Magnify and Multiply

Magnify and Multiply: The Writing and Marketing Handbook for Beginning Authors, an e-book copyright and published by Jason P. Doherty.

The book is presented with an Introduction, Instruction in Three parts, an Outline of Resources, a list of additional Recommended Books, a sizeable number of Acknowledgements, and a short Author’s Bio. The Introduction presents background material with respect to the author’s initial writing attempts and his complete naiveté but perseverance until an ultimate attainment of “measurable success”. His intent in this volume is to pass the lessons learned onto other persons attempting to become successful ‘published authors’. Part One: How to create Awesome Books describes each constructive part of writing, editing, formatting, creation of a “great title” and finally a discussion of Book Covers. A “wrap-up” of Part One is included. Part Two: How to Publish Awesome Books is dedicated to methods of self-publishing books with emphasis largely upon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) with respect to e-books and Paperbacks, Hard Covered book production with emphasis on LULU.COM publishing and Audiobooks with Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). A shorter “wrap-up” of Part Two again is added. “Part Three; How to Promote Awesome Books (OR… The Entire Second Half of this Book)” provides pertinent details of the need for, and explanation of, Branding, as well as self-positioning, Marketing procedures, advertising, publicity and finally sales.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has presented a book that primarily is directed toward the writer who wishes to offer non-fictional material. However, a substantial amount of information is useable for the uninitiated fiction writer as well and if combined with the reading recommendations and several other available instructional manuals, should provide much of the armentarium required to begin the long road in attempting to become a successful author. He also has included an amusing comment long-existent apparently in the commercial world: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Also, a most important suggestion: “Megatip: The best advice I can give you starting out is to grow a thick skin and decide now that you will never, ever give up.” This reviewer agrees completely with the author’s suggestion, if the neophyte is truly dedicated to becoming ‘a published author’. However, because publishing literally is a ‘crap shoot’, the neophyte writer often is provided with another long existing admonition – “Don’t be too ready to give up your daytime job”. Thus, this reviewer should like to add still another suggestion, one he repeatedly has offered to his students; “If recognition and/or success are slow and perhaps all does not ‘go as well as expected’, continue to write for the pure enjoyment and sense of accomplishment that the activity brings and accept any monetary recompense as a most pleasant and additional result.”

4* Provides much basic material for the neophyte.

The Archbishop’s Amulet

The Archbishop’s Amulet is an epic adventure tale in the genre of dark fantasy, filled with strange beings and replete with all nature of spells, counter-spells and magic in e-book format by Watson Davis.

Plot: The world consists of numerous tribes all gradually being brought under the aegis of the Nayen Empire. The Empress is an all-powerful, suppressive, cruel and ruthless ruler whose underlings are of the same ilk. The protagonist, Caldane, a former student of Eddard the Shaman of the Brightfox Clan (called the Onei) now is a slave after the clan’s destruction. He is the only living survivor of a sacrificial ceremony, ritualistic in nature to harvest his magic. He is alive but many magic spells have been burned horribly into his flesh. The story opens with his being forced to clean up the remains of another of the gorily repetitively performed ceremonies with newly acquired prisoners and his decision that he no longer can live with the very people who are being selectively sacrificed. The tale follows his escape that is hampered by his decision to take along a child and a young girl and later adds a young nobleman, as they proceed. The forces stacked against him are several ‘Overseers’, an Archbishop, a gigantic humanoid creature and her army of warriors with attendant zombie like creatures and all manner of magical spells and other operative procedures as well as demons from Hell. A concluding battle and “Aftermath” provide a hint of more to follow.

Discussion: The author is a Texas born mathematician, now living in Spain and spinning tales from his long standing interests in fantasy, sorcery, science fiction and assorted creatures they engender. This particular volume is on the abundantly gory dark side of fantasy with a plethora of characters both good and bad, interestingly created and each pursuing its own agenda. Fortunately, a sizeable Glossary and Cast of Characters is included to allow the reader to ‘keep things in order’. The story moves well and although it would seem to be more particularly of interest to younger readers for whom it could provide some lessons in fortitude, it is well written enough to be enjoyed by any reader who is a devotee of fantasy and not adverse to the gorier side of such tales.

Conclusion: For the fantasy devotee, particularly of the dark, gorier type.

4* For devotees of fantasy; 5* for those enjoying the more gory, dark variety.