Monday, May 12, 2014

Reviews of ANIMAIA from Goodreads and Librarything

Genuine Reviews from LibraryThing and Goodreads:

http://www.librarything.com/work/11437868
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12145367-animaia

"It was a really good story especially if you are an animal lover. I really loved the story line and the 4 main characters are also amusing and lovable. The pacing and the writing itself was also very good. However, it seems to be a similar to Harry Potter, only animal style. DIPI sounds like Hogwarts. Arno is like Harry, Leroy is Ron.  A lot of potential for this series. I'm excited to read the next one. (4 stars)"

"Nice young adult story about a 13 year old boy named Arno Steele who has to face a family past that he was not aware off. Going to the prestigious DIPD academy where he is to learn how to hone his skills at "speaking" psychically with animals. Most people can speak to one or two species but Arno seems top be able to speak to all. Decent story seemed long on explanation but little action until you get towards the end. But as a first in the series it is a good start. Nice way to spend an afternoon in the sun. (3.5 stars)"
 
 "A very entertaining read! I could compare this book to having a similar feel to either the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson books, but I believe this book is more enjoyable for me as it has an inspiring message with it in regards to ecology and animal rights. By the end of the book, I found myself wanting to re-read the story and also anticipating the follow-up book. (4 stars)"
 
"Although aimed towards younger teens, this novel can be quite entertaining for an older audience. Arno and his friends' escapades as well as Charlotte's sharp tongue will be sure to put a smile on the reader's face. In a world with refreshing concepts and practices, the heroes have depths that are only partly explored, while the villains are most definitely evil and quite gruesome. I am looking forward to the sequel and hope to learn more about Arno's mysterious teachers and the legend of the Truemore. A fun read! (4 stars)"
 
"This book contains a very new concept for a story: certain people talk with animals by means of special telekinesis powers. This power sets them apart from the majority of the citizens who don’t have this power. As always, the different guy becomes the heart or the hero of the story and in this case so it is with Arno. Not everyone in his birthplace can talk to animals and of those who do, most can only talk to one type of animal, maybe two, but in this story Arno, talks to many animals.

That is unheard of, and Arno doesn’t want anyone to know that he can. Yet the cat comes out of the bag when he saves his best friend from being eaten by a giant boa. Some bystanders use their phones to pass videos of the miraculous event along. Now things are changing in his life, even the head of the elite training school takes a personal interest in him. What is going to happen with his friends and football when he enters the prestigious academy? This doesn’t matter to his parents who both want him in that school. He, however, isn’t quite sure he wants to pursue this gift.
Arnos soon finds out that school isn’t as bad as he thought; he even gets to have his friends there. All is peachy until he discovers that there is a mysterious plot brewing on his world, and this can mean only one thing—problems between human and animals.
Animaia is a great read, although it feels a bit slow at times. More dialogue would resolve that problem. It is interesting. I found no editing problems in it. It could be very well received by teen of all ages and adults alike. (4 stars)"
 
"A very entertaining book for the animal lover in us all. The concept of being able to "sync" with the animals is one I would have always wanted to be able to do. Great story. (3.5 stars )"
 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Complete Series Titles

ANIMAIA the series includes four volumes. I've made a start on volume 2. Here are the proposed names of the three additional books in the series -- subject to change of course.
  1. ANIMAIA
  2. The Return of the Fleshers
  3. The Crater Nebula
  4. Truemore
I received a promising response to my Amazon KDP Select giveaway, with around 700 books downloaded and a sales increase. I'll probably try this approach again.

Even so, I'm not trying too hard on the indie route, and traditional publishing is still an option, agents and all . . .

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

ANIMAIA - free days on Amazon 22-23 April

The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP Select) program provides for 5 free give-away days each 3 months.

Mine are coming up on 22-23 April. A free Kindle download copy of ANIMAIA will be available at the Amazon store on those days.

KDP Select is an interesting Amazon initiative. It demands exclusivity of availability in return for some promotion. Some authors like it a lot and others are not so keen. The feedback is mostly positive it seems to me.

I'll see how it goes. Promotion of the free days is underway. You can still buy in now if you wish at $3.99.

http://www.amazon.com/ANIMAIA-ebook/dp/B005620FXE/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt?tag=viglink126429-20


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kindle KDP Select

I've held back publication of ANIMAIA for a few months while I tested the traditional agent and publisher market, but it looks like it's time to try Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP Select).

Look for a free giveaway under KDP in the next month or so.

In the interim, I've been reading Hugh Howey's Wool -- a big seller indie ebook. Howey now has a print publisher deal as well.

The guy sure can write and I'm enjoying the book so far. Even so, if you consider the environments I write about in ANIMAIA -- jungles and vast landscapes -- it's not surprising that the dystopian Wool makes me feel a little claustrophobic!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reviews of ANIMAIA

Here are some (genuine) reviews from Smashwords:
"My first thought about this book and how to describe it is "Harry Potter meets Dr. Doolittle". I absolutely loved this book. There are plenty of good guys and baddies. I can't wait for more from this author."
"Animaia is about a world where through evolution, people who were once thought to be witches were actually "gifted" individuals who could psychically link their thoughts with animals, reptiles and birds. Because of this ability, through revolution, a country became Animaia where all people are vegans... no fleshers, skinners or others, even if you are not an anima and "gifted" to be able to sync with the animal kingdom.
Animaia is about Arno Steele, a truly gifted anima who can converse/link with multiple animal groups (a rarity)and his friends as they go off for their first year of school to learn how to control and use their gifts. There are lurking threats from a neighboring country of fleshers (meat eaters) & skinners as well as the question of the crater and the grommets. Shades of Harry Potter, but with a completely different appeal.
Very enjoyable!"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Map of ANIMAIA

I recently put up the map of Animaia (link above). It can be a little tricky building a map when the story is being written progressively over several volumes. Things happen in subsequent volumes that an author cannot entirely predict, unless you're an extraordinary planner and story-boarder. This relates to locations as well.

Even so, with ebook publishing there is always the option to update the map in subsequent volumes (and even early volumes).

Map was done in Corel, and as you can see, I'm no expert artist or Corel user, although adequate, IMHO!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How Many Characters in a Fantasy?

You might also ask "how long is a piece of string." It doesn't really matter if the story is well crafted. Harry Potter, for example, has many layers of characters in order of importance to the story. Some epic fantasies have many more than that.

The thing is, for fantasy stories that wind up over three or more volumes, readers have plenty of time to come to grips with a diverse cast of characters, especially minor ones that keep popping up from time to time. The objection to "too many characters" is often that it makes the story too confusing and detracts from main character development. This may be so in shorter novels where time and pacing are limited. In longer fantasies, you have more time (and words) to embed a multitude of characters.

In addition, you can get away with a big cast if you don't give a minor character a crucial scene without first introducing him or her in a previous chapter, preferably more than once. Surprises and plot twists are fine, but doing it with new characters is not the best way.

ANIMAIA has a cast of, well . . . not exactly thousands but certainly a few dozen. Even so, the superstars are two boys and two girls as the prime protagonists. Another six or so are very important secondary characters, with another ten or more in a third layer of prominence. I think it works well (as do other readers), and by the end of the book the main cast is well entrenched, as they will be for the following volumes.