Not to long ago I stumbled upon this fantstic initiative from Amazon, which helps both emerging authors and readers. Readers (well voters actually) get free eBooks from Kindle, and for winners of Kindle Scout, Amaozon will actually give them an advance and promote their book. Cool!
Here’s how it works. Authors upload completed, proofread manuscripts, and a cover. You’ve got to have your book ready for publication, which can take years. But once you’re ready with your book, why get rejection letters from hundreds of agents. You can upload your book and be on Kindle Scout in literally a few minues. If you win, you get a small advance, plus promotion of your book through Amazon. You get %50 royalties, and your book will continue to be enrolled in their exclusive salaes program until it stops making a certain amount of money. Exclusive, because you can’t see your eBook anywhere else. But you retain print rights. Cool!
Amazon reviews your text over the course of 30 days. In that time, readers like you can go online and browse the titles under consideration and read excerpts. You can select titles and nominate them to Amazon, letting them know that you like certain titles. I’m not sure how much that will affect their decision to take on a book or not, but it must influence the process a little. On the other hand, someone with a following could get all their friends to nominate a book that isn’t all that good, and Amazon might pass on it. It looks like all entries are being reviewed. But we want the free books!
So now we get to that ‘free eBook’ part. If a book you nominate a book (don’t forget to put in your titles and hit submit) and that book gets picked up by Amazon, you get it free! They’ll send it to your Kindle. That’s it! Just browse a few titles, select the ones you’d like to read, and it might be yours. So simple, and it helps promote emerging authors, which is fantastic on the part of Amazon.
A few years ago, fantasy was dead. And before 1977, sci-fi was risky and low profit. Before Superman: The Movie, comic book movies were taboo. Now it’s 2015. I know that everyone is still recovering from the San Diego Comic Con. I wish I was there. Sadly, I’m on the other side of the planet. But I still got to enjoy all these leaked trailers, which raise the stakes in the comic book world considerably. Superheroes of all sizes, incredible sci-fi and fantasy films, I’m pretty psyched for the future of comic book movies. And TV shows like Game of Thrones have helped put fantasy back on the map, whew! But I’m not happy with SDCC’s emphasis on movies through, and I wish comics and comic creators like me had a real venue to share art, stories, and industry insights.
Now that Sevara is out and starting to get attention, I realized that I was losing track of the reviews that were being written. I decided to put all the reviews in once place. Overall people seem to dig Sevara. Is it the world’s best fantasy comic book series ever ever ever? I don’t think I’m there yet, I’m just starting out as a comic book writer, but let’s rundown the reviews, shall we?
“I am curious to see where the story continues.” – Derrick Crow
Derrick Crow over at Indiecomix.net gave a good summary of the overall action and story. He states clearly that issue #0 is a bit confusing. We are in 3 different times, Sevara changes shape every other panel, and the action moves fast. But at the end, he still wants to read more, which is the point of a zero issue.
“This is a killer conflict with great art, and I was bummed when the book came to an end.” – Brian Reed
Brian Reed posted for Florida Geek Scene, and says that the art is what makes the book work. The issue is “a confusing, cool ride, in that Heavy Metal I don’t know what this is but man it looks cool kind of way.” And it makes you want to read more. Good thing issue #1 is out on ComiXology!
“Issue #0 of Sevara is an intriguing and very short introduction to a complex and multifaceted future Earth.” – Jodi Scaife
Many thanks to Jodi at Fanboy Comics, who has gone on to review issue #1 as well. Jodi says that the art “stunningly beautiful” but the skimpy outfits felt disingenuous and left her a bit cold. She picked up on the new fantasy and mythos that is introduced in this issue, as well as the focus on gender conflicts that we’ll see much much more of.
“Oh that’s cool..*flip page* oh awesome*flip page*…big bad guys yay!…*flip page*Fight! Fight!”” – Tim Mason
Sevara seemed to bring out Tim’s inner child, and I think writing this issue had that effect on me as well. Tim, who I don’t know (I don’t know any of these reviewers) goes a bit bonkers over issue 0, and will go on to review issue #1 as well. We all love sci-fi and fantasy, right? But on a practical level, he notes the quality of the work by saying, “Siregar and Setyawan nailed it from page one all the way through. I was extremely impressed by the professional look of the layouts, inking and colors, this work could stand up against any of the big publishers.”
“If you like dense, post-apocalyptic stories featuring heroines with tortured internal monologues, this is the title for you. Sevara has the potential to go somewhere great, but it’s hard to say where the story will go next.” – Ellie Hillis
I appreciate the in-depth review by Ellie at Acts of Geek, paired with her thorough knowledge of not only the comic book genre she is reviewing, but also the ongoing feminist discourse about the female body and the male gaze. She references a half dozen comparable titles be fore launching into an analysis. She knows what she’s talking about, and her criticism definitely helped me improve the writing in issues #1 and #2.
“he creates his own mythology, rooted in some basic religious concepts but distinctly different.” – Edward Wendt
Graphic Policy continues to astound with their complex and informed reviews. Images and stories, mythology and fantasy, are what shape our world, and have for thousands of years. Edward really seems to get the underlying substance of Sevara and the world that is being built, focuses mostly on the foundation that we get from this zero issue.
Now I have all my reviews in one place so I can find them later, and hopefully so you can get an idea of what to expect if you buy Sevara. You can read Sevara online now on ComiXology, just click this LINK.
You can find all the links to the reviews here. I have no personal relationship with any of the reviewers, and all of them received the issue for free from Broken Icon Comics.