We made it!

I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that helped my Kickstarter project become a success.

There are currently 7 days until the deadline and we are at 126% (£743 of the £600 target).

Due to the fact there is still a week remaining I have added some stretch goals and a new reward level. If I reach £750 (only £7 to go) I will use the additional funds to hire a professional proofreader for my novel. If I reach a total of £1,000 I intend to commission an illustrator to create three key scenes.

My new reward level is a big one. It is called ‘The Education Level’ and it is £500. I realise this is a lot of money but I thought a reward aimed at schools and colleges might be a good idea. For £500 I will visit a school or college and do a half day session with a class of students covering topics such as my inspiration, how I wrote my novel, getting published, formatting and marketing techniques amongst others. I will also set a challenge with a prize of a Kindle and 3 signed paperbacks. Don’t forget, you get all the rewards from the other levels below this.

If you know anyone that might be interested please pass on this link http://kck.st/171KD09 where there is a video of me explaining what the project is for and what to do.

Thanks again for all your support!

Tirfo Thuin is on Kickstarter – hurry, 12th July deadline to get your rewards

Tirfo Thuin Kickstarter imageI just wanted to do a quick post on my new Kickstarter project. For those of you unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a platform where people can add their creative projects and set a target funding goal/deadline. People can choose different funding levels and receive lots of great rewards for their support. However, it is an all or nothing situation. If the goal is not reached by the deadline the project is cancelled, no money is donated and the creators are sad 😦

Check it out and watch my video here: http://kck.st/171KD09

I started my Kickstarter project to help fund a professional edit of my self-published debut fantasy fiction novel, Tirfo Thuin. Mu novel was first published in December 2011 and has achieved over 2,500 sales and plenty of 5* reviews. However, I am mindful that this book has not undergone a full professional edit/proof read that a big name publisher would have been able to supply. What I am hoping to achieve is support to help fund this professional edit whilst offering loads of nice rewards and goodies along the way.

Please feel free to take a look and see if you are interested in any of the rewards and pass it on to all your friends. The clock is ticking. Thanks.

You can read more about Kickstarter and what it is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/hello?ref=nav

Tirfo Thuin - Young Adult Fantasy Fiction Novel -- Kicktraq Mini

Author Interview – Patti Roberts (author of the Paradox series)

I would like to introduce Patti Roberts – self published author of the Paradox series. She has kindly agreed to answer some questions and offered to throw in a free copy of Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence to one lucky reader. See below for more details.

Patti Roberts1. How would you describe yourself and your writing?

Dedicated. I like to research particular aspects of the story line to make events as realistic as possible. And although a work of fiction, I like to feel that the reader has learnt a little something that they didn’t know before they read on of my books. Usually, an event from history.

2. Can you tell me a bit about how the Paradox series came about?

I need to do something creative and positive with myself. Writing Paradox – The Angels Are Here, was a kind of therapy for me. It helped me put a positive spin on the negativity of a failed relationship. It most certainly worked!

3. What made you self publish your novels and what has the experience been like to date?

I can’t compare it with traditional publishing, as I have never walked down that path. I never even considered it – I’m way too impatient and independent to wait around for someone else to tell me yes or no. So I went ahead with the idea of letting the reader tell me yes or no. Most have said YES, so I’m more than happy with that!

4. Who have you published with?

Self published with Smashwords, Amazon and Createspace.

5. Did you prepare your e-books yourself? Any pointers?

Yes I did. I have done everything. Formatting, cover design – I bought the artwork however, I’m not that talented. Promotion and marketing. Lots of very long hours but very rewarding. I highly recommend everyone thinking about writing to join Goodreads. They are such a supportive bunch of people over there!

Progeny cover6. Who does you cover art?

I bought the cover art from Dreamstime.com. Some really talented artist can be found there. I love your cover by the way! Then I work on the text. Oh, and people do judge a book by the cover… So make sure you pick a winner. If people don’t stop to admire the cover, chances are they won’t bother to read what the book is about. Result – Sale missed!

7. Do you do a lot of self promotion? How do you market and promote your work & what do you find are effective methods of self promotion?

