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Robots Like Blue
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The Betterreads Project > STAGE 2: Robots like Blue

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message 1: by J.A. (last edited Oct 29, 2014 04:37PM) (new) - added it

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Okay, I hope this is correct.

Robots Like Blue

Ebook & paperback currently on Amazon only (sorry!).

(Originally posted by Anthony - please check your links!)




Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Robots-Like-Blu...


G.G. (ggatcheson) | 200 comments Robots like Blue

Link doesn't work. I had to search for the book here on GR but there is a huge sample also here, so all is good.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...#

The cover is catchy. It does the job. We can see right away it has something to do with robots before we even read the blurb.

Blurb: It was a bit confusing for me at the beginning with names (character, company, product) all thrown at me at once, BUT once I got past that, it caught my attention and I wanted to know more. I like the idea of a robot with feelings. My preference always goes for male protagonist, (maybe I'm sexist?) and from the picture I thought the robot was going to be female. The blurb, however, tells me he's a man, so heck yeah, bring it on! :P

Sample: There 'is' a lot of 'to be' in the beginning, but I'm thinking it's for the effect. Still… 'there was' gets a little old and might have scared me a little if not for wanting to learn more.

I'm a bit lost. The first chapter starts with the 'birth' of the robot in Lucy's home. Then a few chapters later, she buys one. I feel as if the chapters were mixed. This is an instance where I think the first chapter should have been called 'Prologue' to prevent confusion.

Over all, yes, I'd continue reading the book. The characters have a feel of Pleasantville at time, which seems to go well with the theme. Best of all, the robot is likeable, and that's what would drive me to read the book.

Appraisal: Thumbs Up!


message 3: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Oct 30, 2014 02:33AM) (new) - added it

Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Thanks G.G.,
Some very helpful observations, including good "pointers," delivered in a positive manner. I can review this carefully. More work to do!

"Pleasantville!" Ha,ha! I guess so.

Maybe, I'm just a pleasant guy and that comes through!

Thanks again,
Tony


message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Robots like Blue: Thumbs up

Cover: Excellent, looks professional and engaging

Blurb: Clear, spelling, punctuation, etc. fine. Does a good job of presenting the idea.

Content: There is rather too much information about the change of name and the copyright dispute. New readers don't need to know all that.

The story starts out intriguingly inside the robot's head. The human story is presented rather at a distance, a report rather than an experience, but I'd continue with it, so ... thumbs up.


message 5: by Jeno (new) - added it

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Robots Like Blue -- Thumbs Up

Cover: I like the cover. Simple, clear, and I think it fits the premise of the story well.

Blurb: Could be shortened to avoid spoilers, otherwise it kept me reading. It is certainly a story I'd be interested in.

Sample: Intriguing start. I'm going to be biased here, but this is just my kind of read. Everything else is irrelevant beyond that point. :-) If I'd try to be objective -- the voice, the pacing, characterization, theme, all good.

I think there could be confusion for some with the non-linear storytelling (robot wakes up in ch 1 and Lucy awaits the delivery to her home in ch 4.) I did not read past that moment to know whether ch 1 was the robot's POV after he was delivered to Lucy, or it was in the factory at the time she made her order for it to be delivered later. (I'm thinking first.)

I have to be honest, I'm doing a quick skimming through the books at this stage. But since I'm used to non-liner stuff, I'm fine with anything.

Overall: Would I read on? Absolutely.


Hákon Gunnarsson | 283 comments Robots like Blue gets a thumbs up from me.

Cover: Professional looking cover that fits the story rather well. It's only that the main robot character is a male, instead of female as the cover indicates. Still it is strong cover.

Blurb: Rather good, might be shortened a little, but still I think it works rather well. It's got my interest.

Story: I read the whole sample and would have kept on reading if there had been more of it. I like the story, the world building works for me and for most parts the characters interest me. The scene where the robot is getting all the data is quite strong and it looks like it is going to be an interesting story.

There are some minor problems that I noticed that might be improved. Like one word is spelled ok, OK and okay. All are correct spelling, but it might be better to one kind in the story. Also ellipsis is both .... and ... It is better to use the same method throughout the story. This is of course nitpicking, very minor things that didn't spoil my reading.

Overall: I like the whole package, and I would read on, so Robots like Blue gets a thumbs up from me.


message 7: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Robots Like Red

Resounding Thumbs Up!

