I’m blogging about all different types of science fiction lately. This week I want to suggest a more traditional style that balances characters, action and science.
My father loved E. E. Doc Smith and his Lensman series. Lots of action, romance and in the later books of the series, family. His own family was aware of his enthusiasm; so much so that my younger sister slipped a few books from the series into his casket during the funeral when no one was looking.
We all knew she was going to do it and approved. We figured that he would need something to read while hanging out before the pearly gates or on Charon’s boatride over the River Styx. If heaven got boring, he would have a good book nearby to keep him entertained.
Before I review this week’s book, I want to talk about reviews. Currently, I’m setting up my summer marketing program, and I find that the later books don’t have enough reviews to qualify for several ad sites. It’s rather a chicken and egg thing. If you have enough reviews, you get accepted, which brings on more reviews. But if you don’t have many, you can’t advertise your book on sites like Booksends, Freebooksy, etc. and, therefore, don’t get more. I thought to offer Touching Crystal on a special deal. This great book is full of action such as: a comet smashing into a nearby moon, an extra-vehicular space walk to board a runaway space ship, invading aliens, a plane crash, and more.
But not enough qualifying reviews.
Amazon has clamped down on reviews by family or friends, so what’s the an author to do?
Offer something special.
For any reader who puts up a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I’ll send free my novella Call Me Time Jumper. After you post the review e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a pdf or epub copy.
Here’s the intro:
“His mother’s name was Tempest Steele Telluria. Yes, Steele. She was the daughter of Richard Steele, Time Master, who ran the Timelab for ages until he shut it down–out of fear.
And his father was Kayse Telluria. Yes, Telluria, that infamous genetic line of temporal Talents. Kayse had proven that clones could reproduce. And when your father was the clone of the notorious Arwoyn Telluria, ex-king, genetic experimenter, time traveler, and overall fate manipulator, well everyone watched him–especially Trace Walker, Director of I.N.Sys., protectorate for the Democratic Union. They all gazed at him from the moment he was born as if he were some bomb ready to explode.
So, he didn’t disappoint.”
One review for any of the books. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or deep. Reviews are the lifeblood of authors and help readers evaluate the worth of the read.
This week I was excited to read The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel. This is a debut novel by a young female author. And we know how hard that can be in the scifi realm.
Chief Engineer, Elena Shaw sits at a bar on the colony world of Volhynia where her ship the Galileo has been recently diverted there for mysterious reasons. Realizing that she is drinking too much, she doesn’t care. She wants to drown the pain of a recent break-up with Danny, a ship board lover, and an increasingly complicated and perplexing relationship with her captain.
After gently rebuffing an interested fellow drinker, she decides to leave, but an older, dark-haired PSI officer comments on her kindness of words in turning the guy away. Even while knowing PSI crew have a reputation as “pirates,” she stays and they talk more. Drawn to him and lonely, she decides to go home with him. As they walk out, a very drunk and violent local makes a play for her and yanks her away from her intriguing stranger…who lays him flat on the floor.
After a wondrous night of sex and companionship, she returns to her ship and her captain, Greg Foster, to discover Danny was murdered in an alley that night and her new lover is being held and tortured in jail for the murder by the very drunk man he decked. To make matters worse, she has to explain why the notorious PSI captain is innocent to her own captain, who has conflicting emotions about her, and isn’t happy at her revelation.
A looming wormhole, corporate intrigue, a corrupt military, and an emotional love triangle all combine to make a satisfying read. Even though he yells at her, Captain Foster guards her back as she tried to get her new lover, Treiko Zajec out of a hostile jail before they kill him.
But it isn’t easy and things get even more complicated. Although now retired, Trey Zajec was a notorious captain of the PSI in his day, the very same organization accused of firing on and destroying a ship coming back through the wormhole…a ship that Greg’s mother crewed on and died due to mysterious circumstances.
And then things get even more complicated.
The writing is action-packed and well written. The characters are complex with deep backstories and emotions. There is a strong romance flavor so fair warning to the geeks out there who prefer stronger science in their scifi. The wormhole and what it hides provides some of that. But I liked the mystery and political intrigue also. What really happened and why will keep you turning the pages.
This appear to be the start of a new series as Remnants of Trust continues the tale.
7 responses to “Science Fiction and Reviews”
Getting reviews is sort of a catch 22, isn’t it? It takes years sometimes to get to the magic numbers!
I invested a lot of money into editing and covers, but haven’t had a lot of sales (my novel is stuck at 7 reviews). Finding willing blog reviewers has been tough work, but I’ve hesitated to use paid promotion sites (partly because my budget is busted and partly out of fear of author-targeted scams). Do you recommend paid promotions?
Yes. But you are right to be wary because there are a lot of scams out there. Stick to the trusted and well known sites. Some are reasonably priced, but often you get what you pay for. See my previous blog and Jason Ladd’s blog where authors are giving him hard data on their results.
However, your results may not be the same depending on the genre, cover and blurb…all critical. I’m still figuring out the best strategy. Let me know what works for you.
And best of luck.
I went wide after a year, so I can’t do any Kindle Select Promotions anymore. Do you think it’s worthwhile to try some paid freebie sites with a novel free on SW, B&N, Apple, etc.?
I have found it true. It’s very frustrating. You need high numbers of good reviews to get on ad sites, but ad sites are how you generate reviews and sales. Catch 22.
Daniel: If you mean paid sites that offer your book free like Freebooksy, then yes. But if you are wide, you can’t make your book free on Amazon, can you? I have found ibookstore, Kobo and B&N don’t sell my books very well, so I am using Amazon and its marketing programs the most.
Have you found B&N and ibookstore sells books? I haven’t found it so.
If you mean Freebooksy for paid freebie sites….yes. But can you do that with Amazon not being free? You can’t go free on Amazon if you’re on other sites such as Kobo or ibookstore.