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Thread: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?


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Permlink Replies: 14 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 2, 2012 11:43 AM Last Post By: philcyberia
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 6:50 AM
 
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Hi Guys - I wondered if I could get some feedback from you. One of my kids' fantasy books has been up for sale since around Feb of this year. I have started doing more marketing recently but have seen no increase in sales really, although some of those who have read it have given it good reviews. I wondered whether you could see anything in relation to the blurb, cover, look inside, etc that you feel could be adversely affecting interest/sales. Most grateful for any feedback. The links are:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sceptre-of-Zanafiar-ebook/dp/B0072W4C6W/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1338644763&sr=8-5

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sceptre-of-Zanafiar-ebook/dp/B0072W4C6W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338644983&sr=8-1

Many thanks in advance for your time x
martitalbott

Posts: 4,066
Registered: 07/29/10
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 7:17 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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I think the title might be a little to hard to pronounce for kids. After that, see if you can trim down the description. It's a bit wordy. I would put an authors note at the bottom of your description with the word count and the ages this book would appeal to.

Just my thoughts.
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 7:20 AM   in response to: martitalbott in response to: martitalbott
 
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Thanks Marti - putting the age on is a really good idea, as although it is a kids' books it is for older kids (probably around 11-14) so putting that in the description might help.

cheers!
andresanthomas

Posts: 4,925
Registered: 01/01/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 7:56 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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1. This is a tough age group to write for. Kudos for tackling it.

2. This is a tough age group to make kindle sales for. You have to appeal to both the parent and the child and many parents may not be ready to give their kid a $200 toy to read a book on at that age.

3. You need to fix the title on your cover. You cannot read it in the thumbnail size. Making the text bigger or perhaps putting a banner behind it would keep it from being lost in the illustration behind it.

4. You need a good edit. You've got a misspelled word in the first few paragraphs. That doesn't bode well, especially in a children's book where parents are looking for things that are good examples for their kids.

5. You need to hang out where parents hang out and let them know that you have a book they might like for their kids. Online mom's groups and a note in your siggy while you make relevant comments to threads for example.
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 8:04 AM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
 
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Hi - thanks so much for such a detailed response and your very valid points. Could I just ask - you said that there was a spelling error in the first few paragraphs but I couldn't see it (I re-read down to the character winking out of sight). Could you advise which word it was because it's driving me mad trying to find it lol.

Thanks again!
andresanthomas

Posts: 4,925
Registered: 01/01/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 8:06 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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focussing :)
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 8:14 AM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
 
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Ah, the British English strikes again lol. It's just the most common British spelling of the word (I believe that focusing is US and focussing is UK - both are apparently correct). I've had a few comments from readers over spelling errors, all of which turned out to be British spellings (e.g. colour instead of color, cosy instead of cozy etc). To be honest, I never even thought about variations when I was writing it - being British I just wrote the way I normally write.

Definitely going to look at getting the title to stand out more. That's my job for this rainy English afternoon :-)
marylisabob

Posts: 408
Registered: 01/18/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 8:32 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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Hi, first off, I want to say that I really like your cover and look inside.

When I read your first paragraph and saw the word "materialise," with an s instead of z, it tipped me off that you were writing in British English. Unfortunately, not all Americans know the differences. It seems like people in the UK are aware of American spellings, but not the other way around. Maybe you could put a little disclaimer after the title page that says something like "This story was written in British English, there may be spelling variations from American English," or some such warning.

I wish you much success - it looks like you've created a wonderful book, but as others have said - it maybe hard to sell it, since not many children have ebook reading devices. Maybe that will change soon. Good Luck! :)
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 8:54 AM   in response to: marylisabob in response to: marylisabob
 
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Thank you so much for your lovely comments :-)

I did mean to add a little note under the description about British spelling after some previous issues I had but then it all seemed to die down and I forgot all about it. I think I will have to add it to my 'to do' list for today. It is a difficult market to cater for as far as eBooks are concerned - just have to hope that kids start to want Kindles and eBook readers as much as they want smart phones and games consoles lol.

Thanks again :-)
mhender668

Posts: 181
Registered: 02/28/11
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 9:06 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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The font on the cover should be made simpler, it's too hard to read. Use a nice big solid font. Maybe there should be more color on the cover, as well.

Raise the price to at least $4.99.

I'm not qualified to criticize the writing, though I thought it better than most.

Good luck
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 9:13 AM   in response to: mhender668 in response to: mhender668
 
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Thank you - a few people have mentioned the font, so it definitely something I need to look at (and hoping to sort out over the weekend). Do you really think I should increase the price? I have to admit, I was in turmoil about the pricing, as I was aware that it might make the book look cheap by pricing at $2.99 but at the same time I know that many parents can't afford to spend a huge amount in the current climate. I always struggle when it comes to pricing :-(
sbin59

Posts: 477
Registered: 01/16/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 9:34 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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I downloaded this book during one of your free promotions in order to check it out for my nephews and I found that once I started reading it, I liked it myself! It is an exceptionally imaginative story that keeps the reader engaged.

There were some spelling and format issues that made it hard to get through certain parts and some of your character names were hard for me to know how to pronounce, so this might be an issue for young people. Despite these, I kept wanting to read the story and I'm sure it will sell if you clean it up a bit.

As far as pricing goes, I'm no expert so I'll leave that to others. Have you thought about doing a paperback version? I'd also suggest putting it up over at Smashwords so that people can get it through other means. My nephews ended up with ipads instead of kindles and have been adding books to their devices. I think most kids/parents choose these because of the games they play on them but I encourage these guys to read as well.

Good luck with the book! Make a sequel, I'd read it! :)
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 10:02 AM   in response to: sbin59 in response to: sbin59
 
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Awww, thank you, that's so encouraging. I did have some format issues at first (even though I got a professional to format it all for me because I am technologically challenged lol). I got those sorted out though (I was very embarrassed when I realised that they were there...)

It was actually taken on (and edited) by a small publisher originally (I decided to go the indie route with it because the publisher hadn't really done anything to market any of the authors or books). I also went through it myself, as the editor hadn't spotted all the typos, so I am really hoping that the only spelling 'errors' are now the variations between US and British English.

It recently came off the Select programme so I have submitted to Smashwords and am awaiting the review for the premiere catalogue (as I cannot sell in Kindle format at B&N from the UK but it can be distributed to B&N amongst other places via Smashwords). I also have it available via Create Space, although I don't believe I have sold any in paperback format as of yet.

Really glad you liked it when you read it! x
andresanthomas

Posts: 4,925
Registered: 01/01/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 11:20 AM   in response to: philcyberia in response to: philcyberia
 
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Hmmm... my hubby is an Aussie so I'm usually pretty good with the British/American thing. S's and Z's I wouldn't have commented on. I didn't hear British phrasing as a tip off in the bit that I read and I only looked at a couple paragraphs, so that could be why I missed it.

The thing is though, I'm pretty sophisticated (if I do say so myself), if I didn't get it, a huge bunch of Americans won't either. So a note might help that.
philcyberia

Posts: 393
Registered: 01/15/12
Re: WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE?
Posted: Jun 2, 2012 11:43 AM   in response to: andresanthomas in response to: andresanthomas
 
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I quite agree - I'm definitely going to add a note on there. All your input has been very useful :-)
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