Cover for We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies

The First Ten Focus Group Feedback for We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies

Because We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies 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.


I would not have chosen this book based on its title, cover, and description. Even though I love stories involving magic and fantasy, the title and cover did not reveal that to me. I would have passed this novel without even looking at the description. I also don't like to read about kingdoms because they usually involve intense, complex family trees or complicated worlds. The official review showed me the great plot and detail of the novel. I am hesitant to jump right in because the review mentions the book having a map. That means it may be a bit of a complicated universe. Regardless, I read the sample. I love the author's descriptive writing style. It is unique and makes it easier to slip into this fantasy world. However, I was quite confused with the characters introduced right from the beginning. The author jumps into the story quite quickly with action. It felt like I was playing catch-up as I kept reading. I don't really like the way this novel starts in general. It does not show off this magical world well at all. It was quite boring and confusing. For these reasons, I won't buy and read this book today. Even though the adventure may ramp up and make more sense later in the novel, I don't want to risk it. I don't like to buy books I may not enjoy, and I was not hooked on the plot of this novel. That is so disappointing to say, but it did not intrigue me enough to find out more. I did not find any errors or typos. This book seems well-edited.

First Ten review added on October 3, 2020, at 3:07 am by elisathelvarik.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No


Initially I wouldn't have sampled this book but the OBC review piqued my curiosity. I found I was completely wrong on my first impression as the story hooked me completely and I found myself immersed in the story completely. The narration from Galen's view was my favorite part of the book. The author also built great suspense during the festival from the king of Voulhire, especially describing the possible enemy soldiers and the ships comment made by the fisherman. I found nothing that I disliked about this book and it was very well edited. I wouldn't improve anything and believe that this is a series I will enjoy. I will be reading the rest of the book.

First Ten review added on October 3, 2020, at 3:05 am by Mounce574.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


The cover art seems mysteriously alluring and appears to have been professionally rendered. The Amazon product description entices prospective readers with mentions of kingdoms, homelands, and uninhabitable realms amidst rebel groups, islands, wizards, kings, and knights. As the story begins, readers immediately see a handy, geographical map depicting the featured lands. The prologue provides instantaneous action with unsheathed swords and fearful shouts amidst castle grounds, servants, anxious archers, blue-clad magistrates, and lightning-quick amputations. Power roles are quickly reassigned and reversed as the pages progress. This book appears to have been professionally edited, although on page 10, there appears to be a duplicate verb (or a missing comma) in the phrase "their leather armor [covered] [tucked] in black robes." On page 12, there should really be a comma present after the introductory word to indicate a necessary pause for clarity in "Once(,) there lived a wise and wicked ruler..." The 372 published OBC reviews seem undeniably positive, as do the 108 currently posted Amazon user ratings. Undisclosed acts of perversion against children may turn some readers away, but there is nothing described in detail in the initial pages. Since the writing seems captivating in the sample, I plan to read the remainder of this title and make my foray into a new fantasy series!

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 7:07 pm by AvidBibliophile.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Samantha Gayle

Based on the cover and title, I assumed this was in the fantasy genre. I would have read reviews or a sample despite this program, as this is one of my favorite genres. The official OBC review gave this an excellent rating, so I was excited to read the first ten pages. The book is well-paced and appears professionally edited. I enjoyed the writing style and will finish reading this book at some point. I think the author does an excellent job creating this world and has included a map and extra reading if you want to explore the world further. There is nothing I would change or improve upon and look forward to the rest of this book.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 5:20 pm by Samantha Gayle.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


I decided to sample the book, We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz, after seeing an official review on OBC, and a blurb on Amazon. The book seemed professionally edited, and I encountered no grammar errors/typos. Although if I hadn’t read the first ten pages of the book, I would still have sampled it in the first place based on its genre. I liked that the story involves a foreigner, Galen, who will do everything possible to keep his newly found home safe. I will not be buying and reading the whole book because I wasn't captivated by the bits I read. I think making use of lesser foreign names would help in engaging a wider audience.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 4:51 pm by Rashida10.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No