Anyone can self promote and market if they are prepared to put in the hours. HOURS. I use twitter and Facebook. I provide lots of free copies of my book to bloggers that do reviews and host giveaways. Recently I held a comp and asked people to help me chose a cover for book 2. I had 3 different covers designed for voters to choose from. Then after the comp I gave two winners a copy of Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence. I thought it was a way to get people involved. And it certainly did.

8. Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

Sure, that is the way it goes. The more promotion and marketing you do the more feedback and interest you receive.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Use you first book as a marketing research. Get it out there as much as you can. Find out what people loved and hated about it. And listen to what the readers are telling you. Learn from what they are telling you… Listen to the good and the bad. You can learn more about the bad than the good… That is if you want to keep getting better!

10. What lies in store for Patti Roberts?

Lots more books in the Paradox Series. I start writing for book 3 in the New Year for a 2012 release. I would actually like to bring out 2 books in 2012, but we will just have to wait and see.

Thank you so much for the interview Andrew. I have enjoyed answering your questions. Patti

More information

The Paradox Series Book Trailers
Twitter
Facebook

e-book from Smashwords – all formats
US – e-book from Amazon
UK – e-book from Amazon
Nook – Barnes & Noble
Paperback – Createspace
Thesaurus Bookstore – Melbourne

Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence Giveaway – Free e-book alert!
Patti often gives a free e-book to a reader along with an interview or a review. Therefore, all you need to do is Tweet/Like this post and then add a comment. I will pick a winner at random on 21st December and post here who the lucky winner is. What a great prize for you to enjoy over the Christmas break. Good luck.

Author Interview – Mike Wells (@MikeWellsAuthor)

I am extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to ask Mike Wells some questions about his writing and publishing experiences.

A bit about Mike

mike wells authorI’m an American bestselling thriller & suspense author and teach in the Creative Writing program at Oxford. Known for my fast-paced, ‘unputdownable’ novels.

1/ How many books do you have published and tell us a bit about them?

I’ve published over a dozen books. I write mostly thrillers & suspense, but I also write in several other genres – young adult/coming of age, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and even horror.

2/ What made you self publish?

I can’t work as an employee , am completely incapable of it, and except for a few years in my life have always been self-employed. Trying to work with literary agents and publishers is too much like having a job with a company, as due to the intense competition for your spot, you are expected to do what they tell you to do and you have little control over the design elements and marketing of the product you are producing. I simply can’t deal with that–I have to maintain creative & marketing control over my work. I think I know best regarding how it should be done, and usually I’m right (just look at the publication story of Wild Child) Also, having dealt with four different agents and a few publishers over the years, I’m not at all confident they understand what Average Reader wants. Too often they are mistaken about which books have a market, and the size of those markets. By self-publishing, I get to PROVE, beyond any doubt, that my books have a market. And, by taking that risk, I get the bulk of the money made from them. I think it’s very fair.

3/ Did you prepare your e-book yourself?

Yes I did.

4/ Who did you self publish with?

I used Smashwords and also Amazon KDP.

5/ Do you do a lot of self promotion?

I do tons of self-promotion, mostly using Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

6/ Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

Absolutely. The challenge is to keep the sales up after a given book is no longer “new” and while the market is steadily flooded with more books.

7/ Who does you cover art?

Unfortunately I have to do it myself. As I’m on a super-low budget and have had some graphic design experience, I’m designing all my covers using GIMP (a free package similar to Photoshop). In the future I may opt to pay someone to do my covers (they don’t look as good as yours, Andy, not by a long shot). For anyone who doesn’t have some real graphic design experience, I would recommend using a professional like Andy if the writer can afford it.

8/ What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Be prepared to take on what will probably be the biggest challenge of your life. Don’t give up when the going gets tough, and it will get tough. The people who persist are the ones who make through those tough spots.

9/ What lies in store for Mike Wells?

Many more books, I have far more story ideas than I could write in a lifetime. I would also like to see some of my books made into films. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at directing one.

Please offer your support to Mike on Twitter @mikewellsauthor and check out his site: http://www.thegreenwater.com/

You can also purchase some of his books here: http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Wells/e/B004MCEC1U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Books or eBook vouchers for Christmas?

I have read many articles over the last year or so on the success of the eBook and the potential fall of the traditional publisher and physical books. Personally, I can never imagine eBooks taking over completely – just as MP3 has not resulted in a complete demise of the CD and music shops. It is even still possible to buy cassette tapes in certain shops.

