children's books

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019 FEEDBACK GENERAL FEEDBACK Many thanks for entering your book in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. The award is run ‘not for profit’ and we work very hard to try to help authors/publishers who enter to promote and/or improve the books. Firstly, I’d like to give you the general feedback given by the readers (from the last few years). Most the readers felt the covers were very good or excellent. The artwork was often compelling and the fonts imaginative and enticing. However, blurbs still seem to be a problem for self- published authors; they tend to be overly long and, as a result, do not do the job i.e. hook the reader in. As we suggested last year, try to keep in mind ‘who the potential reader is’ and ‘try to focus on persuading that potential reader to buy the book’. Remember, a blurb is not a ‘summary’ of the plot, it is ‘persuasive language’. Another problem the readers highlighted was formatting. A number of the books entered had such narrow margins, it was difficult to see the first word of a line. This resulted in a few very annoyed readers! Generally, editing seems to be improving year-on-year as more and more authors realise the pitfalls of ‘self-editing’ and employ editors to do a professional job. There were still a good percentage of books (particularly the children’s books) that had very basic grammatical problems. Writing speech, it seems, is very difficult for a number of writers. The readers also made a number of other comments: • More and more authors/small publishers seem to be experimenting with fonts for the story. That’s OK but every so often a font is picked which is very difficult to decipher. This, basically, kills the books for the frustrated reader. • Many of the books felt ‘rushed’, particularly over the last few chapters. The readers felt a story, particularly an adventure story, should end ‘BIG and EXCITING’; if it is rushed and ‘all over in a page or two’ the reader feels let down. • A number of the rhyming picture books had problems. Basically, although the text rhymed, the authors had problems with rhythm. Also, be careful not to ‘force’ the rhyme by altering a sentence structure so it will rhyme. Finally, try not to let the rhyme control the plot of the story. i.e. I want this to happen next but I can’t get it to rhyme so I’ll change the story so it WILL rhyme. • Our younger readers noticed a large number of the adventure/mystery/fantasy books started with description of setting. They felt this was not very ‘grabbing’ and did not ‘hook them into the story’. They suggested ‘speech’ would be better. • Many of our adult readers were disappointed by the length of a few of the books. They felt that a few independent authors, in a hurry to get the book on Kindle, will attempt to finish the story in 25,000 words. Consequently, the books felt rushed. The readers advise ‘Don’t rush it. Develop the characters; allow the reader the opportunity to care about what happens to them.’ • Regarding ‘non-fiction adult’, although the books entered were generally excellent, a number of them had ‘such small type they were almost impossible to read’. I know it is tempting with a very long book to pick a tiny font size – it keeps the cost of printing it down – but not so small the reader needs a magnifying glass. SPECIFIC FEEDBACK. This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought: Title: The Book of Silly Rhymes Author: Cheryl Lee-White, ill by Louise Rarity Star Rating: 5 Stars Number of Readers: 16 Stats Editing: 10/10 Writing Style: 9/10 Content: 10/10 Cover: 9/10 Of the 16 readers: 15 would read another book by this author. 14 thought the cover was good or excellent. 16 felt it was easy to follow. 15 would recommend this story to another reader to try. Of all the readers, 10 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘the comical content of the poems’. Of all the readers, 6 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘writing style’. 16 felt the pacing was good or excellent. 15 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted. Readers’ Comments ‘Very funny and a bit naughty too. I laughed a lot when I read this book.’ Boy, aged 9 – with a little help from his teacher ‘Fun, sweet set of poetry. Short so good for accessibility. Lots of making fun of pretty much everything including school, teachers, etc. – you name it! Good for boys.’ Primary teacher, aged 48 ‘They made me giggle. Poetry is not my thing but this was not too long and was easy to follow and understand.’ Girl, aged 8 – with a little help from her teacher ‘Boys like this sort of stuff. I thought it was all rather silly but I’m not the intended reader. A little bit rude, a little bit childish, a little bit immature. Basically, this was perfect for my 9 year old boy!’ Parent of boy, aged 9 To Sum It Up: ‘A very silly, very comical set of short poetry. Perfect for boys! A SILVER MEDAL WINNER and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes in association with Books2door

Books2door Review We were so lucky to be able to use and review Books2door amazing online bookstore that has so many wonderful children and young adult books at great prices.  Books2door’s website is easy to use, has a wide range of children’s and young adult books that are arranged into helpful categories so you can …

The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes in association with Books2door Read More »

‘The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut’ -Books 2 Door

We have been reviewing ‘The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut’ book collection from Books 2 Door. About the Collection This collection comes with 4 great books from ‘The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut’ series by author Aleesah Darlison. The books include Musical Mayhem, Model Mania, Tropical Trouble and Birthday Bonanza, they are all written in …

‘The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut’ -Books 2 Door Read More »