything.

The boy just popped out of the lake so this doesn't make sense. She knows exactly how long he's been there because she watched him emerge. Also, 'I was walking' matches with 'I hadn't seen anything', not 'I haven't seen'.

...while still being a traveler in distant places. HUH? I get that she feels disconnected from her earlier experience, but nowhere did you show us her thoughts that would indicate she's thinking of distant places.

I get the feeling this could be an interesting story, but it needs a pass through to make sure each scene impacts the reader in some way, lures them in, and lets us into the character's head space instead of feeling very remote.
Natasja

Posts: 132
Registered: 01/26/16
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 7:08 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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The cover is interesting, but a bit too busy. The images overlap with the background too much, which makes them blend in so that it's hard to see what it's supposed to be.
The blurb is vague and un-inspiring.

I think you have a good idea, but the presentation needs work
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 11:03 PM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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thank you for your suggestions.

I am aware of the grammar mistakes as English is far from being my first language, and I do plan to hire an editor, but I need to raise some money for that.

As for the date scene, I purposely left it like that so I can show the impact that short meeting by the lake had over her without any particular reason, yet. I promise that lots of things are explained forward in the novel.
C. Gold

Posts: 495
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 7, 2017 11:30 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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You can promise all sorts of revelations later on, but that won't help if your Look Inside isn't strong enough to convince a reader to click buy. Cover, blurb, and Look Inside are your advertising.
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 463
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 8:02 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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As for the date scene, I purposely left it like that so I can show the impact that short meeting by the lake had over her without any particular reason, yet. I promise that lots of things are explained forward in the novel.

If you have a complex novel set in a complex world you expect to be utterly alien to the American reader, I suggest you pick an easy-to-follow, exciting scene, and put it at the top as a preview. It worked for me.

Your cover I actually like, as an artistic concept. The problem is, it does not work as a thumbnail. It would be a great piece of art to hang on a wall, but it has no visual impact to begin with, and doubly so when shrunk to the tiny size of an Amazon ad.

The standard rules of visual propaganda apply to covers: Central focus, simplicity, visual impact, direct appeal to emotion. They should have covered this in your art school, I expect, albeit perhaps only briefly. The Communist period left us all with an intense allergy to visual propaganda, so they might have thrown it out of the curriculum.

Think military recruiting posters. Think electoral propaganda. You have exactly one second, if that, to capture the prospective reader's eye. If complex visual processing is required, you've lost them already.
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:04 AM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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"... or I should rather say, for how long?
I asked myself these questions because I was walking for some time around the lake and I haven't seen anything.

The boy just popped out of the lake so this doesn't make sense. She knows exactly how long he's been there because she watched him emerge.

The thing is she doesn't know, how could she know? It was just a coincidence that he got out of the water close to the bench she was seated on.

Also, 'I was walking' matches with 'I hadn't seen anything', not 'I haven't seen'."

Yeah, they might match, but for me, there is no difference as they translate in my language with the same tense.
This is the reason why I need an editor, and I will get one when I have the money.

...while still being a traveler in distant places. - It's a figure of speech...

I would not say it's complicated as I wrote it for Young Adults to understand. If you pay just a bit of attention when you read is impossible not to get what I meant.
I had 20 people reading my novel when I finished it, and none of them said they did not understand my figures of speech.
Among those 20 I had four girls( age 16-19) and one boy(18), who said they could relate to the main characters, all the others were over 28 yo.

andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:10 AM   in response to: Moshe Ben-Or in response to: Moshe Ben-Or
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I understand what you mean, and the new cover should be live by now.
Unfortunately, my teachers were that kind " you do as we say or you fail" so we had to be like little robots, programmed in a certain way.
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 463
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:13 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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I would not say it's complicated as I wrote it for Young Adults to understand. If you pay just a bit of attention when you read is impossible not to get what I meant.
I had 20 people reading my novel when I finished it, and none of them said they did not understand my figures of speech.
Among those 20 I had four girls( age 16-19) and one boy(18), who said they could relate to the main characters, all the others were over 28 yo.

LOL!

East European / Israeli @ 9 = West European @ 16 = American @ 36. Unless you recruited them from the States, directly from Americans born of American-born parents, your readers aged 16-19 are grown men and women whose mentality has nothing in common with the American target audience you are apparently trying to reach.
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:20 AM   in response to: Moshe Ben-Or in response to: Moshe Ben-Or
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East European / Israeli @ 9 = West European @ 16 = American @ 36. Unless you recruited them from the States, directly from Americans born of American-born parents, your readers aged 16-19 are grown men and women whose mentality has nothing in common with the American target audience you are apparently trying to reach.

They are people from my country 16 - 19 is still high school, and I am not trying to reach American audience, I am trying to reach the whole world _

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