Personally, I always used to ask for books for Christmas or, at the very least, Waterstones vouchers. I knew I could always spend those vouchers well and build my ever-growing book collection. However, now I think about it I cannot remember the last time I purchased an actual book. I have downloaded thousands of eBooks from both Amazon and iBooks and have asked for iTunes vouchers for the last few years knowing I would be able to buy many eBooks at 99p each in comparison with maybe a couple of hardbacks for the same total cost.

I think we have reached that point we did with MP3’s where people now begin selling their physical copies on eBay and giving away to charity shops in favour of the digital solution as so many did with CD’s.

Whilst I could not see the complete demise of the traditional publisher and printed books I was curious to know how the statistics compared between sales of hardback/paperbacks and the sale of eBooks over the last few years. I read the Association of American Publishers Press Release for 2010 and was surprised to read that the sales of books, once eBooks were subtracted, was pretty even between 2009 and 2010.

I also discovered a few facts that may interest you:

What do people think? Do you still purchase physical books or do you find the ease and cost of buying eBooks just makes it far more enticing?

Self published author interview – Simon Fox

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to interview author of The Firstlord Chronicles, Simon Fox. Please rate, comment and Like toward the end of the post.

1/ How would you describe the Firstlord Chronicles?

I would describe it as ‘science fiction’ rather than ‘fantasy’. There aren’t any elves or dwarves in the story!

2/ Do you think your religious views and scifi addiction strongly influences your work?

Yes, my Christian beliefs are an important factor in the FLC equation. Jaddra Vallmar, the main character in Parts 1–4, is a Follower of the Anthall, the God of the Varrdans.

3/ I see you have published with Lulu. How have you found the experience?

Lulu is great to use if you want to produce high-quality, low-cost paperbacks. I have also published my novels as Lulu Epubs, available in the iBookstore.

4/ Have you published anywhere else and, if not, do you plan to?

All of my books are now also available in the Kindle store. The Kindle market is expanding exponentially on a daily basis!

5/ What is your writing process?

Fairly simple, really: (1) thrash out the basic concept/plot structure; (2) rapid first draft; (3) drastic revision; (4) revise again; (5) revise yet again! (6) final tweaking.

6/ Who does your cover art?

I do it myself. The results are OK (at least, I think so!), and it costs me nothing, thus maximizing profits.

7/ Your bio says you’re an editor. Do you focus on similar work to your own?

About 30% of my work is editing Christian non-fiction books, the rest is proof-reading general fiction and non-fiction.

8/ What is your #1 tip for self promotion?

Today the best means of promoting your work is social networking, especially Twitter. Give people substantial samples to read; don’t bore them with mere ads.

9/ What is your #1 tip for authors wanting to self publish?

DON’T GIVE UP!! It’s a steep learning curve and you will probably get little encouragement from other people. But if you believe in what you’re doing, persevere until you get results.

10/ What does the future hold? Any new books in the pipeline?

I have a whole new series of ebooks in mind, featuring my characters KnowsMuch and ThinksFast (see XUNNSPHERE and UNSPACE).

11/ Do you want to name drop any fellow authors or people that have helped along the way?

To be honest, I’ve not received much help from people. It’s been a long, lonely road! I think that’s true of most writers. To get through to some form of success, you need fire in your belly that compels you to write. Your writing should give you a deep, unique joy. If you don’t really have that fire and joy, go and do something easier!

A little bit about Simon Fox

First and foremost, I’m a Christian. Also I’m a husband, dad, writer, editor, politico, sci-fi geek, beer lover, thinker of weird & wonderful thoughts .

Follow Simon on Twitter @SimonFoxWriter and purchase his e-books at Simon’s Bookshop here.

Thank’s very much to Simon for his time and his useful insights.

Author Interview – Bill Glover

I am very excited to say Bill Glover, author of Empire Time amongst many others, has been kind enough to answer some questions for me. I think you will find his responses on writing and publishing extremely interesting – not to mention humorous.

1/ What can you tell us about Empire Time?

