Good News! The Latest Reviews Are All Positive!

picture by tt83x at deviantART
picture by tt83x at deviantART

Well, well, well… you remember when you were young and things weren’t exactly going your way? Remember how your parents would tell you to hang on and wait because things would only get better? Or perhaps you had one of those cheery optimistic friends who’d constantly tell you that things are always darkest before they turned to light. Not to be over dramatic, but I felt myself in need of that kind of advice awhile back.

And now, I feel like it’s paid off, because for once I got some good news on the review front that was all positive. As I had hoped, it seems that the 2nd edition of Whiskey Delta has been absorbed by the reading community and the returns are coming back positive! Two more reviews have been added to the queue, one a four star and the other a five! The net effect of this has been to push the overall review of Whiskey Delta up to 3.4 stars (though it looks like 3.5 on the book’s listing).

But what I’m most happy about was that there were people who had just “good book” or “good read” to say, without all the additional remarks about editing and proofreading. In fact, out of a total of twenty, only two reviews actually came back negative on the story itself. Most people who gave it two or three stars said they liked the story, it was just the technical errors that bothered them.

Not so much here. Here’s what the latest reviewers had to say:

(5.0 out of 5 stars) Great read:
Great story about soldiers doing solider business. I recommend it to anyone who likes this type of book. Waiting for the next one!

john

(4.0 out of 5 stars) A great read:
Lots of action like the way he made me feel as if I was there in the middle of the action. Looking forward to more.

Jesse

Not too wordy, but that’s fine by me. In short, they liked it, and wanted a sequel. And I thank them for it. This is the stuff authors yearn to hear, the stuff that makes the effort feel like it was worth it and which encourages them to keep writing. And to all my fellow indies out there, especially those I know personally, I hope that you too are getting your share of positive reviews. Lord knows we need this kind of thing, don’t we?

Competition is fierce, the market is being flooded and publishing houses are simply not taking risks on new authors as much as they used to. Every additional star and positive review we earn translates to more sales and more recognition!

Go indies! Peace out!

Latest Reviews!

Whiskey_Delta

Hey folks! It’s a new day and a new week. And during one of my many trips over to Amazon to see how my books were doing, I noticed that I picked up some additional reviews. As expected, they were a bit of a mixed bag, which seems to reflect the fact that the new edition is getting out there and earning its keep. On the other hand, some reviewers aren’t done with the 1st edition, and once again opinion is divided when it comes to how much they care about editing.

See for yourself. I’ve arranged the three latest in order from best to worst:

(5.0 out of 5 stars) fantastic read:
This was an absolutely fantastic read. Highly recommend for any fan of the zombie genre. There are some terrible spelling and grammatical errors, at least with the 1st edition, but nothing that detracted from the story nor made hard to read in my opinion.
Cannot wait to read more from this author!

-echOs

(4.0 out of 5 stars) Great Story and Characters:
Surprisingly good story of combat in a military responding to a frightening zombie infested world. Strong, consistent characterizations, great story lines, believable situations, and good use of humor. Delightfully without massive amounts of information regarding weapons and ammunition. An author worthy of continuing support. A 4 1/2 star book and a 5 star author. Kimohair

-Irish Kathleen

(2.0 out of 5 stars) Poorly written, not proof read and his editor simply didn’t do her job!!!!!
I thought this was the first book in the series no preface lended to my confusion – therefore the story starts off unfocused with no clear beginning! This is followed by a character development that is non-existent backed up with so many misspelt words that lends itself to drive the poor reader insane.

Sorry to say but each page has so many errors it makes it hard to follow the storyline, which is actually not bad. But makes reading this extremely frustrating.

In my not so humble opinion the writer did not do his homework in regards to military chain of command,terms and or squad tactics which was again frustrating.

Moreover for me his insistence on using abbreviated terms such as “mage” for major and his reliance on buzzwords such as “whiskey delta” is annoying to the point of nails on a chalkboard! This shows a lack of respect for the armed forces rank and an overall disregard to the readers intelligence.

I would suggest this writer spend some time with a seasoned older mentor while collaborating. Plus make sure you have a proof reader who actually reads your proofs – so you release something that is somewhat grammatically correct and free of spelling errors.

