Dare to Raise Your Head

Every day we read about various people being targeted by those jealous of their success. Until a few days ago I had not experienced it personally. My science fiction adventure novel The Seventh Age became number one on the amazon.co.uk lists for books of its ilk today (26/04/2012). 
Among the reviews on both the American and English Amazon pages for the book you will find a single review, written by two different individuals, commonly referred to as Amazon chat room Trolls, who hide behind pseudonyms of one kind or another. These people live in their bedrooms with nothing but malice on their minds. Personally, I feel sorry for them. What awful lives they must lead.
Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of reviews are written by ordinary people, who either like your work in which case they praise it. Or, if they dislike your work, they say so without resorting to personal attacks. A lot of writers don’t read the reviews written about their work and I can now understand why.
We all know that reviews sell books, even those written by the Trolls. Perhaps someone should tell them that far from creating trouble for the writer, they are actually encouraging the curious to purchase a copy and see what all the fuss is about.

Two Unprecedented Days

As most of you who follow my blog will know, for the last two days I placed my latest ebook novel “The Seventh Age” in the Kindle free download promotional program.

To say that those two days – Friday and Saturday – were nerve-racking for me would be an understatement. But I think the end figures below demonstrate just how successful it was.

USA 868
UK 2257
Germany 23
Total 3148
Why such a high figure here in the UK? Simple. If you go to Amazon UK you will see the reason why. Take a look at the first review. More importantly its author.
I’m not entirely sure, but Seventh’s promo may just be a record.

Free Offer

Get your free Kindle copy of “The Seventh Age” tomorrow – Friday 20th, and Saturday 21st April from an Amazon outlet near you

www.amazon.com

The Mayan clock stopped predicting events beyond 2012. Why did it not continue beyond that date?
Rebel archaeologist Nick Palmer experiences an almost unnoticed event at Stonehenge during the summer solstice celebration of 2011, which he attends along with hundreds of others, that worries him greatly. He is made aware through a blog, of a sinister organization known as the ‘Order’, that are seemingly bent on preventing his every move to discover the reason behind the worrying event.
During his voyage of discovery, Nick is tracked across the world by an enigmatic entity that has been trapped here on Earth for over twenty-five thousand years, awaiting the discovery of the event by what she refers to as a ‘surface-dweller’. Together with her and the few people he trusts implicitly, they set out to prevent the alarmingly inevitable catastrophic conclusion that will affect not only the Earth, but the whole Solar System’s very existence.

Jack’s latest science fiction novel is a tale told in the present day. Beside its topical theme concerning the dire events in 2012 predicted by the Mayan clock, it is also a story full of mystery and adventure in which the tortured love story of a human and an alien female gradually unfolds.

Reviews sell Books

It is a known and accepted fact that reviews sell books. And yet it would appear that there is a problem with the book review system currently in use by Amazon. 
Whenever someone uploads a review for a book onto the Amazon.com site in the United States, the review soon appears on all the other Amazon book sites worldwide. But, if a review is uploaded using any other Amazon site such as the one here in the UK – Amazon.co.uk, the review in question only appears on the site it was uploaded to. In other words the potential sales for that book are greatly reduced, simply because the review cannot be seen on Amazon in the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and any other country Amazon has an outlet in.
I can give you a clear example. Last week my science fiction novel “The Seventh Age”(ASIN: B007QIYIRK) received a review from a prominent author on ancient Egypt – Robert Bauval. Only those who purchase their books using Amazon.co.uk in England are aware of it, and may be influenced into purchasing a copy because of his review. Because of the way Amazon’s review system currently works, potential customers in the US and elsewhere, unless they happen to go to the UK site will remain ignorant of Mr Bauval’s review.
Just compare the UK page with the US page to see the problem:
The two reviews that were posted on Amazon.com in the US are common to both while Mr Bauval’s review only appears on Amazon.co.uk. Surely if any reviews posted on Amazon.com can automatically appear on all the other sites, then reviews posted on non US Amazon sites should be able to be seen on the Amazon.com site in the US, after all, it is Amazon’s main site. 
At the bottom of the UK Amazon page there is a simple piece of hypertext which says if you click on it you can read the US reviews for the book you are interested in. Why not place something similar on the Amazon.com page for reviews posted elsewhere like the Amazon page here in the UK?
This is not an isolated incident. In talks with other writers who use Amazon to sell their literary products, it would appear that similar cases have happened in the past.
I am quite sure that you the readers will appreciate how much we writers rely on reviews to persuade potential customers to buy our product. When a prominent author like Robert Bauval lends his name to a book in the form of a favourable review, and that review never gets seen outside the country in which it was posted, the number of missed sales begins to mount up. For those writing the reviews, having to post them on more than one site is plainly ridiculous, not to say time consuming.
It’s a simple enough concept to grasp for most people, but apparently not for the executives running Amazon. So here it is in language even they should understand – lack of sales equals lack of profit for your company…

Did they read the same story?

