Many of the folks who utilize BookBub are self-published, and because we hear over and over the need for self-published authors to have their work edited, It seemed to me that it could be educational to take a hard look at their first pages. If you don’t know about BookBub, it’s a pretty nifty way to try to build interest in your work. The website is here.
I’m mostly sampling books that are offered for free—BookBub says that readers are 10x more likely to click on a book that’s offered for free than a discounted book. Following is the first page and a poll. Then my comments follow, along with the book cover, the author’s name, and a link so you can take a look for yourself if you wish. At Amazon you can click on the Read More feature to get more of the chapter if you’re interested. There’s a second poll concerning the need for an editor.
Brittany Morgan knew she was a good mother, no matter what other people said.
She parked her old blue Civic around the corner from the main entry, in the shade of the grocery store so the car would stay cool in the early evening sun, maneuvering it into the middle of three empty spaces. She couldn't get or give any more dings or she'd have to listen to her father's going on and on about the deductible again. When she pulled on the hand brake, it squawked like a Canada goose, interrupting her favorite song. She had to figure out a way to make her parents buy her a better car. She was, to quote her English teacher Mr. Tanz, 'biding her time.' At first she'd thought it was 'biting her time', which made a lot more sense, because you could see how people might want to bite off minutes and hours and spit out the boring parts to get to the good ones. But Tanz made her look it up. It meant, like, waiting.
She’d been biding, putting off asking for a new car for almost a year. All because of Ivy. She looked at the baby, sleeping in her carrier in the passenger seat, backwards like they said, so she wouldn’t get a broken neck if the air bag went off. But then, this junkmobile probably didn’t even have an air bag on the passenger side. She’d have to remember to ask her father, who you would think would show a little more concern for his granddaughter.
The last strains of Love Was faded away and Radio Rick started talking about the (snip)
Did this writer need an editor? My notes and a poll follow. You can turn the page here.
Number 1 in a mystery series, this novel received an average Amazon rating of 4.6 stars. You’d think a story billed as a mystery would get busy raising story questions right from the start. Apparently this author depends on the blurb to hook you, because the first page didn’t do that for me. What happens? Musing. Parking a car and musing. All setup. There may be a good story here—the baby is kidnapped and the only witness is a gorilla that can do sign language. But will a reader ever get there? Your thoughts?
© 2016 Ray Rhamey