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A Tale of Two Colonies
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message 1: by Jamie (last edited Nov 07, 2014 11:38AM) (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
A Tale of Two Colonies
A Tale of Two Colonies
by Aurora Springer
Science Fiction

NOTE: The Goodreads cover is not the new version]

Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MFY8A5Q


message 2: by S. Usher (new)

S. Usher Evans (susherevans) | 35 comments Cover: Font needs something; seems a bit plain and boring. I read somewhere that 90% of covers are typography and this one just seems a bit blah (scientific terminology here).

The rest of the cover as well, with the model and the cartoonish background. If you're going to go with a concept - either stick with cartoon/animation or real-life.

Blurb: Heroine/Hero isn't needed. Reference the characters themselves and their issues. I'm not quite sure what the book is about - what is the lost colony? Why is it lost? Why are they looking for it? Why does Lily want to be on the team that finds it? Obviously, don't spill all the beans, but a bit more is needed, and you have the room.

"...Planet Delta" is missing a period in the first sentence. Also, you reference Planet Delta twice in the description.

Grim/Grimy - I know these are different words, but they look similar enough to be noticeable. Change one or the other.

First sentences: "Avid silence" read weird to me - perhaps a different word choice?


message 3: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments I'm not sure if you saw the current cover or the one on Goodreads.
Thanks for your suggestions! The blurb is easiest to improve.


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments I'm giving it a very reluctant thumbs down. I like the premise but think the execution needs work.

Cover: The one on Amazon is a great improvement. I like it a lot.

Blurb: Again the one on Amazon is different from the one on Goodreads and it is much better. I liked the whole thing except for the last sentence. Hostile princesses aren't mentioned anywhere else in the blurb and it's kind of confusing.

Excerpt: I liked the excerpt. I didn't notice any glaring grammar errors. The only thing negative I have to say about it is that I didn't like the dialogue at the end. Some of the people speaking were stating the obvious: "We must learn as much as we can from the maps," Max said.
I felt like at other times the characters weren't listening to each other and were just talking randomly.
Examples:"What will happen if we can't find any trace of the old colony?" Lily asked.
"John replied, "Of course, the real reason we're being sent out is to establish viable new colonies on hospitable planets. If the descendants of the first colony are too numerous, we'll have to locate another inhabitable planet. If there are any contraindications, like uncontrollable pathogens, carnivores, or an unstable climate, we will need to leave the planet."
It just doesn't feel like an answer to her question to me.


message 5: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments Good comments. I just changed the cover, at least for the Kindle version and hope it's the one you liked (green in center). Also, I realized the end of the blurb needed revision, just as you said.
I've started to revise the first chapters. I think it gets smoother when they meet the hero.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments Oh good. Yes, the cover with the green in the center is the one I liked. Just let me know when you make those changes and I'll look it over again.


message 7: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments Amanda wrote: "Oh good. Yes, the cover with the green in the center is the one I liked. Just let me know when you make those changes and I'll look it over again."

I've changed the blurb and the changes you suggested.
If you are interested, I have scheduled a free promotion for this ebook for next Friday & Saturday.
Thanks for your help!


message 8: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments VOTE: Thumbs up after another pass at the blurb.

NOTE: I looked at all this quickly, as I would when considering a new author. So I may have missed or misunderstood something...

COVER: I like the Amazon cover quite a bit; I don't like the GR cover because it seems more appropriate to a coming-of-age book. Nit-picking: 1) consider using a bigger font on Fight for Freedom, I didn't notice the phrase, down in those weeds, for too long; and 2) I see a guy on the cover but a gal is the lead character, according to the blurb.

UNSOLICITED REMARK: I basically hate Dickens so a title that references him does not entice me.

BLURB: The Amazon blurb is more compelling than the GR blurb but feels disjointed; the GR blurb has a better flow. At a minimum, I would combine short sentences to read "Sultry Tiger Lily fights to escape the subterranean slums of Terra. and so competes..." And WTF, "hostile princesses"? Explain or delete reference to them. Also, the goal seems to shift from finding the lost colony to establishing a new one. Please connect those dots.

EXCERPT: The writing style invokes a sense of myth, the pace is brisk, and by the end of the first paragraph I know I'm in a different world. I'm not forced to wade through a bunch of explanation, just - boom - I'm thrown in the world and have to figure it out. These are strong plusses to me. A strong minus, however, is the number of adjectives. None of them are ill-chosen and I like the writing style overall, but I found the volume of adjectives overwhelming, and ultimately, they reduced rather than increased my engagement. However, my aversion to adjectives is not a reason to hold this book back from review.


message 9: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments Sue wrote: "VOTE: Thumbs up after another pass at the blurb.

NOTE: I looked at all this quickly, as I would when considering a new author. So I may have missed or misunderstood something...

COVER: I like the..."


Thanks Sue for t good suggestions!
I'll rework the Blurb and font on cover.

Adjectives may wait.


message 10: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments I have redone the cover, blurb and text (removing some adjectives)as suggested. Any other comments are welcome.
The ebook will be free 11/21-22: Sci Fi with aliens on distant planet, first contact, romance.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MFY8A5Q


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments I think those changes make a really awesome improvement. I really like the blurb now and the dialogue at the end of the excerpt flows much better. I'm changing my vote to a thumb's up.


message 12: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments Thanks for the comments.


message 13: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments I like the new blurb too! I'm having computer issues so can't get to the excerpt easily. Anyway it was the blurb that qualified my thumbs up before so now I have no reservations: thumbs up!


message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
A Tale Of Two Colonies: thumbs up.

Cover (the green Amazon one): For anyone who, like me, grew up only a few miles away, seeing Silbury Hill as an alien landscape is a bit weird (although the inhabitants of Europa are probably thinking much the same thing!) I like the cover though - the fonts, colour and overall design.

Blurb: The only problem I had with this was with the tense (e.g. the fourth and fifth sentences: "Now" then "was" etc). Other than that, it did its job - got me interested, particularly in seeing some of Delta's strange wildlife.

Sample: Only one very minor thing: the geography puzzled me a bit early on - is it a peninsula, or a valley, or a valley on a peninsula, etc.? It reads well enough though, and kept me interested.


message 15: by Aurora (new) - added it

Aurora Springer (auroraspringer) | 34 comments Richard wrote: "A Tale Of Two Colonies: thumbs up.

Cover (the green Amazon one): For anyone who, like me, grew up only a few miles away, seeing Silbury Hill as an alien landscape is a bit weird (although the inha..."


Thanks for your comments.
Yes, I thought it was amusing to use Silbury Hill since there is a mound toward the end of the book.


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