Tag Archives: reviews

January 2021…and beyond

I think we all know by now that 2021 is not going to become a good year any time soon. Despite the rollout of vaccines in most countries, it will take a long time before enough people are vaccinated to provide herd immunity* to those who aren’t. For most diseases, that means at least 70% of a population have to be vaccinated before herd immunity can kick in. With Covid-19, no one’s sure how much of the population has to be immune. There’s also a great big question mark around what the current vaccines will actually accomplish. Will they simply stop the disease? Or will they also stop infected people from passing it on?

So…. 2021 is likely to get a lot worse before it gets better. For the Offspring and I, that means we’ll be in self-isolation for a long time yet. Because of that, I thought there was no point setting any goals for the coming year. I was wrong. There are things I can do, both for myself and for others; it just took a while for me to see it.

One thing I’ve always been bad at is marketing, but marketing these days is mostly digital, so I’ve decided that my goal for 2021 is to get one more review for Miira and Vokhtah. Both are sitting on 19 reviews, and I’d love to see that number change to 20. Not a big goal, I know, but it’s an achievable goal if I pull my finger out and actually do some marketing!

“But I hate marketing!”

I’m probably the world’s worst salesperson, but I discovered a long time ago that when I believe in a product, my enthusiasm accomplishes what my lack of skill cannot – I can make others want to see what has me so excited.

“But I hate marketing my own stuff!”

Sadly, women of my vintage were brought up to believe that ‘showing off’ was the worst thing a woman could do short of flashing her boobs in public. I recognize the conditioning. I acknowledge that it’s incredibly unfair – why should men be able to blow their own trumpet while we have to be demure and self-effacing? But this fear of being seen as a show-off is so deeply ingrained that I cannot shift it.

But I can trick it into shutting up. 🙂 And this is where my light bulb moment kicked in. If I give my books away for free, I’ll be getting eyes on my work AND I’ll be providing some escapism for those who are still in limbo. And that is exactly what I plan to do.

The first step of this grand plan is to drop the price of all my books to 0.99 cents. Then, once every two weeks, I’ll put one of the books up for free on Amazon. The book will remain free for 5 consecutive days before returning to the 0.99 cent price point. When the last book has had its turn at free, I’ll put all the books back to their original price points.

This is what my books cost now:

Prices shown are for Amazon.com as at January 15, 2021

I’m not sure how long it will take for the price change to register on Amazon, but I’ll post an update when the new prices are available.

So that’s my grand plan. If I achieve the two extra reviews I’ll be happy. If I don’t, I can still hope that my stories ease the strain of this weird point in time, at least a little, and…I’ve got a plan for the next twelve weeks.

much love,
Meeks

…*… herd immunity works by surrounding infectious people with people who are already immune. To survive, the bacterium or virus needs new hosts to infect. With no new hosts available, the bacterium or virus runs its course and dies. Eventually, every infected person recovers and bingo, no more virus. To get to that point though, an awful lot of people have to be immunised at the same time, otherwise the virus just keeps ticking along.


Science fiction on parade!

meeks-books-small

I’ve never published a print book version of any of my books, but this wonderful graphic by Chris Graham is the next best thing. He just ‘whipped it up’ and sent it to me in an email. I have no idea how he put it together, but I love it. Thank you, Chris!

And while I’m at it, I’d like to thank everyone who left reviews on Amazon for Innerscape. You may not know this, but if you add up all the pages in all the episodes of Innerscape, they total about 1014 pages. I say ‘about’ because Amazon only displays page counts for episodes 2-5, so I had to guesstimate the page number for episode 1. Slight inaccuracies aside, that makes the story of Innerscape about 200 pages longer than George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Game of Thrones’ which comes in at 819 pages. So to all those brave souls who have read all the way through to the end…THANK YOU!

Now, I’m a polite girl, and polite girls don’t crow, but here are the reviews for Episode 1, including the 1 star by Austin Myers. 😀

David Prosser
Can Innerscape really live up to it’s reputation, can Miira live on without her bodily ills and find some happiness. Given an introduction is like watching world building at it’s best. You’re there and can see it but don’t have to cope with all the technical side.
Ms Flory has created characters real enough to evoke emotion in the reader. You’ll like, love and possibly hate too but you won’t want to stop reading.
I was given an advance copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Stephanie Briggs
Personal hopes and private fears leap from this writer’s imagination and grab the reader’s attention. Once she piques your interest, the conviction to know more will fuel your desire to read the next Episode. A. C. Flory does for science fiction what sunlight does for soil. She incubates an idea until it flourishes and feeds the deep hunger in us all.

Chris James
Anyone who’s read this author’s first book, Vokhtah, will know that she can deliver when it comes to entertainment. Innerscape part 1 doesn’t disappoint. The story tackles one of the most thought-provoking ideas in science fiction: what if, as your health failed and you approached death, you could effectively download your mind to a virtual reality and live on in the freedom of youth for as long as science could keep your decaying body alive?
We follow the dying Miira as she enters Innerscape and goes through her “orientation” into this virtual paradise. But right from the beginning, Innerscape shows one side to its Residents, while hiding real-world complications behind its pristine veneer of professionalism.
I finished this first part with my curiosity peeked and wanting to know what will happen next. It is a terrific introduction to what promises to be an outstanding series of books.

Candy
I thoroughly enjoyed Episode 1 of Innerscape and just downloaded Episode 2! The alternating perspectives, the vivid characters, and the intriguing vision of the future all work together to create a compelling narrative. Miira and Dr. Wu are sympathetic protagonists and the prospect of futuristic corporate villainy in the next couple of episodes seems likely. A.C. Flory has succeeded in creating a coherent, reasonable, and scary future, where the virtual and real exist side-by-side.