Take a look at the following six reviews for my sci-fi novel Turning Point. You would be forgiven for wondering if the reviewers had read the same story. Despite the words you the author write on the page, each reader sees the story differently.
***
Take the first review as a classic example. In it they claim that the stories’ hero Tom stumbles onto a hidden realm, when in fact he was guided to it. The reviewer also maintains he meets angelic-like beings there. Nothing could be further from the truth. The people in question – the Nephile are the remnant of an age old civilisation that is blessed with a long life span (1000 years approximately). Apart from that and the ability to levitate objects they are the same as you and I:
“If you’re a classic sci-fi fan, you’ll love Jack Eason’s Turning Point. This prequel to his epic novel, Onet’s Tale (see my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/145353245) tells the story of how alien life influenced Earth’s history and sparked a battle of universal proportions.
Reminiscent of Doyle’s “The Lost World”, the main character, Tom, stumbles onto a hidden realm in the heart of New Zealand. Within the prehistoric surroundings, lies a very advanced alien race, the Nephile. These angelic-like beings have hidden from their mortal enemies, the Drana and their cohorts, the sleazy little Khaz, who seek to enslave anyone they can. They enlist Tom to help with their mission to overcome the impending Drana invasion. The resulting struggles occur worldwide, resulting in a catastrophic war. Along the way, Tom falls in love with a beautiful Nephile named Auset. This development, being the romance-a-holic I am, was my favourite part of the whole story. Their love and struggles here spawn the events that lead to Onet’s Tale. The only things I would have liked more of were some deeper characterization and dialogue. Otherwise, it was easy to be swept away into this epic and deadly story. I recommend this, and Onet’s Tale, for any readers of classic sci-fi. Go grab a copy today!”
***
The second reviewer gets their facts correct:
“Jack has produced a very interesting novel with “Turning Point.” It is far deeper than just another Science Fiction story. Apart from the struggle between good and bad, and the development of the main characters stories and profiles, Jack explains a lot of the World’s great mysteries. One of these is the visibility/invisibility of UFOs. It also references the electromagnetic grid, as calculated by New Zealander Bruce Cathie. This grid covers the earth and its full power has not yet been realised by we modern citizens of Earth. However, in Jack’s story, its secrets are partially unravelled, including the mysterious ancient sites that coincide with the grid, such as the great pyramids and Stonehenge. Towards the end, the story touches on the concept of the Gaia theory as presented by Dr James Lovelock. The Gaia theory proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. This put simply, means if we stuff things up, the Earth will take its revenge, and wiping most of us out so other life forms may continue to survive. The story was easy to follow, although at times I did get confused by the characters and their names, but perhaps that is just me, not the fault of the story. In all a cleverly structured and well researched novel, and can be considered truly Science Fiction, rather than “Science Fantasy” which most stories of the genre are, since Jack points strongly towards the mysteries of the Earth becoming unravelled.”
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Then we come to a review seen through the eyes of a military veteran who was enthralled with the action:
“This reminded me of the tales from World War II, the little groups of men and women desperately fighting the Axis powers, doing little more than pinpricks as to a voodoo doll, but each bringing an annoyance of pain to the conquerors. A rousing tale of desperation, courage and hope; guts beyond measure, and sacrifice as true to man in this story as it was in the various resistances of old. The Sci-Fi aspect finally answers some age old questions, one being ‘are we alone?’ A must read for adventure lovers as well as Sci-Fi. Well done Mr Eason!”
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Next we read the review of an avid book reader, game to take on a sci-fi story, seeing it as an adventure story:
“Take one adventure story, give it a sci-fi twist and add world war three. Mix in some answers to historical myths and legends and you have Turning Point. Take a journey with our hero Tom as he crosses the world rallying support to overthrow the evil aliens, you won’t regret it. I highly recommend this book for all lovers of a good adventure story and if you like sci-fi, you’ll find it realistic and entertaining.”
***
Next a short but honest review from a person who watched the story unfold chapter by chapter, back in 1995 when I wrote the first draft:
“This awesome book does it all for me, the premise is great, the story moves along very nicely, the characters are easy to identify with and it is a very now story. For all science fiction fans this really is a good read!”
***
And finally, a review from a fellow writer of some note who I asked to read it through, prior to publication, who also gets his facts correct: 
“In a world full of authors, it’s a delight to know there are still those few who can tell epic tales. Turning Point by Jack Eason fits this bill completely. Set in New Zealand, the tale unfolds of how a likeable young man, Tom, stumbles upon a secret that will change not only his life, but of all humanity. Starting with his discovery of the Nephiles, which then leads him to the dangers posed by the Drana and Khaz, he joins in the fight for survival. It’s a tale on a grand cosmic scale and so well told, the characters leap from the page at you. A highly recommended read for those who love science fiction, and classic adventure tales.”
***
I am extremely thankful to the six reviewers for taking the time to read Turning Point and produce their own take on the story. The way each of the six people who wrote their reviews saw Turning Point, is not unusual. Take any given newspaper article, give it to a dozen people to read and you will get a dozen different points of view even though the words they all read are the same.