Cover: I had a problem reading your tagline "They Are Programmed To Serve. Freedom Has A Price." When I looked at and read this, I read it as one sentence because the periods/full stops blended with the 'dots' of the stars in the background. Also, I think it might work better if the first tagline was omitted, The second tagline says enough but I'd include a comma after Freedom "Freedom, has a price. Overall, the cover is pretty good and I do like it.

Blurb:
I found the blurb disjointed and its syntax wasn't smooth.

The first paragraph comes across as rhetorical, so I don't think the question mark at the end of 'Robbie' is necessary.

Here's an instance of syntax that doesn't work. "However, he installs the ‘Governor,' overseeing software that monitors the robots behaviour adding a second layer of safety routines. With the ability to force compliance, the Governor essentially denies the robots their freedom."

Here (in my opinion) is how it would work better. However, by installing the ‘Governor,' overseeing software that monitors the robots behaviour, which has the ability to force compliance, the Governor essentially denies the robots their freedom.

Here's why the original two sentences don't work (again, it's 'my' opinion) When you say 'However' I'm looking for 'why' you said 'however' and I don't get to find out 'why' until the next sentence, which by this point, I'm assuming is going to address something else.

One last thing is that the blurb would work better if you broke it down into a few paragraphs.

Sample: Chapter 3 has a typo "These robots run on a ... " The 'a' is 'singular' in a sentence that is plural.

The sample is exceptional and I couldn't stop reading it. I especially enjoyed the 'birth' of Robbie and also the chapter where 'Alice' felt "wounded" by Brian's callous comment about being 'demonic' I even found myself getting a little emotional during the 'group hug!'

I can't wait to review this!


Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Looks like thos one has five already, but add mine as well.

Cover: Good, but like G.G., I assumed the cover robot was female. There may be a female robot of importance, but the blurb talks about a male. Of course, robots may also be genderless.

Blurb: A bit longer than needed, but the info seems relevant. The last bit about the end seems spoiler-ish. I hope it isn't, but if I was browsing, I'm not sure I would want to know that much.

Look inside: The short, stucatto, sentence structure seemed a bit jarring, but fit with seeing life throug the eyes of a robot. When perspective shifted, the style changed a little, but the short sentences still made for an odd effect. I am a sucker for stories of robot sentience, and what I've read so far builds up a lot of emotional investment in the characters. I would definitely read more.


message 9: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Nov 03, 2014 03:57AM) (new) - added it

Anthony Deeney | 81 comments "Robots Like Blue" has "made it through" to stage 2. More on that shortly.

Conveniently enough, "Robots Like Blue" will be free on the kindle on Wednesday, 5th November.

If you miss that date, and want to review the book, email me and I will post an epub and pdf copy on to you.

Oh, and thank you all. Your criticisms are helpful and your posts are encouraging.


message 10: by J.A. (new) - added it

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
This book now has five 'thumbs up' so no furth appraisal needed. If you are reviewing thi book, please post a short note here to say you have done so, in order for the MODs to keep track of the number of reviews.


Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Thank you all for your support, and encouragement.

I've been thinking about the Blurb for a bit of time.
(This, in spite of my five thumbs up, attracted most criticisms).

I tried a complete re-write and change of emphasis.

What do you think of this?
****

Barbara asked, “Robot, are you self aware?”

Robot spent several milliseconds considering the question and then said, “Does it matter?”

Robot, Robbie, is just one of one hundred new robots. Running on quantum core processors and new Gen5 software, these robots are truly unique.

Robbie’s only desire is to serve Lucy, his owner, but consideration of Barbara’s question starts him on an emotional journey. A journey that, in the face of human hostility, leads to some uncomfortable truths and arrives at a shocking conclusion.

**********

Is this better or worse?

Suggestions welcome.


message 12: by Turhan (last edited Nov 04, 2014 09:27PM) (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Anthony wrote: "Thank you all for your support, and encouragement.

I've been thinking about the Blurb for a bit of time.
(This, in spite of my five thumbs up, attracted most criticisms).

I tried a complete re-..."


Hey Anthony. You may want to post this here --> https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Thanks Turban!


message 14: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Anthony wrote: "Thanks Turban!"

There goes that predictive text again :)


Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Oh! I am sorry, Turhan. I bet that happens a lot.


message 16: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Anthony wrote: "Oh! I am sorry, Turhan. I bet that happens a lot." All the time! lol.


Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Hi all. I think this group is largely a very good idea. Certainly stage one. I would like to thank Jeno and everyone here for your support, but withdraw my book from stage two.