I wrote Empire Time as part of the Orion’s Arm project. Orion’s Arm is a shared, hard science fiction world set ten thousand years in our future and filled with artificial intelligences, post-humans and wild ideas. My story is set a bit earlier in the same universe. I wanted to explore some of the consequences of faster than light travel using wormholes, technical consequences like Stephen Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture (CPC) and the idea of time domains and empire time, and some more human and emotional consequences. It was originally published in RevolutionSF and also on the Orion’s Arm website. It was the first thing I brought to the Kindle, sort of like bringing an old friend along to introduce to new readers.

2/ You are obviously a very technical person. Does your day-to-day work inspire you or influence the direction you take with your writing?

I’m a geek, but I’ve had all sorts of jobs. Everything I do affects my writing. I think the kind of work I do right now, embedded systems programming, makes me want to write about competent people who solve problems using their wits, but still make mistakes. I see that every day in my own work, it’s why we have bug tracking databases. It’s also why I’ll never write a hero who ends up in trouble just for doing something stupid. It’s much more fun when a hero ends up in trouble for trying something brilliant that just doesn’t quite work.

3/ You have books published through the traditional route (i.e. not e-books). How did you find that experience?

I’ve been very fortunate to work with a great publisher, O’Reilly Media.  It can tough sometimes jumping through the hoops necessary to fit into a publishers process, and it can be exhausting working with editors, illustrators and proofreaders changing things over and over, but the result is a surprising transformation. A good editor works this magical sort of transmogrification over a draft. Each change seemed obvious in retrospect, but I wouldn’t have spotted them, and I couldn’t have predicted how, together, they made a very big, positive difference in the final book. As for how it worked out financially, I still get regular royalty checks years later. I don’t think I could have made more with that particular book or done it better alone. For non-fiction, I would still tend toward traditional publishing, and I would work with O’Reilly any day.

4/ What made you want to experiment with self publishing?

I have always been a do-it-yourself sort. I fold my own CD cases and wallets out of recycled paper, that sort of thing. Self publishing appeals to me in the same way. Also, I live online. I don’t see traditional fiction publishers really getting what that’s like and approaching it constructively yet. I think they will, and I will still pursue traditional publishing somewhere down the road, but for right now I want to write for an audience without too much formality or overhead. I want to develop my skills while entertaining people and hearing what they have to say about it. I don’t need a traditional publisher to do that. I also like the idea of retaining the rights to my work. I use a Creative Commons license for most things, and I like the idea of being able to do that without having to clear it with someone’s corporate legal, and being able to take my own work to a new format five years down the road without having to buy my own rights back from anyone.

5/ How have you found he experience to date?

It’s great. I was really impressed to see Kindle allowed straight HTML for formatting, and the interface for uploading and pricing and metadata is simple and works the way it should. The reaction from readers has been great too. I haven’t explored Smashwords or B&N yet, but I will as time allows.

6/ How are sales figure of print vs. e-book or is it too early to say?

I’m really not even going to bother with paper printing right now. It’s a cumbersome, expensive process. I love physical books, don’t get me wrong. I have a house full of bookshelves. but I don’t see POD books as very useful. The reading experience on an e-paper screen is great, and the digital version is more durable than paper because I can back it up. I can carry any number of e-books up three flights of stairs without painkillers and a week to recover. A well bound book is a treasure. A POD book or even a mass market paperback is just a poor substitute for an e-book. All of which is a clever way to avoid saying, “It’s too early to tell anyway.” See what I did there?

7/ How do you market and promote your work?

I really haven’t started. My plan is to wait to promote until I have at least four pieces up on Amazon. I know as a reader I will snap up everything by an author if I like the first piece I read, but it may take me some time to come back around and see if they have anything new later. I want to support that same sort of wonderful gluttony in my readers by laying out a few courses and appetizers.

Would you like a mint? It’s wafer thin.

8/ What are your plans for the future? Do you have any books in the pipeline you plan on self publishing?

I’m working on two novellas and two short novels. I’m not sure in what order they will be finished. One is a follow-on fantasy in the same world as A Dangerous Occupation. The other three are very different and will start, if not a series, a set of related books.

