The First Ten Focus Group Feedback for Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath
Because Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath was Book of the Day, some of our most trusted members have carefully looked over the cover, the description, and other aspects of this book as a part of purchase-intent focus group. We then asked each participant in the focus group if they planned to buy and read the book, and why they planned to buy and read the book or not. Their answer to that question and reasons are displayed below. We call this awesome feature The First Ten Focus Group.
Keep in mind, the responses from the members are not reviews. This is purchase-intent focus group which means the participants are people who have NOT yet bought or read your book. A purchase-intent focus group is an important and extremely useful marketing tool for any product, not just books. For other products, you might walk on the street and show people an item in a package and poll them about whether they would buy if or $X or not. These kind of focus groups are one of the ways big marketing companies find the ideal price points for products and test the effectiveness of different packaging. The focus group can help you identify your market so you how to target ads of your book, and it can (but may not) provide you new useful info about your "packaging" (e.g. your book cover, your book synopsis on Amazon, etc.). The point of the focus group comments is to give you information from people who have not bought or read your book about why they plan to buy your book which will help you in marketing the book. These are not reviews or critiques of your book because they are not from people have read the book. This is a marketing tool, not reviews. The trick of book marketing and book advertising is that you have to convince people who have not read your book yet that your book is worth buying and reading. For marketing, it doesn't matter much if people love your book after reading it if you cannot convince potential buyers before they read it that they will love it.
IMPORTANT: Any score over 10% is considered very good. And any score above 0% is acceptable. This is because we only poll about 20 or so readers, and all readers have to say "no" to almost all books. Over a million books are published each year. Even a very active reader cannot come close to even reading 1% of books out there.
This is also why publishing books is such a tough industry.
The overall appearance of the book is pleasing to the eyes, but it's not that eye-catching, in my opinion. When I read through the official OBC review, I felt that I wouldn't be able to appreciate the story, mainly because I'm not very fond of reading historical fiction, especially ones involving wars and armies. When I finished sampling the first ten pages, I decided not to read the rest of the book. The contents seemed professionally edited so far, and I don't think there are any improvements needed. However, although the author's writing style was great and easy to follow and the introduction of Zack's character was interesting, I didn't feel engaged with the story because of the conflicts with my personal preferences.
First Ten review added on November 3, 2019, at 3:13 am by Aubrey Lewis.
This genre doesn't appeal to me, so I would not have sampled it, and nothing about the sample changed my mind. Due to this, I won't be reading it.
I like the idea behind this, but I really wasn't a fan of how it started (with the enemy, and including a heavy dose of violence against women described). It makes it feel like it's supposed to shock, which immediately marked this as a book I didn't want to read, regardless of the genre.
I did notice some sentences that felt awkward, like they needed to be broken up. I also believe there was a missing comma between two adjectives.
I would also suggest adding something like "in a Boston accent" to clarify the use of it (much as the author has done for the "hillbilly" accent). While it became clear that it was an accent, at first I suspected a typo.
I actually liked the set up with the coffee, it really worked.
I'm pretty sure there's was a review for this book, but I didn't read it, and it did not affect my opinion.
First Ten review added on November 3, 2019, at 2:56 am by Gravy.
At first, I wasn't going to get this one. I think the cover is more than a bit unappealing and the title doesn't really do it justice. However, reading about Zach's first morning on deck and the contrast between the North Vietnamese and American points of view were interesting enough to pull me in. It helps that the review was quite effusive and the book doesn't seem to have any errors so far. I'm definitely going to give this one a shot.
First Ten review added on November 3, 2019, at 2:30 am by Nisha Ward.
I would not have chosen to sample this book, as I don’t generally enjoy reading about the America-Vietnam war. After reading the first ten pages, I still don’t think this book is for me. I do like that the author chose to write from both perspectives. This not being a genre I would typically choose, I think changing the title and cover might make the book a little more attractive to me. The book does seem to be professionally edited. The official OnlineBookClub review was good, but did not serve to change my mind in this instance.