I will remain here discussing blurb and covers.

Please do not review my book "as part of the bettereads project."

Of course, if you want to, because you love or hate it, then go ahead.

BTW I have launched a free 10 book giveaway, ends Jan '03.


Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Just curious, why? I see that Jeno posted the same thing.


message 19: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Dec 10, 2014 05:09AM) (new) - added it

Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Hi Christina, I think the aim of the group is very good. I improved my blurb with the input from the group. Jeno and I ended up cross reviewing. I view the chat that followed overall as positive. We are GR friends now.

I remain committed to the process, the second part feels a bit like "review trading." Even if not in a cross review, but circular reviewing.

I don't question the integrity of anyone here at all. I genuinely intended to be direct/honest.

I contacted Hakon, who is "currently reading" my book.

I am not going "away." I enjoy the group, I am just withdrawing from stage 2.

It also takes time away from writing.


Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Ah. I can respect that position as the review process can be a little tricky. Your input in stage one has been appreciated and I'm glad you feel this part has been helpful. The project is still in its infancy, so hopefully, we'll smooth out these stumbling blocks as we grow.
Thanks for letting me know.


message 21: by G.G. (last edited Dec 10, 2014 10:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 200 comments After reading the book, I think I understand the cover now and if so, it fits quite well. We don't see the male robot Robbie but rather one of his ancestors, Delilah. Am I right?

BTW I did not review the book as part of the project but rather because I liked the sample and I wanted to read more. My review is purely about how I enjoyed the story. In other words, I did not dig and search for things that could be wrong. For me, what's important in a book is how it drags me in, and this one sure did its job.


message 22: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
I understand people not wanting to be seen to trade reviews, but given that:

- there is no obligation to read any of these, by anyone
- and even if you read it, no guarantee of a good review (you can always have a private conversation about a potential review prior to posting, if there's issues)
- and there's a higher probability of finding a book you might like, with more information to make that determination before you ask for a copy

I think this is a really good format that is far more likely to see free rider issues than review abuse. So to withdraw your book from people potentially reviewing it... doesn't make much sense to me and seems counterproductive.

But, if you'd like it not to show up on your book page, that's a different matter related to a thread being about a book. It's possible to de-link that without removing the thread. But a mod has to do that from a computer, not the phone.


Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Thanks Jamie, I have benefited from the feedback, and made some changes, particularly the blurb. I guess, I'll leave my book here for now. I going to focus on stage one though.

Glad you enjoyed the book, GG. You are correct the cover represents a scene from the book and an important character, not Robbie. Oh, btw, following your advice. Chapter one has been renamed "prologue" and all the chapters renumbered. Just not the version you have.


message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
You cite 'review trading' as the reason for withdrawing your books, while also telling us that you and Jeno have been trading reviews. Still don't get it, you're going to have to spell it out...


message 25: by G.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 200 comments @Anthony I shall add a note/correction to my review then. :)


message 26: by Jeno (new) - added it

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Richard wrote: "you and Jeno have been trading reviews."

Richard, you make it sound like this is something I normally do -- which I don't. My book still has 1/1 RR since it was published, July 1st.

The internet does not forget things and words can be twisted in such a way that would make GR community turn on me like I am the vilest author on site.
I have yet to have my book reviewed by anyone.

What actually had happened was that I picked a book to read and review because I liked and because it was a book no one yet took -- all of the "bettereads" readers jumped onto a couple of books in clusters. Which is fine, I guess. And it was a book with no reviews!

So I began reading it, and then author contacted me that he would like to read my book and review it. I said, OK. Well, what I had to lose? It's a reader who likes science fiction and doesn't turn his nose on SF sub-genres. So I gave him the book, went on with my reading, finished it, liked it, reviewed it and published my review like any normal reader would. Which was a honest opinion of what I liked and disliked. It was a 4* review.

Then the author contacted me and we had a disagreement on some points in my review. We discussed it in a civil fashion.

By the time this discussion ended, he also finished my book and showed me a draft of his review of my book. There was a sentence in it that I had to disagree with, because it was simply not true and would mislead readers into expecting things being inside but really aren't. So I told him about it.

We went on discussing the topic, then the misunderstanding revealed itself and it went downhill from there. Still in civil fashion though. But this whole reviewing had to stop. I deleted my review and asked him not to publish his.

End of story.

