Overthinking plus Intuition equals the Goldilocks formula?

Welcome… I’m New Here! Hello All!

Status
Not open for further replies.

pcenteno

Basic
Jul 25, 2022
Florida
Hey everyone, my SF novel Maz'hura is a finalist for Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Next Generation Indie Book Awards - Winners). Below are some reviews. With the positive feedback I have received, I decided to advertise the audiobook for the first time. I will mostly use Spotify and iHeartRadio but will also use Google Ads. The question is, do you think these are catchy excerpts for the sample I'm planning to use for advertising? The shorter it is, the better. I am trying to keep it around 5 minutes. I'm just wondering if there should be more action.

Writer's Digest Indie Book Awards: "The setting of Maz’hura: Book One of the Twelve Dimensions is creative and thorough, and has a Star Trek-meets-high-fantasy-wizards feel about it that worked.... The story itself moves at a fast pace, but not so quick that it feels rushed. Rather, the result is immediate, breathtaking, and make Maz’hura hard to put down."

Manhattan Book Review: "Maz'hura: Book One of the Twelve Dimensions is a swashbuckling, run-and-gun space opera with action so explosive it practically lights up the page."

Kirkus Reviews: "Sci-fi and fantasy merge to form an entertaining romp in space.... The concluding chapter takes the saga on a drastic turn, but it’s a welcome one that puts Shirakaya on the same side as seedy characters and sets the stage for Book 2."

San Francisco Book Review: "Spaceships. Magic. Mythical aliens who consume protostars before disappearing into black holes. The first book of Paul Centeno’s new series, Maz'hura: Book One of the Twelve Dimensions has all of this and more. It is from the start a relentless ride, as richly populated with wonders as any Golden Age novel."

 
Do you have a tag-line to go before the review quotes?
The Writers Digest quote, this bit:
The story itself moves at a fast pace, but not so quick that it feels rushed. Rather, the result is immediate, breathtaking, and make Maz’hura hard to put down."
Could be shortened, and sharper, by taking out most of this sentence, leaving:
The story itself ... is immediate, breathtaking, and makes [etc.]
It takes away the 'but' and 'rushed'.

The San Fran Book Review, this bit:
The first book of Paul Centeno’s new series
could be removed without losing any of the drama.
 
Do you have a tag-line to go before the review quotes?
The Writers Digest quote, this bit:
The story itself moves at a fast pace, but not so quick that it feels rushed. Rather, the result is immediate, breathtaking, and make Maz’hura hard to put down."
Could be shortened, and sharper, by taking out most of this sentence, leaving:
The story itself ... is immediate, breathtaking, and makes [etc.]
It takes away the 'but' and 'rushed'.

The San Fran Book Review, this bit:
The first book of Paul Centeno’s new series
could be removed without losing any of the drama.
Thanks so much Brayati, I wasn't sure if I can remove words from the judges' quotes. I heard we can use ellipses to skip to another sentence, which I did for the quote I received from Writer's Digest. Having a tag-line is a great idea. I'm thinking something like, New Universe, New Rules or Magic Prevails in the Space Age. Other longer ideas I have are Superlative characters fuel this swiftly paced futuristic tale or Enthralling storylines and heady action scenes propel a spirited space adventure. Thanks for the feedback!
 
I prefer the Manhattan and San Fran reviews. Maybe put one of them first? And put Kirkus last because it's almost saying the ending isn't the one promised even though the reader should still like it. In other words, it's written in a way some readers could misinterpret.

I found Amazon ads the most affordable when I was in the marketing trenches, closely followed by Google ads.

Sounds a fun book :) Good luck with it.
 
Thanks so much Brayati, I wasn't sure if I can remove words from the judges' quotes. I heard we can use ellipses to skip to another sentence, which I did for the quote I received from Writer's Digest. Having a tag-line is a great idea. I'm thinking something like, New Universe, New Rules or Magic Prevails in the Space Age. Other longer ideas I have are Superlative characters fuel this swiftly paced futuristic tale or Enthralling storylines and heady action scenes propel a spirited space adventure. Thanks for the feedback!
These are just general comments, not taglines. A tagline says something specific about your book e.g. The Hunger Games: Winning will Make you Famous. Losing means certain death. Ember in the Ashes: Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. The Lightening Thief: Half Boy, Half God, All Hero.

Think of what the deep voice would say if this was a movie.
 
I'm with @Hannah F regarding the tag lines - something to spark interest in the story. Jaws - you'll never go in the water again; Alien - in space, no one can hear you scream; Contagion - nothing spreads like fear (these are movie taglines, but they're a good start to finding the pithy point of interest for your story).