First Ten review added on November 3, 2019, at 1:06 am by Jbcitygirl.
I don't usually like reading books about war. Without the first ten program, I would not have wanted to read a book about how the United States Government refused to acknowledge or help the Vietnam Veterans who were poisoned by Agent Orange. I personally know people who were affected by this, and it's a disgrace. I don't want to read about it, but I will recommend it to other people.
What I read in the first ten pages did not compel me to want to read the whole book. I liked how the author portrayed the accent of the petty officer who showed Zack his bunk, "Welcome aboahd. Grab youah seabag and follow me...Take that top one theyah, and we’ll get you squahed away tomorrow (pg. 8)." It sounded exactly like a southern drawl in my mind.
It is possible that the book was professionally edited. I only noticed one missing comma after the word 'myself' on page 9: "I’m only three months out of boot camp myself and I know how confusing it is at first.” I have no suggestions for improvements. The OnlineBookClub review did not change my mind. I will not be reading this book.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 10:25 pm by Tiny_Turtle.
I probably would have not read the sample of Deadly Waters if it had not been a part of the First Ten program. The Book of the Day review was positive, but I'm not interested in war stories. The book seemed like it was professionally edited, but I noticed an error while reading. A comma is needed before "and" in the following phrase: "This ship was clean and long and narrow and it moved..." I enjoyed the author's comparison of the mysterious ship to a cobra. I didn't like all of the nautical and military terminology used to describe the vessels. As a result of this, I will not buy the book today.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 9:59 pm by lavellan.
After reading the sample, I felt that I was not interested in this book because I feel like there are already so many western narratives of the Vietnam War era. After reading the sample, there was nothing especially interesting or unique about this story to make it stand out from the others. Furthermore, the writing contained way to many overly-detailed descriptions of the characters’ surroundings (such as when the Vietnamese private sees the American boat coming). Overall, this book was not interesting and I don’t plan to read more. I did not find any editing errors at least.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 9:43 pm by OliviaLouise.
Before sampling this book, I would not have picked it up. Even though the OBC review was very positive, military stories do not interest me. That said, from the moment I read the prologue, I was immediately drawn in. The imagery of the opening scene was superb, and I could feel myself standing there in the bone-chilling rain as well. The excellent writing continued as Zack stared in amazement around the huge naval base. Even though this is a military story, I feel like the writing style is so great that it wouldn't really matter what it was about. I do plan to continue reading this book. I didn't notice any errors in the pages I read.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 4:35 pm by unamilagra.
If I had not actually sampled the first ten pages as part of this program, I would have chosen to read or sample this book based on the title and genre because I like to read historical accounts, especially those written in an interesting manner as this book. I am going to buy and read the whole book because I'd like to join Zack in his adventure and know more about the Vietnam war. Reading the first ten pages did not change my mind from my original guess, though the first few pages were kind of boring. I guess the book is slow paced.
Based on what I read, the book seems like it was professionally edited as I found no error. What I like most in the bit I read is their accent on the deck e.g. aboahd, youah, etc. What I know about the book is that it's a fictional historical account of the Vietnam war and it's effect on the soldiers then. I didn't notice anything that could be improved in the bit I read. This book has an Official OnlineBookClub review, which gives a good overview of the book.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 5:57 am by Nuel Ukah.
If I had not read this book as part of this program, still I would have read it based on the official OnlineBookClub.org. A book that shows selfless devotion by the youths to patriotically serve their nation, right away got my interest. Reading the sample has further increased my desire to finish reading this. I can't wait to see how Martin will fair on with his naval induction. The author also captures the story vividly using interesting dialogues, depicting the actual accents of the characters. This makes the characters natural and relatable, and this is the aspect of the book I liked the most. The book also seems to have been professionally edited since I found no errors in the sample I read.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 4:15 am by Fazzier.
