Monday, December 3, 2012
1/1 Jihad Britain
Author: Jack Everett & David Coles
Genre: Political/Crime Thriller
How long it's been on sale: Jan 2011
Current price: $2.99
Marketing: Twitter constantly to nearly 1700 followers which carries through to Face Book. Had it reviewed by Natasha Harding head book reviewer for The Sun daily newspaper, circulation 4 million (UK)who published her review and gave it 4* Paid for a video and listed it on every site possible including Independent Authors Network.
Total sold so far: 270+
Link to book on Amazon: 1/1 Jihad Britain
New Years' Eve: the world parties on unaware as a toll of death far beyond 9/11 and 7/7 spreads across Britain. The UK makes its own rules as 1/1 dawns and they don't include fair play. A global-warming fuelled disaster engulfs the country. Can its citizens pull together despite differing skin colour and culture? Years later and still at large, the New Year bomber has a private agenda and a nuclear bomb.
First 300 Words:
The summer of 2006 and people cowered in the ruins of their towns and villages while the Israeli planes screamed over Southern Lebanon. The bombs were targeted on the power plant in Zahrani on July 15th and only one bomb actually hit the western suburbs; most of the smaller munitions were scattered across the farms and holdings to the east, where it was thought that Hezbollah military were using the fruit orchards for cover.
From his vantage point in the hills above Zarit, Fahkri watched the F-161’s as they first screamed overhead forcing him to clap hands to ears and his charges - a mixed flock of goats and sheep - to leap and jump around in total disarray. He saw the Hezbollah running and hiding in the fields and saw the jets return much more slowly. He watched open-mouthed as one F-161 dropped its load, a single CBU-58 which split in half releasing six hundred and fifty bomblets onto the fields and town below.
Hundreds of explosions ripped trees and houses to shreds, thousands of titanium pellets tore through masonry as easily as flesh, snuffing out life everywhere, all in an instant.
When the raid was over Fahkri went home, or to the place where his home had been. It was difficult to tell which was Fahkri’s home and which was the chemist’s shop next door. The place where his family had been living only minutes before was now a low mound of rubble. Somewhere beneath the stones and broken concrete were his parents, his two brothers and his sister.
He and his neighbours tore at the ruins for the rest of the afternoon. At about five o’clock they found the lifeless body of Latif, his elder brother and shortly afterwards that of his sister.
Comments: The cover isn't bad, however I do have some nit picks. The overall image seems a bit dated. Maybe it's because so many covers these days are done with photomanipulation, and this looks more like a painting. The title font looks stretched and it's hard to read. The author names are even harder to read.
I don't think I like the title. It was not obvious to me it was a date when I first looked at it. I was thinking it was one divided by one, which is one, so wasn't sure how to say the title in my head. I didn't get it at first, and you have to make that connection right away or people will go on to the next book. Maybe I'm alone in the confusion, so I would get the opinion of others on the title.
Just a small note about marketing. When someone says they "twitter constantly" that makes me very nervous. What are you tweeting? If it's book posts, you're not marketing, you're annoying people. Try conversation with others. Just retweeting others isn't good enough. You've got to interact. Have real conversations. Twitter is not a good way to sell books. It's a good way to be social. It's a social network. It's supposed to be a good way to be social. It's not a platform for selling. You'd be better off spending your time finding book review blogs to submit your book to...and writing another book.
The book description is lacking. Who is the main character? The hero? Who will I be spending my time with if I buy this novel? Sure, the threat is good to know, but I want to know the characters, not just the boiled down plot. Introduce your main character, let us know the stakes. I also don't like the 'years later' part. Is this story about the first disaster, or is the main story about stopping the New Year bomber in doing something even worse than what happened on 1/1? The entire description is talking about 1/1, but then the last sentence makes me think the book isn't about that. It's about stopping something worse. Talk about that. And the main character.
The beginning of the novel should be very emotional, but I get no emotion from the main character. The events are told almost in a matter-of-fact way. I feel very distanced from what is going on, from the character, and from the story. People are dead, and I don't care. I feel like the character doesn't care, so why should I? And I didn't have any time to get to know the character before the bomb hit. I feel like the beginning of the novel needs a lot of work, and this makes me think the entire novel might need work. I know I say this a lot, but I would suggest joining a critique group and trying to learn more about point of view, how to get a closer point of view and make the reader care about the characters.
Out of everything here, I think the cover is the least of the problems. (I would still suggest using a photo and tweaking the text.) The bigger issues are the description and the beginning of the book itself. Get these things tightened up, and I do think this book will sell.
What do you guys think?