-Putty Tat “Tat”

Okay, so that was one stellar review, in spite of what I can only assume is the 1st edition’s share of editing mistakes, one good review without any mention of editing issues – assuming they read the 2nd edition – and the worst review I have received to date! In fact, this last one was originally one star out of five, but ol’ Putty there seemed fit to upgrade it two stars after a having a change of heart (said with only mild irony!)

So basically, it seems that things are looking up for this little work of indie fiction. Fingers crossed the sequel will be well received, consistently so!

1000 Sales!

fireworks1Today was a red-letter day for Whiskey Delta and the dude who wrote it (that’d be me). According to Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, the combined sales of Whiskey Delta has just passed 1000 copies. And I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who helped make it possible.  I would name specific names, but at this point, that would be too many to count and I feel that everyone who’s been following this site since it went up has contributed to this milestone in one way or another.

So thanks are due to all! In fact, last night while I pondered the layout for book two, I decided that on the dedications page, I should make sure that the collective fanbase of Stories by Williams get a heartfelt thanks. So if you’re planning on buying a copy when it comes out (no pressure!) look for the part at the beginning where it says “Thank you to all the fans!”… or something like that. I will be talking ab0ut you people out there!

*Sidenote: In the future, you may notice me saying the following five words. They are sort of an inside joke, but also represent my long-term hopes for the series. It’s WD’s tagline, so expect to see if often in the future:

Six novels and a movie!

New Cover Selected!

Pappa_Zulu2Well the votes are in, and by a margin of six to two, the third cover for Papa Zulu has beaten out all other contenders. And while I waiting, I managed to updated it a little, placing a few excerpts from the positive reviews the first book got on the back cover of the jacket. And so, when the second book hits the bookshelves in a few weeks, it will look like what you see above.

I also took the time to update the Whiskey Delta page over on the left there to show the book’s info. Now, whenever a new book is added, the publication date and a link will be added so people will know when it came out and where to buy it. As for those that are still in progress, there will be a projected publication date so people know when to expect it. Obviously, everything after the first two is still TBD for the time being, but give it time…

Oh, and I also came up with names and themes for the other books in the series. After Whiskey Delta and Papa Zulu, there’s Alpha Mike, which is already in production. Then there’s Hotel Tango, the proposed fourth installment which will be followed by the fifth and final book in the series, Zulu Alpha.

Stay tuned for updates! I’m not done with this zombie craze yet. And speaking of which, I got some new characters to announce. Stay tuned for the latest additions to the Zombie Warrior challenge as well…

Next Zombie Novel!

zombie_hardestpartHi folks! You may recall from the incessant way I keep posting about it that I recently published Whiskey Delta on Amazon-Kindle. And yes, after many a mixed review, I finally uploaded the 2nd Edition, the tighter, edited version, for purchase today. And now that I’ve tackled the first bit of advice all my reviewers had to give, I now go about dealing with the other. That would be the calls for a sequel.

Which brings me to the point of this post. As many people who follow this blog are also aware, Papa Zulu – the sequel to Whiskey Delta – has already been written. And like it’s predecessor, I posted it chapter by chapter on this site over the course of several weeks. And now that the first has hit the market and is selling, I need to begin prepping the second – which means proofing, editing, and giving it an appropriate cover.

The only problem is, I got a few contenders for the cover. There’s the one I produced some months back, and the more recent cover which I made with the upcoming release date in mind. Here’s the first, which boasts a drab and olive green color scheme and an image which I felt captured one of the biggest, most climactic moments in the story:

Pappa_Zulu

That was one version. I did another with the same picture but moved the color scheme around a bit to make it more stark and contrasting. But of course I worried that it was too much like its predecessor, who’s cover was also all olive and black. Just me, but I would imagine a second installment needs to look like it is striking a different tone, not fitting in or piggybacking on the first.

Pappa_Zulu

Ah, but after Whiskey Delta was published back in April, I began to wonder if the covers were a little boring and didn’t highlight the zombie-smashing enough. Now I’ve got someone on the task of creating me some original zombie art; but until such time that it is completed, I still needed something that screamed action, adventure and hails of gunfire. So here’s what I came up with in the meantime:

Pappa_Zulu2

As you can see, went with an action shot, paired the color of the print to match the most eye-drawing color there (orange-red), and made the background solid black to bring out the surrounding darkness, and kept the borders olive green.  I do wonder if I should change those, or ditch them altogether. They are different from the first installment which had no borders at all, but I do question my obsession with them for this book!