Based on the cover, title and genre, I would not have chosen to read this book because I'm not a fan of war-related books. After reading the sample, I found that the book includes a lot of terminology that I do not understand. Also, it would have helped me a lot if some preliminary information about the Vietnam war was provided to the readers. Without that, it's a little difficult to grasp what positions people like Private Phan, Charlie Bates, Zachariah Martin, etc. hold. I will not be reading the full book. The sample seemed well edited to me. The book also had an official OnlineBookClub review reading which I chose to sample this book.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 4:14 am by Aditi Sapate.
War stories aren't my favorite genre. The title and cover art suit the book well. The official review makes the writing style sound appealing. One error I noticed a dropped hyphen in "twenty hour work days". The introduction to some of the workings on a ship and to sailor Zack Martin wasn't very interesting to me, although the foreshadowing about the deadly water was intriguing. I won't be continuing to read this one, as war stories aren't my thing.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 2:13 am by Washboard.
I read the sample because it was presented to me by the OnlineBookClub. I would have passed over it because I have seen so many war books as of late. I really liked the realism that the author uses in this book; any reader can relate to his struggles. Because I am not interested in reading another war book at this time, I will be giving it a pass. There wasn't anything that I disliked about the book, but I am just not the right audience for it. I didn't see any grammar or punctuational errors in the book that I read. I don't think that there are any improvements that need to be made to this book. An Official OnlineBookClub Review exists for the book, but it did not affect my decision to read it.
First Ten review added on November 2, 2019, at 12:57 am by Katie Canedy.
If I had not read the first ten pages of this book, I likely would not have picked it up. The cover art and title promise a story about the Vietnam war and that is just not a subject I am very interested in. The obc review I had read mentioned this book doesn't just follow the story of battle, but rather the aftermath of the war too. It sheds light on how the soldiers were treated once home. The story is fictitious, but the premise of the story rings true.
After reading the first ten pages, I will likely not finish this one as I am not very interested in wartime stories. This book begins by introducing us to a vietnamese soldier on lookout for enemy ships. An American boat arrives looking for its target. I liked the author's writing style and appreciated the editing (i did not find any errors). The writing was easy to follow and flowed nicely. If I had to suggest something to improve upon it would be changing the cover picture. It is bland and seems like the cover from an old book I would find in an attic somewhere. This seems like a good book for lovers of historical wartime fiction - I am just not the right audience!
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 9:48 pm by Kro92813.
Had I not sampled this book through the First Ten program, I likely would not have picked it up because war stories are not my first choice for reading material. For that reason, I don’t intend to buy and read the whole book today. Reading the first ten pages confirmed my first impressions of the book. It is about war. Based on what I read, the book seems professionally edited, and I saw no errors in my sampling of the book. What I liked most about what I read was the way the characters bonded with each other. The way the boys related with their Chief was similar to some of the stories my Dad (a Vietnam Veteran) told me about his time over there. I know that readers who love America and its heroes will enjoy this book. As far as improvements, I can see no need for any in what I read. I did read the Featured Official Online Book Club review and found it informative and enlightening.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 8:34 pm by VernaVi.
I do not like historical fiction that focuses on war, so I would not have read this book without The First Ten. The first ten pages and the official review did not make me change my mind, so I will not be buying this book. I like how detailed the writing was, so the reader can get a good picture of what's going on. I also like the use of naval terms and the author's easy explanations of them.
I saw a few editing errors, one of which was on page 5 and said, "The Assistant Engineering Officer in rumpled khakis, was making his rounds." The comma after khakis is unnecessary. Other than the mistakes, there is nothing that needs to be improved.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 8:29 pm by Mbrooks2518.
If I had not been a member of this program, it is highly unlikely that the cover, title or author would have led me to pick up this book. The cover and title clearly reveal it to be a war-based book. From past experience, I know that this is not a genre I usually enjoy. the author is unknown to me, so that would have had little effect on my decision. The blurb and customer reviews, few as they were, verified that the book is based on war, specifically on the Vietnam war. This would have slightly roused my interest as I have read a few books concerning this particular war which were very good reads. After reading the sample and enjoying it, particularly the accents used among the characters, I faced a difficult decision. Ultimately I decided not to continue to read the book as there is simply no way to be certain I would enjoy a novel from a genre I generally don't find interesting. I had to base my decision on past experience, especially as there were only four reviews which were decidedly from those who enjoy this type of book. The book seemed well-edited. I found no mistakes in the first ten pages.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 7:52 pm by Kelyn.
