Help - I have a decent novel but I don't have readers

Discussion in 'Fantasy Authors' started by Unloki, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Unloki

    Unloki A Muggle

    Hello all!

    I'm new here, but I think I'm in the right place to find help.

    I recently finished a fantasy novel. I spent a year writing it after several years of learning how to tell a story.
    When I finished, I published it on the Amazon website of my country and I had a great reception there. So I thought about translating the text to publish it on, because years ago I had done it with a book that wasn't great and still I had a good result.

    Unfortunately, this time the response is being negative because my book isn't being read! That's why I wanted your help to know where I'm doing wrong.
    Is the cover? The translation? The synopsis?

    Any constructive opinion is welcome so that I can improve the situation

    Here is the link:

  2. Tanniel

    Tanniel Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    The synopsis/blurb on Amazon has some problems. This sentence in particular:

    "Only those when he those answers, the guardian will be able to survive the terrible threats that roam freely through the Badlands."

    It just doesn't quite make sense. I can figure out the meaning, but it's a problematic sentence. Being part of the first text that the reader encounters (before even opening the sample chapters), it will make most readers shy away immediately. If there is this kind of issue in the blurb, most will assume that the book itself will suffer from similar problematic writing.

    I assume it should simply be "Only when he those answers, the guardian will be able..." but that still leaves a problem. The word order of the second sentence is incorrect and should be "Only when he those answers, will the guardian be able..."

    And while grammatically not incorrect, the first sentence is odd too. "Only when he answers those, will the guardian be able..." This is how it should sound. I accept that the word order here might by a stylistic choice, but coupled with the other errors, it makes for a sentence that can really stump the readers and scare them away.
  3. Unloki

    Unloki A Muggle

    Thanks man, you are absolutely right. I will change that sentence.
  4. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    I think, if it were me (and I'm sorry about this) I'd take the book down and take it to a good crit group. There are a lot of things with the start that stood out to me:

    So much telling which makes a slow pace and distance from the character - modern books seem to go for the opposite
    Tense changes that caught me out
    Pronoun use that confused me

    I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I suspect people, if they are opening your sample, (I'm also not sure about the cover - I read somewhere orange is a tough sell), are not convinced by the opening.

    On a more helpful note the sff chronicles, sffworld, and critiquecircle all have critique boards (although Chronicles don't allow published work to be put up iirc)
  5. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Congrats on writing a book, Unloki. I've always felt that it's huge accomplishment to actually write the whole thing. And you are using this place as intended for new authors, which is to ask for assistance and constructive criticism. I'm going to check it out, thanks for the link. 600 pages, wow good for you. Good luck.
  6. Bill Ricardi

    Bill Ricardi Will likely be killed by a Lannister soon

    Hi Unloki,

    My guideline for creating a synopsis is simple: Use the same criteria that most literary agents use when they're considering a manuscript.

    The one you're using is incredibly short. On the positive side, that means no spoilers. On the negative side, nobody can relate to the book. I would suggest at least three full paragraphs, containing the following:

    • The name and background of the protagonist: Who is the ' young guardian'? His name, what he was doing with his life as the story began, etc.
    • Is this world Earth, or does it have another name? Use the name.
    • Does the world have magic? Technology? Some kind of description of the tech level and fantasy type helps narrow down the audience.
    Also double check your grammar. 'if he persevere' should be 'if he perseveres'. 'journey that will guide him' should be 'journey that will lead him'.

    Once you have a better description, you can look into advertising it in the usual places with a free or discount week, and get it linked up on Goodreads.

    Best of luck!

    Bill Ricardi

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