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Thread: Honest opinion wanted


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Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 465
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:21 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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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.

That's separate from what they covered or didn't cover in class, though. I guess they didn't do any classes on art for marketing and propaganda. But you should have little difficulty regardless. Just look at the covers for the successful books in your category. Look at film posters for films in your category, for that matter.

I'm the klutz who can't draw a straight line with a ruler and had to hire a pro to do his covers for him. In your case, you can just draw your own, I expect. Your problem is that you're trying to draw a thing to hang up on a wall, like they taught you in school.
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:23 AM   in response to: Moshe Ben-Or in response to: Moshe Ben-Or
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you know how they say... first instinct is to do what you know
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 465
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 10:32 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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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

Your country, given your name and linguistic style, is in Eastern Europe. Romania, I'd expect. Which explains why your readers, themselves non-native speakers of English, had no problem relating to your characters or your attempts to directly calque your own colloquialisms instead of picking English equivalents.

What you have here is classic sample bias. Your results are useless. Toss the sample and start over.

I hate to disabuse you, but high school students in your country are reasonably intelligent, fairly responsible adults compared to what you will find in the US. Your test readers are also, given that they read English fairly fluently, members of the intelligentsia utterly unrepresentative of even your own country's high school students, possessing above-average intelligence, maturity, sophistication and reading comprehension. Finally, 90% of traffic on the Amazon main site where most sales take place are going to be Americans. Just a fact of life.

I suggest you unpublish, edit, and then republish when you have a work written in English, instead of in Romanian thinly disguised as English. This will also give you time to work on the cover. There is no sense in getting a bad reputation because what you have posted does not fit the audience. And don't market it as YA, unless your test readers are 9 and they love it.
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 11:11 AM   in response to: Moshe Ben-Or in response to: Moshe Ben-Or
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I market it as paranormal and suspense romance.

I just gave today the book to a native English speaker. I will wait for his feedback than take a decision.

anyway, the editor is booked for 28th this month when I get paid... LOL
campcomms

Posts: 270
Registered: 03/03/12
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 11:16 AM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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If English isn't your first language, no amount of the kind of help I offered will work for you.

Edited by: campcomms on Nov 8, 2017 9:18 PM
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 465
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 1:10 PM   in response to: campcomms in response to: campcomms
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The new cover is still too busy and the old cover shows up on the See Inside

It takes over a week for cover updates to fully propagate. The new cover is far worse than the old. Even less visual impact, and same flaws as before. But I expect she will be changing it in short order. The elements of "boy shields girl from rising flames all around" are not bad material for a romantic cover. But the entire execution style simply needs to change. The same is true of the entire text of the novel. It's not marketable as it now stands.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 641
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 1:34 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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Andreea,

I'm not going to rehash everything you've already been told, but there's really nothing I disagree with.

I just read your blurb, and this one sentence jumped out at me -

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.

It might just be me (and very likely is) but when I read 'lose control of his actions' I immediately thought you meant he'd wet himself!

Assuming that's not what you meant, you might want to rethink that sentence.

Just my thoughts. J
Moshe Ben-Or

Posts: 465
Registered: 12/28/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 2:16 PM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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It might just be me (and very likely is) but when I read 'lose control of his actions' I immediately thought you meant he'd wet himself!

It's yet another direct calque of a colloquialism. She has lots of those.

She meant to tell the reader that this young man is immediately, instinctively and brutally violent when he perceives a threat. What we call a "battle mind" carried over into normal civilian life, a common symptom of e.g. military or prison-related PTSD. This would potentially make him a very dangerous, but also a very capable, protector. The very things that make him massively dysfunctional in the normal world, likely to end in prison or in a hospital psych ward, also make him the exact guy a girl needs to hide behind when civilized society comes crashing down. While everyone else is still trying to reason with the zombies/aliens/barbarians/terrorists/gangsters/foreign invaders, he's the guy who whips out a gun and starts shooting without a word exchanged. The problem is, he is also liable to whip out a gun and start shooting if some idiot steps on his foot, or looks at him wrong in a pub...

An outstanding male character for a romance novel, and yet another example of how badly the OP needs a good editor.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 641
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 2:29 PM   in response to: Moshe Ben-Or in response to: Moshe Ben-Or
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I did understand what the OP was trying to say, but once I had a certain image in my head, nothing was wiping it clean! ;)

If this is the romantic lead character, he could definitely use some work.

I understand the attraction of the 'bad-boy' aspect, but taken to the extreme, what's to like or relate to? It's great when the heroine finds the guy that's going to protect her and give her the courage to face the world. Not so great when she should fear him more than the world.

Just a few more of my thoughts. J
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 2:37 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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Guys slow down, he is not touching any gun, he is more like a wild animal in those moments.
C. Gold

Posts: 505
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 2:40 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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andreea danciu wrote:
"... 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.


Well, I think that's the first time I've been called dumb before. I've read over 2k books in my lifetime, am well educated, and I read paranormal, fantasy, romance, and hard core science fiction (James P. Hogan, Asimov, Clarke). I've digested Janny Wurts--her stuff really makes you work sometimes for the nuances. You want to write to the world but not Americans which doesn't make sense to me. You asked for an honest opinion, I gave it. You didn't like it, so you resorted to veiled insults. I gave feedback based on the other popular books in the genre I've read before by native English speaking authors. It's up to you to take it or leave it. I've done my part.
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 2:45 PM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
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I didn't meant to insult you, but to explain.
I am sorry if you felt that way it was not my intention
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 641
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 3:04 PM   in response to: andreea danciu in response to: andreea danciu
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andreea danciu wrote in response to c. gold:
I didn't meant to insult you, but to explain.
I am sorry if you felt that way it was not my intention

Andreea,

I think this is possibly the exact point people have being trying to make. Whenever you put pen to paper, there's always the chance you'll say something meaning one thing, and the reader will see it as something else. I give the phrase above which confused me as an example. When you add writing in a second language as another barrier, the problem simply worsens.

The people you gave your book to were probably friends and family, living in the same area as you, possibly, and who use the same speech patterns etc. It's almost certain that they will understand the way you say things, and they'll seem familiar to them. Of course their feedback will be positive.

But for the rest of your readers, some of those phrases will translate well, and some quite simply won't. That's where using a native speaker as an editor is worth every penny it's going to cost you.

I recommend you take the hints and tips the long-timers here have given you, and do what you can to improve things until you can get your book re-edited. Trust me, it's good advice.

Best wishes. J
andreea danciu

Posts: 12
Registered: 10/27/17
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 3:11 PM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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Thank you Julia,
I already spoke with an editor and is waiting for my book on 28th( after I get payed from my regular job).
Also until is done I will unpublish the book, but it seem like I can't do it untill tomorrow morning.
I will probably return with a similar request by the end of the month, just to see the diferences.
C. Gold

Posts: 505
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Honest opinion wanted
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 3:18 PM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
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This exactly. I want to reiterate that I think the story idea is solid and interesting but the execution is poor from an American audience perspective. I'd love to see what an editor does for the work because this is the type of story I'd read.
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