I have come across a positive review of this book, and it has piqued my interest. There are a few errors present. At 19% in the sample, there is a missing comma to separate the introductory clause: "...in South Vietnam(,) trying to...". I suggest that the book be run through another round of editing, as well as to include line breaks in between paragraphs to facilitate ease of reading. I like how the author gives descriptions of the scenes, telling the reader what is going on to increase immersion. For example, the reader learns that Zack is from the country, and he has only ever flown twice in his life, the second time being to go to the San Diego Naval Station. However, I will not be purchasing the book today, as the errors are distracting.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 7:36 pm by gen_g.
Other than reading the first ten pages of this book for this review, and discussion of Book of the Month, I would not have chosen to read this book. Having two uncles and a brother-in-law serve in Viet Nam, I saw enough of the fall-out of war during the time this one was going on. Reading the book will bring back many memories, I'm sure. The first ten pages were interesting, the characters relatable, and the story flowed well. I did not encounter any errors in the portion I read, so the first ten pages were well-edited. I did struggle somewhat with the extreme northern accent of a couple of the soldiers. I think the dialog could be improved if the emphasis was toned down. The OBC review was comprehensive, and the information regarding the effects of agent orange gave me a heads up that there will be memories of what my relatives suffered due to being exposed. As stated above, since this is BOTM, I will be reading the rest of the book.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 7:28 pm by B Creech.
The cover art adequately conveys a sense that this book will be both an informative and historically relevant title. The product description on Amazon offers a conclusive summary and seemingly straightforward representation of the plot progression and character relationships to be expected within. I cannot accurately determine the likelihood of anyone currently employed by the VA taking offense to the accusations made against the entity as a whole, but from my brief exposure working there myself, I can agree that the organization's shortcomings are often recognized on a massive scale. The imagery encountered in the first few pages already has me hypnotized. I am genuinely interested to read further into the story of Zack and Tally and to discover how America's Veterans Administration is "an enemy far more cold-hearted and callous" than the Viet Cong. This one sounds to be an emotionally-engaging reminder of the injustices so many of our wounded patriots have faced.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 5:48 pm by AvidBibliophile.
My first instinct is to stay away from war stories. Unfortunately, I wasn't convinced by the cover nor by the review. I haven't heard of Agent Orange until now. I'm certainly enraged by the way veterans were treated. In the sample, Private Phan is ordered to watch a narrow strait for enemy vessels. The storm and the heavy fog gives him a lot of trouble. I liked the first pages I read. The writing was very visual. However, I don't think that I will enjoy reading the whole book because of my distaste in war stories. I didn't notice any typos.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 4:11 pm by Laura Bach.
I would have sampled this book even if I had not been part of this program. I was too young to understand the Vietnam War when it happened, but I have cousins who served in that war. I want and need to know more about that period - what better way than through a highly regarded historical fiction novel. The cover of the book is appropriate with the naval vessel and the nautical map. The sample pages were vividly written. I am reading this book primarily for the information, but I think my connection with the characters will pleasantly surprise me. Grammatically, this sentence on page one could be rewritten for clarity: “The sergeant and eight other members of his squad were in a hooch taking shelter from the storm and their pleasure with the wife and daughters of the man who had been the hooch’s owner until they arrived that morning and killed him.” The positive OnlineBookClub review reinforced my decision to read this book.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 3:12 pm by MsH2k.
