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Thread: I desperately need feedback!

  1. #11
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    To me the thing that turned me off was the mention of the hapless cameraman, Dave. In among Flash Gordon and space princesses and whatnot, he just seems like a character that wouldn’t massively interest me. Bar that it sounded not bad.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    So I have been writing since 0400 as usual, working on a better hook & blurb for this book.
    I think it's better...but writers always have a blind spot for their own work.
    What say ye, fellow wordsmiths & writers of lore?

    Necessary disclaimer that, again, I don't see anything wrong with it...

    So, I'm trying to figure out if I would buy it. I'm not necessarily your target audience with this stuff, I don't tend to go for 'extra puply' stuff nor superheroes and villains, but I also don't think I'm a million miles away: I like science fiction and used to like watching Flash Gordon with my grandpa. I could probably be wooed.

    Good points first:

    (1) I have a much clearer idea of the plot and themes from this. Big plus, right there.
    (2) In contrast to BD, I actually think Dave sounds all right.
    (3) I love the cover and can see a straight-line to marketing now.

    A couple of minor dislikes. These may be idiosyncratic:

    (1) The use of cliches annoys me, even though I get its tongue-in-cheek: Ruling 'with an iron fist' and 'the fate of humanity...' in particular. No I don't have a better suggestion, yes I know you're probably (hopefully) going to subvert these. But nevertheless whenever I see those lines I go a big rubbery one.

    (2) I'd like to know what you mean by 'forced to do Ming's bidding'. I realize its a blurb and you're not about to spell it out, but I wonder if maybe you could drop a hint or two? Maybe preview some of this absurd hilarity you're promising with spit-the-cornflakes deadpan? "Forced to do all manner of foul things for their overlord, from empty his cosmic chamberpot to picking the blackheads off his bottom, Polly and Dave quickly find out..."
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  3. #13
    They are forced to be his biographers.
    But I can't say that because it is a funny reveal in the first chapter.
    They are even sent down to HR for new employee orientation.

  4. #14
    For me the blurb tells me what the book is, in as much as what you want me to take away from it, rather than leading me in with the story. Will I read a bad story because it's a Flash Gordon mash-up? No, I won't. If the story hook is good, I'm more likely to read it.

    In fairness, most people will get the FG reference from the title, while those who know nothing about FG won't be swayed by the blurb.
    Hidden Content - a saga of sacrilege, penance, duplicity, demonic possession and a man's reliance on a bicycle.

  5. #15
    Why not use a short excerpt for the hook? Surely there is something short and juicy that begs for more.

  6. #16
    I think I wouldn't buy it just because of the line, "another steaming pile of crap," which makes it sound like there's an insecure author lurking between the pages of the book. But that might be a tagline you use on all your books, and if it works well on other titles, feel free to disregard my comment.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by shyla View Post
    I think I wouldn't buy it just because of the line, "another steaming pile of crap," which makes it sound like there's an insecure author lurking between the pages of the book. But that might be a tagline you use on all your books, and if it works well on other titles, feel free to disregard my comment.
    Oh I think that's golden - seriously, it actually made me laugh out loud when I saw it the first time.

    It has the additional benefit of evaporating any sense the author has a stick up their ass - essential for humor.

    I'd think anybody who doesn't understand it's a joke probably isn't going to like Ralph's style anyway.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  8. #18
    Beta Reader Princesisto's Avatar
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    Having started my career as an economist, I am not impressed by advertising e.g. blurb. I endorse TL Murphy's advice to use an excerpt from the book as the blurb. That is your product, not the Madison Avenue steaming pile of shite.

    Cutting the price will make a big difference eventually. That is the big thing that changes between the ads and going to Amazon to buy it.

    I found the cover devilish-looking and too yellow. It does not attract me. My real reaction was "What a horrid thing!" Psychology can have an impact on sales. Try to make the cover more attractive with cool colours like blues and greens.

    FWIW.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Princesisto View Post
    I endorse TL Murphy's advice to use an excerpt from the book as the blurb. That is your product, not the Madison Avenue steaming pile of shite.
    I've never heard this advice, or recommend it. An extract won't get across the the general theme and plot of the novel. What some do use is a quote and the blurb together. I know I do. Just one tagline above the blurb.


    My real reaction was "What a horrid thing!" Psychology can have an impact on sales
    You're also not going to please everyone with cover art.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.

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