Every Once in a While

Every once in a while something happens that raises your spirits. The Seventh Age is my second sci-fi novel for this year. I began thinking about how I get it noticed by an industry reviewer. Then I remembered a particular well known writer I am fortunate to have become acquainted with via a well known social media site. If anyone would know who best to approach regarding Seventh being reviewed, perhaps he could point me in the right direction.

The weekend previously, 7th and 8th of April, I had offered up my other sci-fi novel for this year –  Turning Point –  for free download via Amazon purely as a promotional exercise. It was a success in that it moved 300 copies.

But of the two novels, I felt The Seventh Age was the better of the two. And so after a lot of worrying and fretting, wondering if I was going too far, I plucked up the courage to ask the writer in question if he knew who I should approach. You could have knocked me over with a feather, when out of the goodness of his own heart he did the deed himself. Read the Review  To my way of thinking, he is one of the best authorities writing about the ancient world today. In grateful thanks I forwarded a copy of Turning Point to him. You won’t find his review on the US Amazon page – only the UK one.

Who says that good things don’t happen to ordinary people – certainly not me.

Turning Point free weekend

Today is the first day of the free download weekend for Turning Point at Amazon.com and Amazon.uk. So far its going well.

To help you decide whether or not you wish to participate by getting your own free copy, I thought you may care to read the reviews:

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ, March 27, 2012
This review is from: Turning Point (Kindle Edition)

Take one adventure story, give it a sci fi twist and add world war three. Mix in some answers to historical myths and legends and you have Turning Point. Take a journey with our hero Tom as he crosses the world rallying support to overthrow the evil aliens, you won’t regret it.

I highly recommend this book for all lovers of a good adventure story and if you like sci fi, you’ll find it realistic and entertaining.

Carol Wills
Author of
A Titus Adventure
Five Minute Fiction

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turning Point, March 7, 2012
This review is from: Turning Point (Kindle Edition)

This Awesome book does it all for me, the premise is great, the story moves along very nicely, the characters are easy to identify with and it is a very now story.
For all science fiction fans this really is a Good Read.!

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Tale, March 3, 2012
This review is from: Turning Point (Kindle Edition)

In a world full of authors, it’s a delight to know there are still those few who can tell epic tales. Turning Point by Jack Eason fits this bill completely. Set in New Zealand, the tale unfolds of how a likeable young man,Tom, stumbles upon a secret that will change not only his life, but of all humanity. Starting with his discovery of the Nephiles, which then leads him to the dangers posed by the Drana and Khaz, he joins in the fight for survival.

It’s a tale on a grand cosmic scale and so well told, the characters leap from the page at you. A highly recommended read for those who love science fiction and classic adventure tales.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!, April 6, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Turning Point (Kindle Edition)

This reminded me of the tales from world War II, the little groups of men and women desperately fighting the Axis powers, doing little more than pinpricks as to a voo doo doll, but each bringing an annoyance of pain to the conquerors.

A rousing tale of desperation and courage and hope. Guts beyond measure, and sacrifice as true to man in this story as it was in the various resistances of old.

The Sci-Fi aspect finally answers some age old questions, one being ‘are we alone?’

A must read for adventure lovers as well as Sci-Fi. Well done Mr. Eason!
  

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