Posts Tagged ‘Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award’

Reborn City

It’s been exactly six months since Reborn City was released. I can’t believe how long it’s been since RC first came out. I’ve sold some copies, gotten five reviews, and I managed to get to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Not bad for a first book.

For those of you who don’t know much about RC, the novel is the first in a trilogy. It tells the story of Zahara Bakur, a Muslim teenager living in a world that has emerged from the ashes of a third world war. The society she lives in is made up mostly of small nations and independent city-states, some of which are plagued with Islamaphobia due to the role certain terrorist groups played in the war. This includes Reborn City, where Zahara lives, and this hatred gets her parents killed. Soon afterwards, she is forced to join an interracial street gang, the Hydras, in order to repay one of the leaders, Rip, for saving her life. However things get worse after that: the leaders in the Hydras all have very strange powers, and there is a rumor it’s connected to the corporation that rules over Reborn City, the Parthenon Company. The decisions she and her new friends make will impact not only her life, but the lives of so many others.

And apparently people have enjoyed reading it. Check out some of these reviews:

This is not a genre I typically delve into, but I took this book on vacation and couldn’t put it down. The plot had me turning pages at quite the clip. The characters were unique and interesting and the imagery had me creating my own visual of what Rami’s interpretation of the future looked like. For first time novelist, Rami Ungar, this was an outstanding showing of talent and commitment to his passion of writing. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Michele Kurland

Gangland violence, superhero-like enhancements, a futuristic setting, and social commentary that stems from a semi-post-apocalyptic theme. And then there’s a story where people come together as a family to deal with mutual loss and tragedy. What’s not to like?

Matthew Williams, author of Whiskey Delta and Papa Zulu

As a reader who does not read books in this genre, I must admit that I could not put down the book. I attribute this to the talent of the author. I am looking forward to reading the next books published by Ungar. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy action with features of supernatural powers and sci-fi.


And for the six-month anniversary, I’ve done some really awesome things. For one thing, I’ve uploaded a second edition, free of any editing or technical problems with the book (I hope). Secondly, I’ve put RC‘s ebook on sale. From today, May 1st, to May 31st, RC’s ebook will be available for $0.99. That’s two dollars lower than usual. Afterwards from June 1st to June 14th, RC will be available for $1.99.  So right now is the best time to get the e-book and see for yourself whether or not you like Zahara and the Hydras.

I wish I could say that the print paperback is also on sale. Regrettably though, Amazon controls that, not me. But you can still get the physical book for $8.80, which is a very good price for a book.

So if you decide to check out Reborn City, you can find it on Amazon and on Smashwords. If you’d like to read a bit of it before you do, you can read some of it by checking out this excerpt. And if you do decide to read RC, please let me know what you think. Write a review or leave a comment. Positive or negative, I really don’t care. I just want your feedback.

That’s all for now. I hope you all enjoy reading RC and I hope to do some editing on the sequel, Video Rage, this summer when I get back from Europe. Have a wonderful day, my Followers of Fear!

Reborn City

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Monday (along with 2 or 3 other posts) but life hasn’t been kind enough to allow me to do so. In addition to classes and work and homework, there was Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrating the Exodus from Egypt. I’ve been to two seders in the past two days, and both of them consumed my evenings, so there was definitely no time to write a blog post.

But today miraculously I finished my homework in the early afternoon, so now that classes are over, the laundry is running, and I’ve nothing else to draw my attention right now, I’m going to knock out some blog posts, starting with this one. And if you’ve seen the title, you can tell it’s about Reborn City.

First, I’m happy to say that RC got its fifth review on Amazon last week (I would’ve posted about it sooner but I wanted to see how things went with the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. More on that below). It’s taken a while to get to five reviews, but I’m happy to say it finally happened. And this one comes from my dad, who despite being my dad is not one to pull his punches and say everything I want to hear about my novel. I’m not kidding, he’s panned some of my early work before.

Anyway, my dad gave me a five-star review, which he entitled A real page turner. This is what he had to say:

As a first published novel, this is a great effort. There are some technical/editing issues, but the story is quite good.
Characters are well-developed and the world that the author creates is quite believable–even with the superpowers of the Hydra members. I am looking forward to the sequel as there is definitely some unfinished business.

Well Abba, I hope to have the next book in the trilogy, Video Rage, edited by the end of this summer, so hopefully we can resolve that unfinished business sooner rather than later. And I’m glad you enjoyed the book and found it believable. I’ve always been the kind of guy who’s believed that a story isn’t good unless the reader can believe it, so it’s good to know that at least one reader does.

Now for some sad news. On Monday afternoon, I found out that Reborn City did not make it to the quarter-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Yeah, I know. I was hoping it would get to the quarter-finals as well. But you know what? This was my first novel, so I wasn’t expecting an underdog coming to the forefront and winning the whole darn thing. And my aunt made a good point on Facebook, that it was amazing that I made it to the second round to begin with. So I’m not too bummed out, though I’m a little jealous of the other authors who made it to the quarter-finals. And there’s always next year. Snake will be out by then, so maybe I’ll have a bit more luck next year than I did this year. You never know.

And finally, I’ve got a big announcement. May 1st is the six-month anniversary of Reborn City being published. In honor of that–and partly because I’ll be out of the country for most of the month–I’m putting RC‘s ebook on sale for the entire month. Instead of costing $2.99 as it usually does, the ebook will only cost $0.99 from May 1st to May 31st. And from June 1st to June 14th, the ebook will cost $1.99, after which it will go back to regular prices. Sounds great, right?

As for the print book…well, Amazon kind of sets the prices for that, so that’s kind of out of my power. But hey, if you want to read the print version, it’s a little less than nine dollars right now, so it’s definitely more affordable than a month of Netflix.

