Sunday, July 31, 2011
Priscilla the Great
Author: Sybil Nelson
Genre: Middle Grade
How long it's been on sale: 6 months
Current price: Free
Marketing: 2 blog tours, twitter account, facebook fanpage, newsletter, speaking engagements at schools and libraries, contests, giveaways, Kindle Nation Daily, Pixel of Ink, Daily Cheapreads
Total sold so far: 172
Link to book on Amazon: Priscilla the Great
Meet Priscilla Sumner, an ordinary seventh grader with extraordinary gifts. As if middle school isn’t hard enough, not only does Priscilla have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill her and her family. Armed with wit, strength, and a genius best friend, Priscilla must defeat the Selliwood Institute, an organization dead set on turning children into killing machines.
Add an older brother annoyingly obsessed with Christina Aguilera, mischievous baby twin brothers who could scare the sin off of Satan, and parents more puzzling than a Rubik’s cube in the Bermuda triangle and expect a smoking page-turner!
This award-winning novel is currently being pitched to Disney, ABC Family, and Nickelodeon as a major motion picture.
First 300 Words:
I awoke tied to a chair. My eyes felt glued shut. I struggled to pry my eyelids apart. Once open, I shut them again as quickly as possible. A ridiculously bright and obnoxious light glared in my eyes, totally super-sizing my already painful headache.
“Holy hot dogs!” I said, borrowing my best friend’s catch phrase.
“Good morning, Priscilla. Welcome back,” an eerie voice said from … from everywhere. The deep, sinister voice surrounded me as if it poured out of the walls. I recognized that voice. I knew that man was evil!
“Good morning? I don’t see what’s so good about it. My head is killing me and that light you’re shining in my face makes me want to dig my eyes out with a spoon!” I yelled into space.
“Sorry about that, Priscilla. We were trying to revive you. You’ve been out for a number of hours.” The light faded away, allowing me to open my eyes fully without performing spoon surgery. There wasn’t much to see. I sat in a stainless steel chair in the center of an otherwise empty stainless steel room.
The walls were smooth and cold-looking. Even the chair felt cold. I shifted in my seat, trying to warm up my butt cheeks.
“What do you want from me?” I asked, trying to hide the desperation in my voice. I mean, I was really scared. I’d been kidnapped. Really kidnapped. I wondered if they’d done that Amber Alert thing for me.
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
And then silence.
A few minutes later, a huge dude with an even huger gun walked into the room from a door I hadn’t even noticed was there. It was almost like he’d melted through the wall.
Vicki's Comments: Even though this is free and "selling" quite well right now, I'll go ahead and leave my comments on this as if it weren't free.
I like the cover. I think it works well for middle grade. There are a few things going on with the notebook paper behind her that might be distracting, but I don't think it's an issue. I'd give this cover an A.
I like the description, but I think it can be improved. The description implies that Priscilla has magical powers but they aren't explained. That's one of the biggest selling points, IMHO, so I would make it clear if she can in fact make fire come out of her fingers, as the picture on the book implies. I also would make it more clear what the story is about. When Priscilla does X, then Y and Z happens, rather than tell what her family life is like, if that makes sense. I want to know what the conflict of this book is, and what happens.
The actual writing is good, although it's a bit dramatic, but I honestly haven't read middle grade books since I was in middle grade so it might be in line with that genre. I think the story starts with a bang and it does hook me and make me want to read more.
I did notice this book shows that it normally is priced $3.99. That might be an issue for a middle grade book which is generally shorter than full length novels. Once it's not free, I suggest pricing a bit lower, and then making sure the description tells what Priscilla can do that is magical.
What do you guys think?