Agent Orange-related issues are something that I deeply care about, so I would have read this historical novel regardless of what the official review may say. Unfortunately, the beginning is boring and uneventful with Zach getting settled down at his new assignment. I also couldn’t fully enjoy the book because of all the accents, which make it difficult to tell if it was professional edited. I initially thought there was a typo where “youah” is used instead of “your”, but upon seeing the term being repeated throughout the sample, I realized it was part of a character’s speech. I'm sure many people won't have this problem, but I won’t continue to read this book because it's difficult for me to read.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 1:44 pm by TuyetMai.
I am not interested in war stories, so I would not have read the book based on the genre. Both the sample and the OBC review did not change my mind. The story was told from different perspectives by using a descriptive writing style. I also enjoyed the humorous interaction between Eastman and Zachariah, but I honestly had a difficult time reading the dialogues because of the different local dialects. The story focuses on Zachariah Martin and his Naval companions as they are exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, things get worse when the United States Department of Veterans Affairs unfairly denies medical benefits to many Naval veterans affected by the toxic herbicide. Readers who are interested in historical fiction novels based on true events will surely enjoy this book. Sadly, it did not seem to be professionally edited; I encountered some typos, missing hyphens, and missing commas that disrupted the flow of the story. For example, "If you have any poblems..." instead of "If you have any problems...” (location 308 of 658 • 47%) Another example, "Being a seventeen year old 'Boot'..." instead of "Being a seventeen-year-old 'Boot'..." (location 215 of 658 • 33%)
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 11:36 am by Emy Katherine.
At first glance I thought this book was nonfiction and wasn’t particularly interested. After reading the OBC review, I realized it was historical fiction and was more interested. As I read the first pages, I enjoyed the foreshadowing in the prologue. The author lets us know that the freshwater being produced in the ship was more deadly to the sailors on board than anything the People’s Army of North Vietnam had in store for them. I also appreciated his explanation of Navy rankings in the first chapter. The explanations flowed smoothly in the narrative, did not slow down the progression of the story, and helped me understand the ranking of the petty officers and ensigns. The book seemed to be well-edited and I will buy the book to read it for the book of the month discussion.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 10:01 am by Everydayadventure15.
I wouldn't have chosen this book because I don't usually read historical fiction, but I was intrigued by the positive review. I didn't find any grammatical mistakes in the first ten pages, and I thought it was an original idea to begin the book from the enemy's point of view. However, once the perspective moved over to the American side, I found that I couldn't connect to the characters presented, so I don't plan to finish the book.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 8:52 am by Juliana_Isabella.
The cover art of this book is interesting and caught my attention. I also like the title of this book. I would have picked this book up based on the cover alone. I haven’t read a review of this book yet. This is a historical fiction novel based on the Vietnam war. The first ten pages begin with a focus on a soldier in the north Vietnam army. The book then jumps to the point of view of an engineering officer on an American ship. The book then jumps to an American that has completed boot camp. I saw a few errors in the first ten pages that lead me to believe that the book was not professionally edited. For example, on page 2 it states “they were numbers painted on the bow”. I think it should be “there” instead of “they”. I wasn’t drawn into the story enough to read the rest of this book. It jumped around a lot in the first ten pages. So, I will not finish reading this book. However, I will read a review and may change my mind based on that review.
First Ten review added on November 1, 2019, at 8:37 am by Theresam.
This book appears to have been Book of the Day more than once. Only responses from the most recent Book of the Day focus group are shown. Older responses have been hidden by default to avoid confusion. If you would like to also view the older first ten responses, you can unhide them by clicking the button below.
Total ~ 30%
Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath earned a score of 30%.
In other words, out of the top-level reviewers who read at least the first 10 pages of this book, 30% plan to read the whole book.
IMPORTANT: Any score over 10% is considered very good. And any score above 0% is acceptable.
Over a million books are published each year. Any given person could not even read .0001% of the books out there. This means readers have to be very selective. Even taking the time to look over reviews and blurbs, let alone read samples, is more time than most readers can afford for most books. The First Ten is a powerful focus group that addresses those issues. It creates a helpful tool for authors, publishers, and other readers.