Had I 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 image on the cover that invites to dream, the title - only as a challenge: the syntagm ”We are Voulhire” reminds me of the well-known ”We are legion” - not very appealing, and ”Great Skies” makes me wonder in what way skies were great in this case, the genre – I am a serious fan of sci-fi, and also the Official OnlineBookClub editorial review that I saw, which praised the book so much I am considering reviewing the book myself. I have "bought" the book and hope to read it because, as I said before, I am thinking of reviewing it. Reading the first ten pages did not change my mind from my original guess. Based on what I read, the book seems like it was professionally edited. I like the way the setting is prepared, the characters are introduced, the tempo is established, how the reader is prepared for the strong action to come. The book is the first in a series of seven if I am not mistaken. Matthew Tysz seems to be in full creative bloom. I will have to read more than ten pages to know whether something needs to be changed.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 2:40 pm by aacodreanu.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

JM Reviews

I wouldn't have sampled this book based on its cover because it's not suggestive. However, after sampling it, I'm going to finish reading it because I'm a great fan of Medieval wars stories. I like the kind of suspense the author created. I'm now very curious to find out the forces behind the shaking of the doors and how the helpless soldiers will counter this invisible enemy. I don't have any improvement suggestions. I didn't find any grammatical errors throughout the reading. This book has an official OBC review.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 12:46 pm by JM Reviews.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Elvis Best

Looking at the genre of the book, I would not have read it because I do not often read fantasy books. However, after reading the first ten pages, I've decided that I'm going to read this book because I enjoyed the first few pages so much. Indeed, the writer is a good storyteller. Further, I think the book is professionally edited because I found no errors in the first ten pages. The one thing I like most was the beautiful writing of the author. For example, I enjoyed the following sentence: "And so the war dragged, like fingernails cracking in the dirt, for years.". Consequently, I do not have any suggestions for improvement. Lastly, I read an OnlineBookClub review of the book that piqued my interest.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 7:15 am by Elvis Best.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!

Aditi Sapate

I wouldn't have chosen to read this book based on the title, cover and genre, as I don't enjoy reading fantasy books. The official OnlineBookClub review gave me a summary of the story and its contents. When I started sampling the book, the very first thing that I noticed was, the author made it clear that it would take time for the readers to get accustomed to the country of Voulhire. While acknowledging this fact, he provided further reading links for the curious. I thought this was very insightful. However, the very next thing I disliked was the action and gory details of an altercation. As I'm not a fan of this genre, I will not continue reading this book. The sample did not contain any grammatical errors as far as I read it.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 3:37 am by Aditi Sapate.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No


I could not guess anything from the cover and the title of this book because I had never heard the word Voulhire. Therefore, I read the official review of this book as I was keen on knowing about the contents of this book. The official review helped me to understand that this is a fantasy book that revolves around Galen Bray, a financially underprivileged boy, who gets ownership of his late uncle's steel forge in Voulhire. This information encouraged me to read the sample of the book before purchasing it. When I read the first ten pages, I realized that this book is professionally edited because I did not find any grammatical or typing errors. The thing l liked the most is the narrative that depicted the scene where a magistrate wearing a blue dress used his magic and redirected 40 arrows back to the soldiers who had thrown those arrows at him. My suggestion to the author would be to add a picture of any one of the characters to the cover-page so that readers like me can quickly know that it is a fantasy novel. Considering all these facts, I decided to purchase and read this book today because the story appeared quite engaging to me.

First Ten review added on October 2, 2020, at 1:48 am by sanjus.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


I've been meaning to read the book ever since I heard about it. I love fantasy and this sounds exactly like something I would enjoy.

After reading the first ten pages, my initial thoughts were right. I loved what little of the book I read. I liked that the writing was exciting and the plot was intriguing. I would love to spend more time in Voulhire. I will definitely continue reading the rest. It was also professionally edited. So far, I don't think there's anything to improve. But I am hoping the world-building is written well.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 11:51 pm by dianaterrado.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


I like that this book is a fantasy, and the cover really stood out to me as something I might be interested in. The OBC review gave it a good rating and a good description. It made me want to pick it up even more. Having sampled the first ten pages, I want to read the rest. I didn't notice any errors. I liked that the action started right away, and the story is one that pulls you in. It seems like it will be full of royal families, witchcraft, and corruption. I can't wait to find out what happens.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 9:56 pm by pricklypurple.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