If you would like to check out Reborn City, you can find it on Amazon and on Smashwords. And if you’d like to read an excerpt before you check out the reviews, you can click here. And if you do decide to read RC, please let me know what you think of it when you’re done. I love hearing feedback from readers, positive or negative (just as long as it’s not a review left by a troll. Those are never fun).

That’s all about RC for now. I’ve got 3 more blog posts to write, so I’m going to get on them. Wish me luck and Happy Passover!

Good News: Somehow I managed to get several articles written for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, all of which will come out in the coming weeks leading up to my study abroad trip. The next one comes out tomorrow, if I remember correctly.

Bad News: As the end of the semester comes closer, I’ve got a number of exams and papers to prepare for, including a 25-30 page paper for a research seminar! Oy vey! So as much as I’d like to focus on making progress in Laura Horn before I go abroad, I doubt that with my workload I’ll make it to Chapter 35, which would be a nice stopping-point before I go on my trip.

Good News: A short story I wrote for a class assignment got an A+ from the teacher, who “cried at the end of the story” and wanted me to publish it, along with some suggestions on ways to edit it. I plan to submit it somewhere this weekend, as well as submit a couple other short stories to other magazines.

Bad News: Another short story I wrote got rejected from a magazine this morning. I’ll try submitting it somewhere else, but I worry. Some of the criticism the editor gave me made me wonder if this short story is as good as I thought it was.

Good News: Reborn City got another five star review. This, along with a sale I plan to hold next month and the possibility of making it to the next round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award make me hopeful.

Bad News: I won’t know about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award until Monday most likely, and I don’t want to go into more detail about the review or the sale until I have that info. Plus, RC‘s my first novel and I’m up against 399 other books in my category, all vying for 100 spots at most. I hope the excerpt I gave them is good enough!

Good News: I’ve found a camcorder that is within my budget that I can get after I get back from my trip. Creating book trailers and maybe starting a YouTube show or improving my YouTube channel might get easier with one of those camcorders.

Bad News: My local theater isn’t playing a movie I really want to see, a horror film with Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame. Well, that’s not as bad as it could be. I might know a certain woman (my mother) who’ll want to go see it with me, even if we have to drag her fiancee with us to do it. Forget I mentioned it.

When you get right down to it, a self-published novelist’s life is never easy, especially when you also happen to be a student with a part-time job and a lot of homework. Sometimes, like when I get criticism from magazine editors, I feel a little down. But there’s always opportunity for improvement. There are people who enjoy what I write and let me know when they get the chance to do so.

When I first started writing this blog nearly three years ago, I was just some freshman with one publishing credit to my name, a novel in need of some serious editing, and no idea how I was going to build a following or get my novel onto the printed page. Nearly three years later, I have a few more publishing credits, I’ve got two books out, a third on its way, and two more in various stages of writing/editing. I write articles occasionally for another website to help other self-published authors out, and I’ve made some friends who’ve been invaluable assets in helping me get this far.

So is my life as a writer ideal? I don’t know a single writer who can say that their lives are ideal. Even the biggest names in the industry are wracked by the usual anxieties, wondering if their work is up to scratch or if people will think their manuscript is sh*t or if they’ll ever live up to their childhood idols or if they’ll sell any copies.

I think for where I am at this point in my career, I’m at a pretty good stage. Would I like things to be better? I don’t know a single writer who wouldn’t want that. But I’m a lot better off than I could be, and I have plenty of space to improve, and the resources and friends to allow me to do that.

So as the weekend creeps nearer, I’m going to work to improve, to write and to publish and be the best I can be.

Good News: The future is open, and my Tarot tells me fortune is headed my way. I’m heading to meet it.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this since I found out the good news this morning. Unfortunately I had work, and then I had classes, and then I had a 2-hour orientation for my study abroad trip and then I came home and started on homework and laundry, and these next two days will probably be crazy as well, and–whack!–I just slapped myself to stop me from rambling on. My friends are right, I would make an interesting late-night host or sitcom character.

Back to the point of this post (if we were ever at the point of this post to begin with): I submitted Reborn City to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror category about a month ago. I figured that it was free-of-charge, that it couldn’t hurt to try, and that even if I didn’t get a cash prize, after a certain round or two you got reviews from the judges. At the very least I might get a few more people to read RC. So why the heck not? I submitted RC through my account on Createspace, and I went back to my life.

This morning, keenly aware that today was the day that the results would be released letting authors know who got to the second round, I went online to find out if I was among the lucky winners. I scrolled through the list of 400 authors and novels in my category, trying to find my name and RC‘s title among them. And on the third or fourth page, my name popped out at me. Rami Ungar. Reborn City. I’d passed the first round.

I was ecstatic! I’d figured that since it was my first novel, RC probably wouldn’t make it past the first round. Sure, I’d gotten some amazing reviews off Amazon and from friends and family who were in the middle of the book, but I was sure I was too inexperienced an author to get to the second round. Well, just goes to show that authors can be the worst judge of their own work sometimes. RC passed.

Now that the first hurdle has been overcome, it’s time to get ready for the second round. I believe instead of an excerpt of RC, the full manuscript is required, so I’m going to try to upload it tonight. I don’t believe I’ll get to the finals or win the whole contest (like I said, it’s my first book and I’m not as good as I could be yet), but I’d like to at least get to the quarterfinals. At that stage they give reviews of your book, and any feedback, positive or negative, is welcome.

Well, I’ve finally blogged about it, so I’m going to get everything else out of my way so I can focus on getting to the quarterfinals (which are announced on April 11). I’m so excited, and I’m extremely grateful to be given this opportunity to possibly expand RC to a wider audience and to get some constructive feedback from experienced professionals. Wish me luck, Followers of Fear!