9/ What nugget of advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

If you haven’t already written and published as many books as Lawrence Block, pay a professional editor. The one great weakness I’m seeing in self published work is a lack of professional editing. It really does show, and it’s very hard to do yourself. Also as a bonus nugget, if you buy into a package deal which includes marketing, be very sure you understand what you are paying for and be skeptical of anyone who claims they can make you famous for a fee. No one can guarantee that, and marketing, traditional or indy these days is mostly up to you.

A little about Bill Glover

Bill Glover has, at various times, been paid to: Write software to control dams on the lower Colorado river, wash dishes, write software to manage offshore trust funds, dig ditches, wire together giant machines the size of buildings and program them to do his bidding, usher people into a movie theater, architect one of the largest travel websites in the world, wait tables, track shaving razors, tires, beer and kitchen appliances with radio frequency identification tags, play the saxophone, work for Sun Microsystems as their consultant to other companies on Java Architecture, measure cattle with ultrasound, scales, hydraulics and high speed cameras, be the Chief Architect for the largest airline software company in the world, count pencils, play with Linux code and write device drivers for high end video broadcast and editing equipment, and write technical non-fiction, fantasy, science fiction and the occasional horror story.

Bill lives in the mountains of Northern California where he attends many wine tastings, music festivals, fairs and farmer’s markets and generally has an unreasonably good time reading a book instead.

You can follow Bill on Twitter @I_Write_Fiction and find more information about him at http://billglover.com.

You can also buy his books here:

Self published author interview – John Davis

As I am venturing into the world of self publishing myself I thought it would be useful to gain the insights of already published authors. In doing so I intend to provide some interesting interviews over the coming months where I ask, basically, the questions I want answers to in the hope I will uncover some good tips from seasoned pros.

My first interview is with John Davis, author of ‘Gunship’ available in the Kindle store.

1/ How many books do you have published?

I currently have one (Gunship) available in the Kindle store, a second book due to release on 12/1/2011 and three more in the works to be available before September of 2012.

2/ What made you self publish?

I chose to self publish after reading that e-book sales had passed paperback sales.  The royalties on a paperback sale are far less, on average, than an e-book because of printing cost. The truth is traditional publishing houses aren’t looking for many new authors, just more work from established names. So rather than waste time sending copies of my book all over the country to make less money, I chose to self-publish in e-book form and spend more time writing.

3/ Did you prepare your e-book yourself?

I did self-prepare it for the most part. I wrote it, did 2 corrective rewrites, gave it to a good friend with a masters in English to proof, loaded it to my Kindle and proofed it again…and still missed a couple of errors. I also had the cover professionally done. Otherwise, it took a lot of time but required very little money.

4/ Who did you self publish with?

Currently just Amazon, although I have gotten several emails from Nook owners and am considering going there as well. Amazon was the quickest to set up and paid a slightly higher royalty rate.

5/ Do you do a lot of self promotion?

Most of it is self promotion.  You have to as a self-published author. A few avid fans of the book also help by promoting it themselves, they are in love with the series just as much as I am.

6/ Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

I equate a book launch to a new movie hitting theaters as far as sales are concerned. The first few weeks, a new book usually sells the bulk of its copies. After a few weeks have passed, sales taper and just like a movie hitting DVD, the sales continue but are only a fraction of its launch sales.

7/ Who does you cover art?

A good friend/model of mine appears on the cover of Gunship, theamandaelizabeth.com, and again, I had it done professionally which will usually cost around 75 to 100 bucks(but is well worth it).

8/ What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Advice, how much time do you have? Kidding. I would stress writing on a subject that you can’t shut up about, because there will be times you have to write when you don’t feel up to it and this helps a lot. DON’T go the vanity publishing route (Authorhouse, I-Universe). Simply, they are the creation of traditional publishing houses and charge you to do things that you can do on your own for free. Open a blog and Twitter account, best promotional tools ever.

Anyone who says it can’t be done is daring you to prove them wrong. Finally, know what you are getting into. It’s a lot of work, which is why most people never finish their first book. If you are sure it’s for you, dive in and enjoy every minute of it.