So what do you fine folks think? Door number one, door number two, or door number three? Always good to have at least three options. And just for fun, I’ll put it all in poll so people can just point and click. But of course, if you have any additional comments or want to say why you think one is better than the others, please do so…


And to all my fine, zombie-smashing friends who are participating in the Zombie Warrior challenge and creating a character who will one day appear in this series, remember the most important rule of all:

zombie_keepcalm

Whiskey Delta, 2nd Edition!

zombie-wallpaperWell let me start by saying that Whiskey Delta continues to do well. And though the sales appear to be slowing down a bit, the overall number has just passed 900 copies! Good news, but in truth, I am concerned that interest is waning and I can’t help but wonder if the mixed reviews are to blame. After a total of ten, the overall rating is now at a 3.4 out of 5 stars, which puts it in the good, but not great section.

So here’s what some of the latest reviewers have had to say on the subject of the 1st edition. As you can see, it was more of the same:

J. York (3.0 out of 5 stars):
As others have said, i enjoyed the story itself but stumbled a lot in the reading due to the editing. It didn’t read smoothly as there were so many words misspelled and put in the wrong part of a sentence. As i said, I totally liked the plot but found the flow of it hard to read.

Bob Gawler (3.0 out of 5 stars):
The plot and story were actually pretty good, but the edititing let the store down. Too many grammatical and spelling errors.

Can’t help but notice some typos in these comments, glaring ones too. I know, I need to stop mocking commenters who are just being honest. But the irony, man, the irony! Ah, but then there was this one, which was the second five star review this book earned:

Rosie Reader (5.0 out of 5 stars):
This is a really gripping read; awesome story, great characters. Yes, there were typos, but the story kept the pages turning quickly. Great work Matthew S. Williams!
I’m looking forward to the next one.

That makes for a grand total of two 5 star reviews, three 4 star reviews, 2 three star reviews, and 2 two star reviews; which as I said, averages out to a total of 3.4 stars out of 5. Like I said, good, but not great.

Luckily, as the title suggests, my wife and I finally finished work on the 2nd edition of Whiskey Delta, the one that doesn’t have so many typos and errors. Yes, after a few short weeks of tinkering, the process of creating a novel that I can truly be proud of is finally complete. Good thing too, because I can’t take another comment about how my “story is good but it desperately needs editing”!

And of course, now that the 2nd edition is complete, I will be getting to work on turning Papa Zulu, the second installment in the series, into an typo=free, error-proof manuscript. Then I will be making it available on Amazon-Kindle for all to see. May it receive a greater reception than the first…

Big News!

zombie-attackGood news from the my small corner of the indie publishing world. My latest book, Whiskey Delta has just sold over 500 copies, including ebooks and paperback! Yaaaaay! And what excites me about this is the fact the vast majority of those sales happened since the 21st of April. That means that over 400 books were moved in the last two weeks. I can only assume that this means the popularity of it is growing.

And to add to the good news ball, I got another four-star review, which in addition to being nice, put the book’s overall rating back to 3 and a half stars. Once again, the reviewer was sure to mention quality of story combined with poor editing. I’ll let him tell you:

FINALLY! A zombie story where the US Military is not hopelessly inept, but is instead taking the war to the enemy and doing a damn good job. I choose to look past the vast amount of editing needed… and instead focus on a kick-butt military adventure during a zombie apocalypse. Fun, exciting, great action, and characters that you get to know and even care about–what more can I say? Buy it, enjoy it, ignore the typos and other errors and just get into one of the better examples of military adventure/zombie apocalypse cross-overs out there.

Now that was exactly the kind of review I was looking for! And rest assured, sir, the editing is being done! I’ve managed to clean up three chapters so far and noticed that the most glaring mistakes seemed to be in the first chapter itself. Not good! Not good at all… But rest assured, the 2nd edition will be clean, and the second book immaculate! I’m taking steps right now to procure a professional editor so the quality of my books won’t be left in my (incapable) hands!