Papa Zulu Proof Ordered!

papa_zuluStep two semi-complete! After finishing my edits on Papa Zulu, I have gone ahead and ordered a proof copy so that my darling wife (i.e. chief editor) can give it a second pass. I’ve also sent the PDF off to my beta readers/other editors, so they too can tell me exactly what’s wrong with it and why I should stick to writing and avoid proofreading.

And while I was working on that, I fashioned a cover for the third book. All this work on book II, as expected, has gotten the ball rolling on book III. And as always, I feel the need to visualize the end product, even before I’ve committed to writing the manuscript. Once again, I’ve gone with a cover image from Shutterstock, which now provides the bulk of my cover art.

Oscar Mike_2What do you think? Too much green going on here? I really like this cover template because of the solid front cover, the watermarked back, and the balance created by the text boxes, images, and quote section. Can’t wait to get moving on that one too! I hope to augment as time goes on with more favorable reviews, which is what I did with the jacket for book II.

Good luck to all us indie writers! May the sales be plentiful, the reviews favorable, and the inspiration unending!

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!

Reviews are In!

Reviews are In!

Recently, I had the honor of enlisting the services of a freelance critic and literary enthusiast named Katy Sozaeva. After our initial meeting and some back and forth regarding what she does and what I write, she agreed to take on some of my work for the sake of giving it all a professional. Naturally, I volunteered my earliest stuff, the short stories that have been available online for some time: Source, Liability and Smartbomb.

Even though she was quite busy and had a stack of books a mile high, she swore to me she’d get to my stuff sooner other than later. Well, I had almost forgot about our discussion, being a man who clearly suffers from ADHD when it comes to my writing. And then, wouldn’t you know it, I happened to be checking out Goodreads and noticed she had reviewed all three in full and posted her thoughts! Here’s what she said:

Source:

“The Earth and its colonies are running out of water. The government, left with no options, decides to hedge its bets by creating a colony ship and sending off the best and brightest to colonize the stars, while at home strict rationing and a lottery system to decide who should live and who should die will be instituted. Millions will die, either of thirst or through violence. However, a scientist comes up with a daring idea in order to provide additional resources and keep humanity alive in the Sol system – reclamation. All bodies will be reclaimed for the source, providing fluids, minerals and other essentials. How will humans develop, at home and in the stars?

This was an interesting science fiction story, as well as showing the dangers of continuing to destroy the environment for short-term gains. To us, it seems almost impossible that we could ever run short on water, but it will happen if we don’t stop polluting the water sources and start paying attention. However, the book is not a sermon – it is also entertaining with an intricate plot and plenty of suspense. Fans of sci-fi should definitely check this book out. Williams also has some short stories, including “Smartbomb” and “Liability,” which I will be reviewing over the next few days.”

And sure as shooting, she did!

Liability:

“With crime spreading out of control, and martial law proving ineffective, the US passes the Libertarian Act, which allows private citizens to become bounty hunters and earn a living by bringing in criminals, dead or alive. While the crime rate has dropped substantially, there are some who feel that this method infringes on their right to due process and an individual’s protection under the law. Now, with the crime rates falling, the bounty hunters don’t have as much work, and are looking for ways to maintain their lifestyle. What sort of solution will they come up with? And why are bounty hunters now disappearing?

I was interested by the idea of the Libertarian Act – I’m one of those who believes that people should have the right to protect themselves and that by making guns difficult or illegal to own, all that will be accomplished will be ensuring that only criminals will have them, which hardly solves the problem. I was interested in the fact that this situation was presented in such a way as to make the common hunter, as they call themselves, seem like a decent person just trying to do their part for community and country. A well-written short story that raises interesting questions – recommended!”

Smartbomb:

“The major alliances in the world have developed Smartbombs, bombs with artificial intelligence that are controlled by a Central AI and designed to carefully destroy only enemy targets while keeping civilians and architecture safe. However, a major crisis is arising and suddenly the Central AI has denied access to everybody. What has happened? Has it been hacked into? And what will happen to the armed forces without the protection of the Smartbombs?

An interesting what-if situation regarding the evolution of warfare and the evolution of artificial intelligence, this short sci-fi story packs a lot of pop into a short piece. Those with an interest in sci-fi, short stories, and the evolution of awareness should find this piece interesting.”

How nice! Glad she liked them, really glad she found the time to take them on. Speaking of which, another review has shown up for Source over at free-ebooks.net.  I’ve been meaning to take it down that site, but wanted to keep it up a little longer. Good thing, because then I saw this one:

“Great read. Took a few pages to get into, but well worth it. Understand there is to be a sequel; however, still wish the ending had not been so abrupt. That being said, definitely look forward to the reading the continuation.” – J

And he’s right, I’ve been tinkering with a sequel to Source for some time, by the name of Fortress.  I guess I’ll have to get on that now. Can’t disappoint a reader, even if it’s just one, dangit! But Source is definitely coming off soon so get your free copies while you can!

For those interested in more reviews by Katy Sozaeva, check out her site. No spamming please, I have a reputation to uphold ;)!

Katy Sozaeva at Livejournal

And of course, where to find my stuff:

free-ebooks.net

Amazon-Kindle

Lulu.com

Smashwords.com

More Reviews

Some more reviews are in! Again, these are just for the free samples I’ve made available on a couple of ebook sites, but that’s what they’re there for! Besides, feedback always matters to me and I take it seriously wherever it comes from. For the sake of the commentators anonymity, I’ve also substituted their full names with initials. Here’s what people said:

Source:
K.K from free-ebooks.com writes:
“I enjoyed reading this, but was a bit distracted by the number of mistakes. Please have someone edit this book. Ta”

*Good advice. The free version of Source remains the most unpolished version I have. I’ll get right on it!

K.Z.F. from Authonomy.com writes:
“interesting start, I like the setting a lot”

*Hope that feeling lasts, the setting kind of jumps around after the beginning!

Liability:
B.A. from free-ebooks.com writes:
“It’s a well conceived and beautifully delivered novel. I wish it has more pages for a more lasting reading.”

At the same site, J. D. writes:
“Good story. Gets you wrapped up in the action right away and doesn’t stop till the end.”

and T.P. writes:
“Dont look behind you when you read this novel, they may be watching you. thoroughly enjoyable reading.”

*All good. Especially the part about expanding it. I was told, frankly and helpfully by a fellow author that the story needed more action. I shall deliver!

No comments from Obooko.com, but Source has been given five stars from three reviewers, Smartbomb‘s been given five stars from two, and Liability five stars from one.