One I've seen on here is - he's the man who works the night to find the price of a soul (I haven't read it yet, but am intrigued by that tagline).

Therefore, if you want to go with: New Universe, New Rules - what can you add to spring one of those new rules on me? As in the Hunger Games example (Winning will make you famous, losing is certain death (which I think is probably too long for a tagline)), or something more directly in tune with the consequences of character vs stages (as in Jaws or Alien - note the use of 'you').

And yes, short is good. In space, words waste oxygen.
 
See my full reply to this spammer here:


Just for clarification. We are more than happy (in fact, keen) to celebrate and promote Litopians books here, in any legit & creative way we can.

But we are far from happy to be the target of spammers who naively believe the way to publishing nirvana is to spam as many forums as they can in as short a time as possible.

Such people will be immediately banned from Litopia.

The alternative – and I’ve seen it happen – is the “Japanese Knotweed” effect. Once a forum becomes known as a safe haven for spammers, it rapidly becomes overwhelmed by them. It kills the forum for everyone else.

I’m not prepared to let that happen to Litopia.

Welcome any questions here if you have them.
 
Last edited:
The cold clammy thumb of self promotion drew it's blunt nail down my shivering spine as I read the first sentence. Thundering hoofs echoed in my ears as I searched for my rescuer. With a flourish of his black cape the Agent Revenger threw himself off his trusty steed and administered the Coup de Grace via his razor sharp pen to the dastard who had threatened the peace of Litopoia. In the words of Dr Who and AgentPete ," By the ancient rights of combat, I forbid you to scavenge here for the rest of time. And when you go back to the stars and tell others of this planet, when you tell them of its riches, its people, its potential, when you talk of Litopia, then make sure that you tell them this...
[shouts] ...it is defended!"
 
The person above is a spammer. Please don't reply to them.

So, pariahcenteno wasn't at all interested in a critique on Pop--Ups. He abused your platform and wasted our time just to shill his book. And he pushed back someone in the queue to do it. What a buttmunch.

Now he's wanking away on this thread :mad:

I remember asking "Where's the coup de grāce?" while in the Genius Room. Well...I know where it is now! I guess throwing the banhammer isn't always quite enough :)

Thanks for showing us how it all went down :cool:
 
Did the dude at least get a warning that he can't do this? I wasn't offended by anything he said. If anything I was gonna give advice on those tag lines. It's the freedom of others to decide whether they answer or not but you took that away from us.
 
Did the dude at least get a warning that he can't do this? I wasn't offended by anything he said. If anything I was gonna give advice on those tag lines. It's the freedom of others to decide whether they answer or not but you took that away from us.
That’s a good question, @Jasmine.

However, against that, I am always going to prevent spammers from ruining Litopia (see my comment above re Japanese Knotweed). Which inevitably does mean curtailing your right to comment on spammy posts. I think the greater of those two evils is allowing spam to clog up our forums... but you may disagree.

Re warning... No, we don’t explicitly say “don’t spam the Colony with a couple of near-identical posts plugging your book in inappropriate forums on your first visit here”. Maybe we should. I’m open to including something as basic as that in the introductory information new members receive.

What we do do (?) at the moment is to (a) send a welcome email and then another welcome PM carefully outlining a new member’s first steps, i.e. exactly what they should do after joining (maybe this is the place to say – don’t spam us!).

And then (b) we also subsequently send a series of daily emails explaining how things work and how to ask for assistance / guidance / whatever.

If new members make honest mistakes or cock-ups in their first postings here, we’re almost always very understanding. The Guardians cut new members a lot of slack. Their aim is to to oil the wheels, not to pick fights.

However, on this occasion this is what made me move to immediate banning:

1) The person blatantly ignored the induction instructions mentioned above. That sits somewhere on the scale between disrespectful and arrogant.

2) That would be forgivable if the person concerned hadn’t made two near-similar posts in different forums. Again, a very clear statement – I’m here to spam. Not to become involved.

3) The person concerned originates from Indies United Publishing House LLC, described by one of its founder members thus:


So here is the deal with IUPH: They are not really a publisher per se. Really they are more of a consortium of writers gathered for collaborative marketing.
Here is how it works once you are accepted*:

1) You buy [discounted] ISBN numbers for your books.
2) You self-publish the books just like you normally do, except you use the IUPH ISBN numbers that you purchased.
3) You keep ALL of your revenues, IUPH gets none of your money, at all.
4) Once a week you are required to tweet/twerk/facebook/snapchat about the group on social media (advertising the group)
5) Once a quarter you have to review another member's book (either on Goodreads or Amazon or one of the other vendors where they sell their book.)
6) Basically it is a group of Indie writers who all promote each other.

