Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Could She Do It

Author: Nataisha Hill
Genre: Relationships
How long it's been on sale: Almost 2 years
Current price: $4.99
Marketing: Online press release, local newspaper article, online social sites, local book signing, online book reviews.
Total sold so far: 25
Link to book on Amazon: How Could She Do It

Product Description:

A young woman named, Kayla, tries to pursue her dreams as well as have a happy personal life beyond her career. However, she gets side-tracked and allows negative situations to interfere with the important things that she should focus on. There are people in her life who are deceitful, abusive, and shady in every way, but instead of removing them from her life, she only fuels the fire by seeking revenge and doing deceitful things that she feels will justify what others have done to her. 

First 300 Words:

After I graduated from high school, my life had begun to take a dramatic change. I was feeling trapped in my relationship with Jeremy, the jerk, and I knew I had to do something different. I knew Jeremy from high school. He was star of the basketball team, on the student council, and a senior. His father owned a chain of furniture stores that lead him to be partially wealthy. He was about 5’11 with fair brown skin and a medium athletic build. I use to see him play at home games, but I never spoke to him. We didn’t begin our relationship until after he graduated when he approached me at the mall. In the beginning, Jeremy would do everything with me. We’d go out to lunch, dinners, movies, and he showered me with gifts. Watches, rings, outfits, money here and there, and whatever else, you name it. Further into courtship, I detected small control problems such as constant calls and texts from him. Also from time to time, I noticed him making small remarks such as “damn it sure took you a long time to answer your phone” or when we hadn’t seen each other earlier in day and he would see me later on he’d say “you must have had better plans than being with me.” He made sure that I knew that there would be no other man as good for me and to me as he was. I paid it no mind because I just figured it was normal for a man to make such a claim, you know, like an ego thing. Little did I know what this psycho had in store.

After a few months into dating Jeremy, our relationship turned into a dictatorship. He always wanted to know where I was going, what time I was going home, how was I going to get there, and every other detail. 

Vicki's Comments: The cover confused me. I like the faded out face, but it gives it a paranormal look which I don't think you want on this book. I don't like the legs that go up and then...well, where's the poor girl's head? Looks like it fell off. I will say I do like the font. The only problem is that it's hard to read the title and the author's name is too tiny. I would recommend a different cover, or a remake of this one.

"Relationships" isn't really a genre. By reading the description, I'm going to guess that this book would probably fall into a general fiction or women's fiction genre. If you search out other books in that genre that sell well, and maybe design a cover that is similar, you'll have better luck with sales.

The description needs some work. I stink at writing blurbs, so I totally sympathize. I usually get a lot of help from other authors when I'm hashing out my descriptions. I find that they usually can tell what does work and what doesn't much better than I can.

The beginning of the book needs some help too. I would highly suggest joining a critique group and posting some chapters to get some feedback. I would also hire an editor, as I do see some things that need fixing. But don't worry, I think the premise of the book sounds interesting. I think we can all connect with Kayla, wanting to enact revenge on those who have harmed us. I think there is a story in here that can come forth and shine, I just think it needs some work.

What do you guys think?


  1. I have some problems with this one. The cover is unclear and hazy. I can't read the title. In fact, on my screen (and it does differ from computer to computer) I'm having a hard time making out any detail except the woman's legs. The rest of the cover is a dark misty mush. Not enticing.

    The description needs detail. It's vague, it speaks in general blah language, gives no specific detail what the book is about apart from a woman facing exactly the same issue we all face in life. There is nothing in there to entice me.

    The sample continues in the same vein. It's telling, telling, telling, it's heavy handed, authorial, distant and gives very little emotional connection to the character.

    IMO, the writing is just not there. I would advise that this needs to go through a couple of rounds of crit group scrutiny.

  2. Does the woman on the cover have a head or is that her head floating off to the side? From the cover, I guessed the book was about ghosts or something paranormal.

