Below is another early review of Midnight House from Readers’ Favorite.
Reviewed By Foluso Falaye for Readers’ Favorite
Midnight House by Ian Dawson follows the story of Daniel that started in The Field. Two years after escaping his traumatic time in the field, Daniel decides to be physically prepared for such cases by exercising and taking self-defense classes. Although he still suffers from PTSD due to the experience, he finds it hard to get past it. As everyone around him, including his girlfriend (Amber), is concerned about his well-being, he must find ways to heal completely and stop the nightmares from coming. A new problem arises when his best friend (Kyle) gets invited by his school’s basketball captain (Luke) to partake in the Varsity team’s rituals as Luke has a questionable character. But how questionable is Luke, and can Daniel repay his best friend by saving him if it comes to that?
Three words: thrilling, suspenseful, and relatable. Midnight House is a perfect book for young adults as it involves several things that they experience, like first kisses, bullying, hazing rituals, building friendship, school sports, jealousy, and more. However, it gets very dark as some brutal fight scenes and plans for murder are portrayed in the plot. This adds to the thrill though; I was genuinely afraid that the protagonists might get killed or fall into the set traps. The story has a broad view, mainly shifting between four main viewpoints: Daniel, Amber, Kyle, and Luke. Prepare for some curse words and some graphic scenes, nothing sexually explicit though. All in all, there are no boring moments in Midnight House as it is very well put together. I would not hesitate to read other books by Ian Dawson.
Below is another early review of Midnight House from Readers’ Favorite.
Reviewed By Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite
Midnight House is Ian Dawson’s sequel to The Field. Sixteen-year-old Daniel Robinson is still haunted by the horrors of his abduction two years ago, becoming paranoid and experiencing nightmares in between his sleepless nights. Cautious that his family and friends do not find out, he tries to cope and live a normal life. Amber somehow manages to add meaning to his life. On top of that, there is his best friend Kyle, who is invited by varsity basketball captain Luke Darden to take part in an initiation rite to gain a position in the basketball team. But Daniel’s gut feeling tells him there is something more sinister that takes place in those dopey rituals at the Midnight House, and it is up to him to save his best friend from the danger of hazing.
Midnight House has a great psychological element that you rarely find in young adult fiction. Dawson fleshes out a protagonist burdened by so much mental pressure from dealing with his own demons and protecting those that he cares about. Daniel’s psychological trauma makes this novel gripping and relevant. You get a balanced look at Daniel and Kyle as chapters alternate between their situations. If you put yourself as a character in the story, as one of the important people in Daniel’s life, and finds out that he intends to save his best friend, you cannot help but question if it is paranoia or genuine instinct that is driving him to risk his life. That being said, you should be thankful that you are merely a spectator to the tale. This narrative will challenge your contemporary sensibilities, and that makes this book highly recommended.
Below is the first of three early reviews of Midnight House from Readers’ Favorite.
Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
Midnight House by Ian Dawson continues the journey of Daniel and his best friend Kyle as their friendship and sanity are tested once again. Daniel is now 16 years old and the horrible event of two years ago still haunts him. Insomnia has become a normal part of his life and there is nothing that he can do about it. He knows he needs help, but something is stopping him from asking his family, friends, or even his girlfriend for help. To make matters worse, his friend Kyle seems to have landed himself in a mess. Kyle is invited by the captain of a basketball team to join their Varsity team’s ritual. He is supposed to go to the strange Midnight House and Daniel knows nothing good will come out of that visit. He needs to do something to protect his friend and make sure he is safe. Can they once again defy the odds and come out of a mess victorious? Or is this going to be the end of the road for them?
This is a heart-stopping and exciting story. Ian Dawson gives just the right amount of suspense, drama, and emotions to make sure readers stay in the moment with the characters and do not put the book down. Midnight House is one of those novels that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Daniel and Kyle make a great team; they have their differences, but they work together to bridge the gap and make sure they communicate. Daniel’s dilemmas act as the perfect background to the story and readers get ample opportunities to immerse themselves in the mystery behind the Midnight House. Everything about this story is perfect. This is a highly recommended novel!
Last week I discussed designing the front cover for your book. Today, let’s look at what should be on the back cover. Obviously, what you want on the back of your book and where it’s located on the back cover is entirely up to you, but these are just a few tips to get you started.
Do Your Homework
You more than likely own books, live near a bookstore or live near a library. And while the last two may not be currently open in your area – thanks to a current global pandemic – if you have a stash of books, you can do your homework just fine.
Just flip those paperbacks over and look at what’s present. Many hardcover books have dust jackets that may only have a large photo of the author or some image related to the book, but if you find one that has information about the book, use it as well.
Now, of those elements, which ones do you feel would best help to sell your book to a potential reader? Remember, you now have to mentally distance yourself from the creative side of the writing process and get into the writing process’s marketing side. Think of what’s on the back cover as a sales pitch to the potential reader. This is your opportunity to sell them on your story and get them to buy the book.
Let’s examine some of these elements.
Pretty much this a short description of what the story is about. Lay out the story’s basics, the characters, and the conflict in a couple hundred words or less. Your goal is to entice the reader to want to know more and purchase the book to read the full story.
If you’re like me and have a hard time not being wordy, write a synopsis of your story, then pare that down to the sentences that lay out the basics and will hook the reader into buying your book.
If you want to include your bio on the back, this should also be basic information. If you want to add more detail, you can always have an “About the Author” page inside the book as well. But a few sentences about you can be useful on the back cover.
I think it’s nice to have a photo of the author on the back cover. This should look somewhat professional since, again, you are selling yourself and your book. Have a friend or family member – hopefully, one of them takes decent pictures – take several photos of you in different locations and in different outfits. This way you’ll have choices when you sit down to decide.
It might be wise to even contact a local photographer and see how much they charge for an hour or so to take a few shots, so you get quality images for your book.
But, please, no selfies.
Make sure to include your book’s or author’s official website and social media. This is another way that people can find out more about you and your books.
How do authors get reviews on a book that’s not even out yet? Well, if they’re well-known, they have their agent or publisher send out advanced copies to critics to read and then use snippets of those initial reviews on the book.
But if you’re an indie author, you may not have that luxury. Luckily, there are pay services available where you can have people read and review your manuscript before publishing to get a few review quotes about your book to add to the back cover.
Using a legitimate review service adds credibility and gravitas to your writing, especially since these people don’t know you and can be objective in their opinions about your work.
Besides, putting “The greatest author EVER!” – Mom, on the back may come across as a tad hokey.
While you are using small snippets from these reviews on the back, the full reviews can be used on your website and social media to help promote the book.
Choose sections of each review with statements that sell. If you were to pick up this book, what words from those reviews would make you want to read it? Choose those, then make sure you attribute the quote to the reviewer and their outlet.
If you plan to sell your book as a paperback and hope to get it into a store one day, having the UPC code on the back is a wise move. The publisher you are using will have a template for you to use to explain the dimensions of the UPC (example 1.5” x 2”).
Make sure you have a white box positioned wherever you want it on the back cover, with the specific dimensions given, so the UPC barcode can be added during printing.
Once you are 100% locked into what you want on the back cover, all of this information should be given to your cover artist. Make sure you describe exactly where you want each element, then once you get a draft back, you can make alterations if needed.
Again, this is your product with your face and name on it. Make sure it sells you and your story in the most effective way possible.
And now, you should have a professional and sellable cover for your eBook and paperback.
Next week, we’ll explore some more writing tips. See you then!