Thank you John or your time and your great insights. You can follow John on Twitter @johndavisbooks

You can purchase John’s book ‘Gunship’ here http://tinyurl.com/3wltadz

Simple steps and resources for cover art design

It appears the dilemma of cover art is one that can really delay an author in their self publishing journey. Having spent 10 years+ in the graphic design and web design field this is the part of the journey I actually find easiest. However, I can imagine this is a real problem for some creatives who favour the actual writing and hide away from the cover design area completely

However, in the fast paced digital world of ebooks it is often the case that your cover will be the reason a buyer clicks to read more or simply skips over your books on to the next one that looks much more appealing. Your cover needs to be eye-catching (but not garish), suit the target market and, often, hint at themes within your book without giving anything away. I always find it nice to look at a cover once I have finished a book and think ‘oh yeah, I see why they put that on or did this a certain way.’

What makes a book stand out on a bookshelf?

There are several supplier and services you can look to do this for you – for a price. occasionally you might find a designer who is willing to do this for free (or very little) whilst they attempt to boost their portfolio.

If you would like to do this yourself, or at least give it a try, there are several free tools and some good resources you need to be aware of.

Number 1 – the software

Without this you aren’t going to get very far. A licence for Photoshop is going to set you back a fair bit and there are alternatives you can use that are free.

  • GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages
  • Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
  • Pixlr is one of the most popular online photo editors in the world – offering Photoshop like functionality bu through a browser interface.

Number 2 – Imagery

The key factor here is cost. You will easily find free stock imagery if you look close enough (and check the terms and conditions carefully). Sometimes you might find imagery that you do not need to pay for but you must include a credit to the creator – not a bad price if the image is right. The final option is paying for an image. Again you must investigate that the terms and conditions allow you to use the image for this purpose (book print or e-book) but then it is just down to how much you want to pay.

  • stock.xchng – Browse through the categories of our huge gallery containing over 350.000 quality stock photos by more than 30.000 photographers!
  • Istockphoto – iStockphoto is the web’s original source for user-generated, royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, video, audio and Flash.
  • Shutterstock – Shutterstock is the largest subscription-based stock photo agency in the world.
  • Morguefile – The morgueFile free photo archive section. Here you can download a contribute to the free photo image archive.

Doing a simple Google search for Royalty Free images will provide several more sites that may be of help.

Number 3 – Typefaces

I would advise not going overboard with different fonts. Use a strong font for you book title that will be legible when the cover is thumbnail size. As a general rule of thumb make sure the type is legible at 15% of the size of the original book cover.

As with imagery, it is important to only use fonts you are licensed to do so. If you are purchasing fonts you need to buy ones that say ‘licenced for commercial use’ or follow whatever restrictions the owner of the typeface imposes. For example, as with imagery, there may be typefaces you can use by simply crediting the creator.

Number 4 – Inspiration

This is an easy one – search for books. Do searches on major stores such as Amazon and browse the local bookstores to see what jumps out at you and learn from the techniques they have used. If a particular cover stands out from the crowd work out why it caught your eye. Is it colour? Imagery? Placement of type?

Conclusion

The tools and resources are out there for you to create a cover that inspires readers. The main thing is research – research your target market, research other covers in your genre and research licence implications for images and fonts. If it doesn’t work out you always have a starting point to show a designer of the ideas you had to date.

Recieved some good reviews

I have had a few reviews come in on my book over the last few days and thought I would share a few of the nice snippets here from several different reviewers. Thanks to all that reviewed my book, I am certainly going to make some edits based on this feedback.

  1. Your writing style is very clear and concise and very easy to read.  The story had an easy and pleasant flow to it. I liked your use of dialogue which gave more depth to the characters. You used some clever little ideas to make the characters dialogue believable and also to give more insight into them. Well done with this writing and good luck with your work.
  2. I think a surgeons knife wouldn’t go amiss, in other words a bit of ruthless editing to lift the narrative away from the background to give your story a little more depth. That having been said, I think with a little more focus and a little more clarity you could be onto something…good luck!
  3. Shorter, pithier sentences create a sense of immediacy. This is what you want in scenes of high tension.
  4. I did enjoy the story. I thought the plot was strong

Obviously, there was much more than these examples but these seem to sum up to overall consensus. I think I need to work on making my sentences a little shorter and snappier in places and not let my imagination run away with itself in a few sentences. That said, my first novel is being received well so far – even with readers who do not necessarily read this genre in general.

I will continue to post feedback and updates I receive over the next couple of months and may even do a post after publication with a list of reviewers and links to their blogs/Twitter as a thank you.