Sunday, September 2, 2012
Take Back Tomorrow
Author: Richard Levesque
Genre: Science Fiction
How long it's been on sale: Jan 2012
Current price: $2.99
Marketing: Started a Facebook author page, had a launch party at work, submitted to Amazon independent novel award competition, set up Amazon author page, submitted to several indie book review blogs.
Total sold so far: About 50
Link to book on Amazon: Take Back Tomorrow
Eddie Royce thinks he's got things all figured out. He's managed to cheat the system and gotten himself published in the sci fi pulps by "borrowing" plots from Shakespeare. He doesn’t mind being a cheat and a plagiarist as long as no one finds out. But then he meets Chester Blackwood, the most famous science fiction writer of the 1930s, and discovers that Blackwood has a secret much bigger than Eddie's. Worse, the unscrupulous publisher they both work for has caught the scent of their deceptions and is threatening to make their lives difficult. When Blackwood disappears, Eddie is caught up in the mystery. With the help of Blackwood's beautiful daughter Roxanne (who has secrets of her own), he tries to piece together the puzzle, but soon he discovers more secrets hidden in the Hollywood Hills, secrets that seem to open doors into the past and the future. When the hack science fiction writer finds himself in a situation more fantastic than any pulp plot he could have imagined, he has to make a choice: sell out to the Hollywood elites who want the secret behind Blackwood’s success, or save himself and Roxanne from the sins of her father even if it means defying the laws of the universe.
First 300 Words:
Eddie Royce sat in Whistler’s office on the sixth floor of the Meteor building and waited patiently for the editor to look up from the galleys he studied, a smoldering cigar held between his thick lips and a look of quiet disgust on his face as he read. The muffled clack and ding of a typewriter made its way into the office from somewhere beyond Whistler’s closed door, and Eddie tried hard not to let it distract him. He sat in one of the mismatched chairs that faced Whistler’s enormous, scarred desk and thumbed nervously through the March 1940 issue of Stupendous, silently going over the pitch he had been formulating for days and hoping Whistler would not notice his anxiety. The magazine had hit the newsstands only three days ago, and Eddie had already read it cover to cover, focusing most of his scrutiny on one story—“Dark Hearts of Mars” by Edward Royce. It was his second publication in Stupendous, his second publication anywhere, really, but he already had two more stories and a serial accepted. After finally seeing his name in print following months of trying and failing, he had quickly come to believe in his success as a writer in spite of what he knew to be true—that he was at best unoriginal and at worst a plagiarist.
As with every issue of Stupendous, the cover of the magazine in Eddie’s hands was a work of art that no doubt accounted for a large portion of sales each month. The covers were always sensational, and this one featured a beautiful female space explorer watching in exaggerated alarm as her space ship exploded in the background, apparently leaving her stranded as she floated in space, her skin tight suit accentuating her curvaceous figure.
Comments: The cover isn't a bad concept, but the execution needs work, in my opinion. The title is hard to read, and the cartoonish people make the book look middle grade. I'm also not a fan of the black surrounding the picture. I think the cover would need some tweaks in order to appeal to the target audience.
The description could be better. There are some extra things that could be cut. It's very important to make each word count with a description. The first sentence isn't needed. I'd rather it start like: Eddie Royce has managed to cheat the system...
There are also a lot of "secrets" mentioned in the blurb. Too many vague references makes for a poor description. The readers need to know what they are buying. Spell out the time travel. (You elude to it, but you never come out and say it.) Spell out some of the other secrets, or don't mention them at all. The time travel is a strong hook. People who read time travel books really love them. Give them what they love. Don't hide it in the blurb.
The beginning of the book is pretty good. There are some superfluous words that could be cut, but overall it's not a bad beginning. I do hope something happens soon, though, because at this point nothing is going on and I would soon get bored without some action or conflict.
I think this book has great potential. I think the blurb is holding this book back. Some tweaks to the cover would help as well. It needs to look professional. I think if those two issues are addressed, the book would do much better.
What do you guys think?