I'm a long-time beta-reader, so I will stick to that I normally do. I don't review books. I don't even ask people I beta-read for to review my book.

Also, I gained nothing from this project, why do people try to persuade me to stay? I don't get it.

Hope that clears things.


message 27: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Dec 11, 2014 03:11AM) (new) - added it

Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Richard wrote: "You cite 'review trading' as the reason for withdrawing your books, while also telling us that you and Jeno have been trading reviews. Still don't get it, you're going to have to spell it out..."

Yes, I think you got me there! I am giving it a bit of consideration. Jeno and I spent a bit of time in cross discussion. It was helpful, but we haven't reviewed each other's books in the end.

Here are some of the benefits I have received from this project.

GG pointed out that the first chapter was a confusing start and a little out of sync. I agree, it was originally Chapter 3. When I wrote I realised that it had "grab" and a great first line. So it is a great first chapter (a Flash forward). Feedback confirmed this. So I put up with the confusion. GG suggested rename "prologue". Solution!

My Blurb was "okay," it got the thumbs up, with gentle criticisms. I looked into it. It was pointed out that it was spoilerish. (Christina,Jeno. This began our PM dialogue).

GG (again) said that the first chapter contained a lot of "there was," and she was right. This was a result of trying to write about the experience without reference to the "self." e.g "There was a sensation of noise," rather than "Robbie heard a noise." I didn't realise that "there was" occurances were stacking up. I've "fixed" this.

I stripped down the foreward, may yet review this (Richard).

I changed the cover subtitle, now simply "Freedom has a price" (Turham).

Hakon pointed out that my ellipses and my "okay's" were inconsistent. All my OK's are now okay! ;)

Jeno pointed out in proofing the book that I probably overuse ellipses. I did a search and considered each one closely, removing many.

So you see, it has been great for me and my book... why am I withdrawing? Think I'll hang around. It is not about review trading. I just talked myself around.

Thanks all!


message 28: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Anthony wrote: "Richard wrote: "You cite 'review trading' as the reason for withdrawing your books, while also telling us that you and Jeno have been trading reviews. Still don't get it, you're going to have to sp..."

I have to say that I really enjoyed reading about the benefits (To you) of the Bettereads Project. It's been very beneficial to me too, and if my real-life outside of Goodreads ever becomes stabilized I will continue to participate in it.

You mentioned the 'subtitle' change was as a result of my input and it's interesting because another Bettereads participant 'Sue' influenced me with a comment about a subtitle I had on my cover, that I also removed.


Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
...why do people try to persuade me to stay? I don't get it.
"


Apologies if you feel as if we are pressuring you to do something you are not comfortable with. That was never the intention and I don't believe anyone intentionally meant to make it seem that way. All we are trying to say is that this was never meant to be an instant turn around and that reviews may come in time. Many of us who are critiquing and reviewing do not even have a book submitted at present, so not every review will be circular.

Again, I am sorry if my question came across as brusque or bullying. Ultimately, your decision, whether to stay or withdraw, is yours to make and we will respect that.


message 30: by Jeno (new) - added it

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Christina wrote: "All we are trying to say is that this was never meant to be an instant turn around and that reviews may come in time. Many of us who are critiquing and reviewing do not even have a book submitted at present, so not every review will be circular.

Ultimately, your decision, whether to stay or withdraw, is yours to make and we will respect that."


All of this is understandable, and I have no issues with reviewers, time of reviews, or whatever. But I am sure I want to withdraw, that is why I asked to delete my book from the list of TBR and kill its thread.

I saw the book still listed today, hence my question "why keeping me...?"

Thanks for understanding.


message 31: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
The link should be gone now, and if anyone else doesn't want their thread to be "About" their book, and showing in the links at the bottom of the page, send a private message to a mod and we can edit it out. :)


message 32: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
I've shared some general thoughts in the discussion thread, springing off the good points Jelena raised here.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Anthony Deeney | 81 comments Turhan wrote: "
You mentioned the 'subtitle' change was as a result of my input and it's interesting because another Bettereads participant 'Sue' influenced me with a comment about a subtitle I had on my cover, that I also remove."


Yes, I saw that. I liked that everybody (eventually)gets five opinions about thier work. We all see different things. I listened to every chriticism positively, of course that's easier when they come with a thumbs up.

I like the snappier tagline you suggested. Thanks.


Hákon Gunnarsson | 283 comments I've posted the review here on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
My review is up. I enjoyed this story, Anthony.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


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