One of the essential elements for a successful in epublishing is a killer book description, and I think I’ve got a pretty decent one for Bringing Stella Home. However, I could use some feedback, so if you could read it and tell me what you think, that would be great. Here it is:
It is a dark time for the galactic empire. Rebellions at Tajjur and the New Pleiades sap the empire’s strength from within, while hordes of spacefaring Hamiji warriors from the outer reaches sweep ever closer to the Imperial capitol, slagging entire worlds in their wake.
When the Hameji forces conquer his homeworld, young James McCoy runs away to rescue his older brother and sister, Ben and Stella, from their grasp. Though he faces an enemy undefeated in battle and feared throughout all of inhabited space, James will stop at nothing–not even death–to get his brother and sister back.
Things start to look up when he meets Danica Nova, a Tajji mercenary captain who takes him in and becomes his mentor. James reminds Danica of her own brother, whom she failed to protect when the empire slaughtered her family years ago. Now, she hopes to find some redemption from her demons by saving James from his own.
Unfortunately, neither of them realizes that Stella has become a concubine to the main Hameji overlord–and that Ben has been brainwashed and made into an elite shock trooper in the empath squadron sent to hunt them down.
So what do you think? Too long, too confusing, too cliche, or too boring? The genre (if you can’t tell) is space opera / space adventure, so I’m hoping it will appeal to fans of Orson Scott Card, C. J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Star Wars & Star Trek, etc. It’s also got a slight military science fiction bent to it, though I wouldn’t presume to be qualified to write true military sf.
In unrelated news, I recently did an interview with Charlie of Playground51, which appears to be down for some reason (the link is on my Blog Tour page above). Topics discussed include how I got the idea for Genesis Earth, which parts were inspired by real life, and thoughts on book promotion. Hopefully the site will be up again soon!
Also, I’m thinking it’s time to do a major overhaul of my blog template. As much as I love the current one with the purple stars and nebulae, I need something with two sidebars so that my books don’t push everything else to the bottom. If you have some ideas for a good WordPress template that still keeps the sci-fi feel of this one, please let me know! I’m very much open to suggestions.
Corporate-run big box stores are certainly on the way out, but there will always be a market for good stories, and in many ways the new ebook technology is causing that market to expand at a wonderful rate. So while the predictions of the print death spiral appear to be coming true (David Gaughran did a great post recently on that), new models will emerge–indeed, are already emerging–which will fill the vacuum.
The thing that gives me great reason to hope is that these new business models give so much power back to writers. Instead of relying on the mercies of large media corporations to build a viable career, we can now make a living by publishing independently or going with any number of small independent presses. Readers have more choices and writers have more options. It’s glorious.
If anything, the Borders bankruptcy has confirmed to me that I’ve made the right choice to go indie, rather than wait for New York to anoint me before launching my career. Will I ever go with a traditional publisher? I’d like to someday, but I no longer feel dependent on the old system to accomplish my dreams. Instead, it’s my readers who will decide my fate, and that’s exactly as it should be.
So thanks for reading!