    The blurb needs punching up. How abusive are the people around Kayla? What do you mean by shady? Do they get her involved in criminal activities? Is Kayla's revenge just being mean and spiteful or does she resort to poison and machetes?

    The first paragraph is way too long with one thought running into the next. There are also a number of grammatical errors that need to be addressed.

    This book definitely needs a critique group or an editor.

  3. I wish I could tell you I found this interesting. It came off to me as though it was just an incident in someones life. As though, you were telling me about a problem you had.
    I would suggest you consider getting involved in a critique group to help strengthen your writing. I didn't "see" any of this story. It was just told. I really don't understand what we are supposed to see in the cover. It doesn't communicate genre or story. The only thing I can see is that it's about a hot girl.
    I might suggest writing the story from a less personal point of view. (This is a fiction, right? For example... After Kayla graduated high school, her life took a dramatic change.
    I think this might help me not feel like it was just some woman complaining about a bad boyfriend. I want to know there will be a story.
    The first 300 should grab me, and I started skimming by the middle of the first paragraph. Possibly start with a psycho conversation that this couple has...or an event.
    I must be honest. The title doesn't grab me either. The price might be a little high. This is your first book? I think hiring an editor or joining a critique group would make a world of difference. I'm sure this is a good story. The general concept sounds good. It just needs some work and love.

  4. The cover confuses me, because it looks like the girl's head fell off, and ballooned, and is now floating beside her body ;)

  5. From the cover I would guess your book is about a witch (as in magical powers). From your blurb, I would guess that's not the case.

    For the blurb: The best blurbs tend to have a formula to them. When happens, the . , or else .

    I also tend to tell things to set the scene instead of showing the setting. (You should have seen my monologue in the first draft of Jasmine: Energy Book 1!) A good writing or critique group will help you see the places where you are dumping information and help you show what is happening through your writing. is a good one if you don't have a local writing group.

    Good luck!

  6. If I was skimming through Amazon and saw that cover, I'd think paranormal. So you may be not scaring off your target audience depending on their tastes.

  7. The subject is powerful. Many young girls find themselves in an abusive relationship and I applaud you for bringing the subject to light. But with this subject, I want to know if you found a way out? If so, how? I want to be assured there is a positive outcome. Your blurb needs to address these issues, but also give the reader this insight.

    I also found your cover distracting. I cringed at the headless image on the cover and didn't see your name at all in the thumbnail. It conveys a spooky image, leading me to think it's paranormal.

    I concur with the other writers here, a good critique group is the best salvation for a writer. I owe my crit group so much. They are tremendous, honest friends. Find a group you can connect with and be open and honest with them.

    Good luck with a great story.
    C.K. Volnek

  8. Critique groups are essential for cover advice, writing, support...everything. It makes or breaks a new writer.

  9. I agree with you, Vicki. The genre alone threw me. I thought it might be a non-fiction self-help book or something. But then the cover looks mysterious and almost erotic.

    The description doesn't clear up the confusion on the kind of book it is, and yes, a crit group would be hugely useful in making the writer tighter, crisper, and more showing.

  10. Good possible story inside, but lots of problems getting to it.

    The cover doesn't convey what the story is about and Relationships is not a genre unless you're writing non-fiction. At first I wasn't entirely clear this was fiction. It was very confusing.

    The writing is very poor. Both blurb and beginning. The first paragraph was a monster that needed to be broken up into many smaller ones at the very least. I didn't find it the least bit interesting.

    Personally I think crit groups are largely a waste of time and a paid editor you're in sync with is a better option.

    Finally if this person is really serious about writing, why is there only one book available? Two years is a long time to try and sell one book. The best promotion for a writer is writing more books.

  11. I sincerely appreciate everyone's honesty and taking the time to post feedback. This is my first novel and I was so anxious to get the book out to the public that I did not hire an editor, join discussions, or get professional assistance with my novel. I literally did it all on my own. Looking at the comments that are posted, I have decided to edit the material, hire an editor, and redo the cover. Thank you again for your time. It is greatly appreciated

  12. Where do I submit my book info?


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