Candace Williams
This is the first episode of a smart, well written sci-fi series with a fascinating premise. I’m looking forward to finding out what’s really going on in both worlds, Kenneth’s real world and Miira’s utopian VR, Innerscape. There’s plenty to think about – a must in sci-fi, imo – within a storyline that captivates. An excellent read!

Dawn
Well. This was a delightful surprise. I’m quite traditional in my thinking- I always say to people I’m more of a crafter than an artist; and I think that shows in my reading. Much as I like to be fully absorbed in a novel, I find that most fantasy is just too fantastic for me to suspend disbelief. Same often goes for science fiction. For example – TV wise – I’m more of a Battlestar Galactica / Caprica girl than Farscape. My favourite authors writing for adults in this genre are Margaret Attwood and Iain Banks.
Having completed Episode One of Innerscape, however I think I might be adding AC Flory to my list.
Really convincing new technology and logic behind it; borderline dystopian; well realised characters; interesting premise throughout. Additionally it’s set in a future just sufficiently distant as to make all these things feel as though they may be about to occur, yet the lead character (a woman – hurrah) is incredibly relevant; especially reading this at the tail end of 2016. Oh – and unusually well written; no typos, no gaps or character name swaps, no odd leaps or discrepancies.
I bought this book, and am looking forward very much to buying all the remaining ones in the series.

EllaDee
A great start, introducing engaging characters who invite you to champion, fall in love with or hate them.

Austin Myers
There may have been a story of some sort but it was taking far too long to get to it.
Note to author: The first few pages / chapter has to grab the reader and pull them into the story. This book failed to do anything of the sort. This was disjointed and boring. I hope your next effort is better.

Penny I Howe
From page one, I could not put the book down. It was simply wonderful. Gripping & excitingly realistic. I’m getting ready to order the next episode (book ) right now. I would highly recommend this book. Excellent and entertaining. Exactly the way I like my Sci-fi!

And thank you to everyone who comes to my blog as well. You’ve made me a ‘very happy, Meeka’.

-hugs-

Meeks

 


3-part article on reviews and reviewers

I woke this morning to find that Indies Unlimited had posted the first part of a three-part article I recently submitted. Damned timezones! Anyway, Part two comes out tomorrow, and Part three the day after.

Why should you care? Because it’s my first attempt at ‘investigative journalism’, that’s why!

No! I’m kidding. You should care because the article[s] tries to determine if :

a) Reviews make a difference to sales, and

b) There is any strategy that can increase the effectiveness of the reviews you do get.

Non authors will probably find these articles boring, but they do give an insight into how difficult it is to make any headway in marketing, and how desperate the need to be ‘seen’ can be.

So if you’re at all interested, head on over to Indies Unlimited.

cheers

Meeks


Apologies, Reviews and Thanks!

I promised some reviews at least two weeks ago now and I still haven’t delivered. Sorry about that. Easter and The Daughter’s birthday did conspire against me, but I cannot tell a lie, I have been writing Book 2 of the Vokhtah saga, and just haven’t had enough brain cells left over to do justice to the books I want to review.

Top of my review list is a rather ambitious comparison of the three, Hugh Howey books I’ve read so far. ‘Molly Fyde vs Wool vs Half Way Home’ is coming. Soonish.

I also have to apologize to a couple of lovely bloggers who have nominated me for awards. Those are coming too!

And now for some heartfelt thanks. Kathryn Treat, and Candy Korman are both bloggers, writers and dear online friends. Their tastes in reading are different to mine, yet they both stepped outside their comfort zones to read my book, Vokhtah. And they left reviews on Amazon.

Those reviews mean a lot to me because I knew I was taking an almighty risk by writing a story about aliens rather than about humans reacting to aliens. So Candy and Kathryn, thank you. You have both given me a huge boost.

If you’d like to read these reviews they are here

Goodnight all!

Meeks


Reviews of Vokhtah

I”ve been very quiet about the reviews of Vokhtah. Not because they were bad, far from it, but because I grew up in an era in which boasting was considered to be very rude. “Only uncouth people boast.” So I hoarded my wonderful reviews like a miser.

I know, I know… missed opportunity, stupid, old-fashioned. I could live with all that but I suddenly realised how ungrateful I must seem. Three generous people have spent time and effort creating reviews for Vokhtah, reviews that may sway more readers to the world, and I’ve barely acknowledged them publicly. That’s just not right.

So I’m not boasting. Okay? The only people who deserve a pat on the back are Ilil Arbel, Lord David Prosser and Rod Scoullar. I’ve provided links where I could and I hope you visit their sites because Ilil and David are both great writers and their work deserves recognition. Rod Scoullar is that rare breed – a reader who likes sci-fi.

Ilil Arbel

‘Vokhtah is a rare book of extremely high quality. It is science fiction at its best, with a tight plot, an alien civilization and world frighteningly real and three dimensional, and a fast pace that makes it hard to put the book down…’

Lord David Prosser

‘Be prepared to be surprised. Be prepared to read of a planet like no other. Be prepared to read of species like no other. All contained within this beautifully yet intricately plotted masterpiece…’

Rod Scoullar

‘”Vokhtah” is fantasy, very good fantasy. In reading I found myself transported to a fantastic, alien world. This world can be forbidding. Bitter cold, searing heat and vicious predators await those who travel its paths. I was taken on such a journey…’

You can read the full reviews here. All three make me blush, and I thank their authors from the bottom of my heart!

I’m not going to get all mushy but… knowing people have read my book, and enjoyed it,  is like having Christmas all through the year.

-hugs-

Meeks


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