Outside the program, I will not sample this book. I am not a huge fan of high fantasy fiction. The images on the cover were related to the title. There was a boy, ‘the new arrival,’ under the sky. However, they did not look much like a fantasy setting. Also, it looked a bit dark. It would help to make the night sky brighter in contrast with the darkness of the landscape below. Or probably add complementary colors or something that will make it look ‘greater’ as the title suggests, something that will set it apart from the real world. It is a fantasy world. Anything is possible. In addition, this book is the opening of the series. It will be the first time the readers will get a glimpse of the environment, so I think the first impression should make a mark. The costume of the boy looked like he was from the real world, not from a fantasy world. The title is quite long, which made it hard to remember. The reviews were all positive, except for one that gave a low rating. From what I gathered, the theme was about starting a new life on new land, fighting over territories, struggle for political power, and magic. I have seen similar themes before. I was looking for a different take on the usual subjects, a more intense conflict, or a subject least likely encountered on fantasy, and yet happened to be there. After reading the first ten pages, I did find the story engaging. I liked the vivid descriptions and the easy flow of the narration. I also appreciated that supplementary reading materials for additional references were provided (extended reading and glossary of terms). From the sample, I did not notice editing errors. I found an inconsistency that I would like to note. It was about how the names of the chief of staff were used in the narration. Lucius Nartik was referred to as ‘Nartik,’ the last name was used. While Dustin Mendleson was ‘Dustin,’ the first name was used. I am not sure if this was intentional. But I prefer to have a more organized system of using the names. I think it would be more helpful in remembering the names and matching them to the characters. And I am anticipating that more characters will be introduced as the story progresses. Although I enjoyed reading the sample and the Official OnlineBookClub review was insightful, I did not find the story interesting enough to finish now. I will consider some other time.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 9:54 pm by sssns.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No


The cover seems to indicate a thriller rather than a fantasy book. The blurb, although long, elucidates the main premise. Fantasy is my favorite genre. So based on the genre, the official OBC review, and numerous other reviews I have read of this book, it is already in my TBR list. The first ten pages were without editing issues. They show the doors of a palace being breached by an unknown magical force. This force soon is revealed to be a Magistrate, who demands an audience with King Orlin. When the guards disagree, he causes their death. I do love novels with mediaeval kingdoms, especially with elements of fantasy and magic. This one seems fitting. Also, I liked the writing style. I have no suggestions for improvement and will read the book.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 9:27 pm by Shrabastee.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


After reading the blurb, I would check this book out because the premise sounds interesting and I like this genre. After reading the first ten pages, I spotted a few spelling and grammar errors. In the prologue, "...swords sliding from their sheathes." The plural of sheath is sheaths so there should not be an "e." In the chapter entitled "I am Galen, from the lands of the princes," the sentence "Once there lived a wise and wicked ruler..." there should be a comma after once. What I liked best about the book so far was the author's world building. I definitely felt like the setting and background is part of a mythical and fantasy land. The descriptions were also really well done. I could easily imagine the magistrate, in the prologue, in a blue robe and how frightening and menacing and sinister he is. I thought the scene with the guards' gauntlets turning red hot was really cool. The only suggestion for improvement is to do more showing rather than telling. Throughout the beginning I felt like the scenes were just written as a list of what happened. I would have preferred if the writing flowed better. There was an onlinebookclub review. I was hooked by the sample so I will continue reading the rest.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 9:07 pm by CrescentMoon.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Odette Chace

I don't like the title. "A New Arrival under Great Skies" made me think the book might involve aliens, and I was glad that this is not the case. After reading the synopsis on Amazon, I was confused by the model's attire on the cover. The clothes look very modern but the plot of the story I assume takes place in the past. The official Online Book Club review gave the book a perfect rating of 4 out of 4 stars and did not criticize anything about the book. I don't take reviews seriously if they don't mention anything that could have been improved upon, so the review made no impact on my opinion of the book. The only aspect of the story that piqued my interest is the inclusion of magic, so I don't have high hopes for the book. The map at the beginning of the book is well done. "The guards shouted warnings at an intruder, then they were shouting in fear" (loc. 67). Then they shouted in fear. "The silence broke to footsteps climbing the porch stairs" (loc. 89). Footsteps can't climb stairs. As I noticed multiple errors in the first ten pages, I don't believe the work was professionally edited. I was not interested in the prologue until all the archers died. That was a very strong image, and nothing before it made much of an impression. It didn't help that there was no particular character to follow. Unfortunately, the book felt very unpolished, almost like a rough draft. For that reason, I won't be finishing the book.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 7:48 pm by Odette Chace.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Laura Lee

Even without this program, I would have been intrigued by the title and drawn by the cover. The cover is very professionally done and interested me. I must confess my interest dimmed a bit with reading the Amazon blurb. There was nothing wrong with it; it's simply not a genre I care for.