[…]

*So how do you get into IUPH? Here is the deal, if you are a proven writer (you have published works that are consistently rated 3 or 4 stars or better,) you can get right in.
If you are a new writer, you have to submit a query & sample just like a real publishing house.
The purpose of this is that we are trying to put together a quality publishing house so that having that logo on your books will actually mean something.

Significantly, the above quote omits to say that IUPH also charges a “processing fee” of $100 for new authors, a $25 “fee” for “book launch” and a further $10 a month “advertising fee”. So no, they don't take a % of sales - but they do take.

This isn’t a regular publisher, as the above post states quite clearly. It seems to be intended to give the author the appearance of being properly published (“just like a real publishing house”). Whether this is a true writers co-op or not isn’t clear. However, the requirements on members to promote both IUPH and other members’ books is obvious.

From what I’ve seen so far, I have a pretty negative view of IUPH and I don’t want its members here doing their twerky, spammy things. They have the rest of the internet for that.
 
Yes, that’s a really valid point @Barbara.

Readings just don’t happen. They take time and and effort.

All Pop-ups readers are authors themselves and go above and beyond the call of duty to do their best for the piece and author they are working for.

To find they have been abused in this way is disgraceful.
 
From time to time, we do have submissions on Pop-Ups that have actually been published (often self-published) but I’ve always assumed that one of the advantages of self-publishing is that you can still develop your work post-publication if you want to. The opportunity to do that in traditional publishing is almost non-existent. Also, of course, self-publishing can sometimes be a gateway to trad publishing.

I’d say, don’t feel bad about doing the reading, @Barbara. I don’t know that there was any intention to use Pop-Ups to spam. If so, it would be a first! And your reading was very good :)

Just to end this on a positive note. I really want to help everyone here sell books, either traditionally or self-pub. That’s not at issue. But you don’t do that by spamming forums, either this one – or indeed any one. And if Amazon catch you at it, well, they will be pretty severe.

So how does a book get sold? Despite our obsession with the latest tech, it’s still a surprisingly old-fashioned mechanism. Books get sold by word of mouth and personal recommendation.

The medium is secondary. What’s of overriding importance is the desire by your reader to tell someone else about their experience of your book. Motivate them to do that, and you won’t need to resort to spam… your readers will find their own ways to express their love for your words.
 
From time to time, we do have submissions on Pop-Ups that have actually been published (often self-published) but I’ve always assumed that one of the advantages of self-publishing is that you can still develop your work post-publication if you want to. The opportunity to do that in traditional publishing is almost non-existent. Also, of course, self-publishing can sometimes be a gateway to trad publishing.

I’d say, don’t feel bad about doing the reading, @Barbara. I don’t know that there was any intention to use Pop-Ups to spam. If so, it would be a first! And your reading was very good :)

Just to end this on a positive note. I really want to help everyone here sell books, either traditionally or self-pub. That’s not at issue. But you don’t do that by spamming forums, either this one – or indeed any one. And if Amazon catch you at it, well, they will be pretty severe.

So how does a book get sold? Despite our obsession with the latest tech, it’s still a surprisingly old-fashioned mechanism. Books get sold by word of mouth and personal recommendation.

The medium is secondary. What’s of overriding importance is the desire by your reader to tell someone else about their experience of your book. Motivate them to do that, and you won’t need to resort to spam… your readers will find their own ways to express their love for your words.
HMMM. I hadn't thought of that with self publishing. That is an advantage to be able to tweak it even after you've put it out there. And totally agree about readers and made up reviews. I found him offensive from the first post on Litopia. I totally agree with AgentPete's decision that this cannot be allowed in the venue he designed. There is a reason it is the oldest colony on the internet. I've seen other groups devolve into ego zoos. This needs to be a safe workplace for learning and trying new ideas. For that there needs to be a no bullshit policy. And this guy was definitely a Pamplona bull in the shop. The irony being that if he'd just put his book on here in the way others have, a few people probably would have bought it.
 
Last edited:
The cover art shouts amateur writing. Every self-published author should invest in a good cover designer (if they are not one themselves). A high standard cover-design suggests a professional standard in the writing craft and will sell more books.
 
Was looking for a "report spam" button, then scrolled down and realised I didn't need to. Forums need to be protected from spammers - we should not have the "right" to reply to them. Any of us can join, post an intro on the welcome thread, then plug our book in the marketplace. Disguising hard sell as a request for advice is a dick move.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Overthinking plus Intuition equals the Goldilocks formula?

Welcome… I’m New Here! Hello All!

Back
Top