04-09-2012 10:20 AM
Introducing Nikki Elliott, reluctantly sent by the Jobcentre to be the receptionist for Action in Caring, a south London community organisation under threat and in decline.
Charity Begins with Murder is my first novel, and was longlisted in the Mslexia Novel Competition earlier this year. So far the reviews are great - and they're not by my relatives!!
"It's funny, clever and urban, written by a fresh voice. Great fun. Read it."
"A cracking read, great characters and a believable backdrop. I'm looking forward to the next one!"
"I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel. Having moved to South London last year, I found the scenes described very believable! (and the characters too) I've also been involved for many years in the voluntary sector and thought I was the only one who wanted to murder my trustees - seems I am not alone. A cracking read! "
"To be fair, this would ba a great read for anyone who enjoys a good modern mystery, not just charity workers and south Londoners. But for anyone with experience in the voluntary sector there are so many things that Annie McDowell has got exactly right - the working conditions, the Trustee meetings etc - and this feels like the first time I'd ever read a book that was set in "our" voluntary sector world. Same goes for the characters - having left south London over ten years ago, this novel took me straight back there and I loved the casual throwaway line about Battersea Arts Centre being somewhere that makes you want to order a trendy drink. The characters are super and the reader immediately has a real sense of these people's lives and loves."
I'd love to know what you think.
04-09-2012 10:53 AM
The link to the book on Lulu is http://www.lulu.com/shop/annie-mcdowall/charity-be
Congrats on getting so many postitive reviews. The story looks well written and lively from what I can see in the preview.
But the formatting is poor.
There are unnecessary blank lines between lines of dialogue and the line spacing also seems wide. If you removed the blank lines and reduced your line spacing to single you could drastically reduce the number of pages and thus reduce the cost of the book, which is a little expensive.
I don't think I've ever seen a commercially published book that starts on page 4, convention is to start on an odd page and, of course, justify the text.
Feel free to disregard the above advice which is offered only with the intention of helping you make a better product. In another post you ask about selling in bookshops. A bookshop owner will see immediately that the book is not professionally produced.
Best of luck.
04-09-2012 06:03 PM - edited 04-09-2012 06:03 PM
The book looks great!
There are some things you might want to address to make it look more professional...
I really wish it had a better cover.
There should be no page numbers on the front matter.
Peter's comment regarding the paragraph and line spacing should be taken to heart. The indents look awfully deep, too (and a little inconsistent).