Despite the OBC reviewer's high marks, the review confirmed this was unlikely to be a book I'd like. (Still love that cover and title, though!!) I read the sample pages and appreciated the fact that a map was included. That's a really nice extra touch. I also appreciated the fact that the author jumped right into the action. That's always an effective way to grab the attention.

One thing I noticed right off that I did not like was that, at first, at least, it appeared every single sentence was indented as it's own paragraph! That did not bode well, to me, on the editing. I also did not care for the graphic depictions of violence: people's legs being chopped off or a man being cut in too.

I won't be reading it as, again, I don't care for the genre, but if you do, give it a try! You may well enjoy it.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 5:23 pm by Laura Lee.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

diana lowery

The colors on the cover were chosen well. The title sounded like it would be fantasy, a genre that I do not enjoy. The blurb mentioned a wizard, so my guess was correct. The review was very positive, but it did not change my mind about reading the book. After reading the first ten pages, I was impressed with the author's talent for vivid descriptions, but the violence and gore depicted prevent me from finishing the book. I did not notice any errors, and the reviewer mentioned that it was well-edited. I liked that the book had a Tolkien feel with the maps and glossary of made-up terms.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 4:32 pm by diana lowery.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

Maria Esposito

I knew I would not be interested in this book before I sampled it. The main reason is that I do not like reading the fantasy and metaphysical genres for leisure. I like the choice of colors and scenery of the cover design, but the title does not catch my interest. The book has over one hundred Amazon customer reviews, but this had no impact on my decision. Reading the first ten pages did not make me change my mind. The book begins as Castle Hillport is being assaulted. As the story progresses, the Magistrate accuses Lord Orlin of molesting children. He is then taken to jail and killed by the mob's fury. The writing style is rather engaging, but I had some trouble keeping up with the details of the initial assault to the castle. The book seems professionally edited, as I did not come across any errors. The novel does not have an official review, but this had no impact on my decision.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 1:36 pm by Maria Esposito.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No


I am new to the sci-fi and fantasy genre, so I was a little apprehensive of the title of ‘We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies’ by Matthew Tysz. My attention, however, was captured by the colors and the stary night on the cover. It is quite amazing how the title turns the pretty, stary night into an ominous and somewhat eerie. Upon reading the volunteer review on, I learned that this is no ordinary fantasy book. I found myself to be a fan before I even read ‘We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies.’ Having also had the pleasure to sample it, I immediately found myself in a world filled with dark magic. I was taken by surprise by how today’s reality of some sinister human acts was woven into the story. I did not take long to warm to Galen’s reflections – somewhat naïve and, simultaneously, profound. It is safe to say that I am now a great fan. It also seems to be professionally edited and proofread, so nothing to take away enjoyment from delving right in!

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 12:52 pm by LinaJan.
Do you plan to read the whole book? Yes!


The cover of the book is dark so it didn't catch my attention. The blurb presents the players of the story but not how they're connected, so I found it a bit confusing. The book has mixed ratings, and considering that fantasy is not my strong suit and that I didn't truly get the blurb, I wouldn't have bought the book based on my first impression.
From the first ten pages what caught my attention were the terms the author used in his world-building. The "Emperor of Lullabies" makes me think of a story for kids but then, for example, "Magnum Caelum", if I remember correctly, means something like "great sky" in Latin. I found this interesting. I found the Prologue intriguing and I wonder what's the issue with Lord Meldorath and kids. I think the author makes a good job of capturing the readers' attention before introducing the players and the plot in a more orderly fashion.
I didn't find editing mistakes. I would suggest making the blurb clearer. The book has an official review but it didn't change my mind.

First Ten review added on October 1, 2020, at 8:47 am by Lunastella.
Do you plan to read the whole book? No

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.

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Total ~ 52%

We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies earned a score of 52%.

In other words, out of the top-level reviewers who read at least the first 10 pages of this book, 52% 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.

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