The First Ten Focus Group Feedback for Shot Down: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth
Because Shot Down 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 actually have read the book a while ago and loved it! I wouldn't have read the book if it wasn't the BOTM, as it is not a genre I like. I am glad I read the book as I learned a lot from it. The cover is great, but the blurb isn't very alluring. The OBC review had me hooked, though. The book started a bit slow, but eventually gathered momentum. It was an impressive read and the author managed to capture the feel of the time period perfectly. The book was well edited, but the writing felt stilted at times. My favorites parts were the letters and journal entries which added a personal touch to the account. I got the book and highly recommend it.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 7:46 am by gali.
At first glance, I would not have picked up this book because it is a non-fiction novel. The first ten pages seem well-written and professionally edited and the OBC review was favorable, but neither changed my intial impression. Overall, the book seems good but I am not interested in the plot. Therefore, I do not intend to purchase this novel today.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 10:37 am by Sarah_Khan.
The cover and title are well done for this book. The Amazon blurb is quite good; informative and not too long or involved. The OBC review gave some good insight into the book too. I enjoyed the sample. The writing seemed to flow well and the story was told in an interesting and informative voice. It is good to remember what has happened in our past and also to remember the brave heroes - who were ordinary people; just working to do what was right. Although I think this a worthwhile book, I do not plan to purchase it today. I do not feel the need to read another book about WWII right now but I will recommend it to my husband who may be interested.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 1:15 pm by Snowflake.
After reading the first ten pages, I decided not to finish reading the book. While the sample was interesting, I’m not a big fan of reading history based novels. I also read the official OBC review, but it didn’t convince to buy the book even though the review gave the book a 4 out of 4 stars. While reading the sample, I didn’t notice any major grammatical errors either. Based on the cover and title, I probably would not have chosen to sample the book because it looks like it’s about war and I don’t like to read about war.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 1:52 pm by ZenaLei7.
I liked that the pages I read were well-written, and I got the impression that the book was professionally edited. Based on the genre, cover, and title I wouldn't have sampled the book because I don't usually read books in the non-fiction genre (especially those with the theme of war). After reading the Official review and then sample, I still felt as though the book wasn't for me; that's the reason I won't be reading the rest of the book.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 2:28 pm by ritah.
If I had not read the sample I would not have read the book as I do not like historical books that much. After reading the sample I have not changed my mind.It felt a little like a textbook or a sequence of events. and I wanted more of the emotion or the characters. It was professionally edited though. I did not read the official review but it did not affect my decision.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 3:04 pm by psychopathycathy.
After reading a sample of, Shot Down by Steve Snyder, I have decided that I will not be purchasing this book. When I first saw the cover for this book, I was not interested. I could immediately tell that it was a war novel. I didn't know until I read the blurb that it was also non-fiction. I rarely read non-fiction or war novels, so I knew I'd be passing on this book. If I had not read a sample of this book, I would not have picked it up. I am not going to purchase this book because it does not catch my interest. I like that the author gives us a glimpse into his childhood. He talks about how he pretended to be in the military to emulate his father. Based on what I have read this book appears to be professionally edited. This book does have an official OnlineBookClub review. The review has its good points, but it does not alter my decision. In my opinion, this is not a book that I would be interested in reading.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 5:51 pm by BunnySTx.
This is an informative and interesting cover page. It immediately let's the reader know what the book will be about. I'm interested in reading war books so I was curious about the book. The Onlinebookclub review was excellent and only fuelled my enthusiasm for reading the book. It outlined that it was a mix of both personal account,in the form of diaries and letters, as well as historical facts. The pages which I read were well written and edited. I found it difficult stop after ten pages. The personal account of the crash was both horrible and descriptive and immediately drew the reader into that time and place. I have no ideas for improvement and I would like to continue reading this book.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 6:14 pm by micoleon13.
Because I enjoy biographies and historical books, I was interested in this book based on the cover and title. I did read the OBC review before sampling the book. It stressed the historical nature of the book and the reviewer really enjoyed the read. I definitely agreed with the reviewer after reading the sample. Clearly, the author did his homework. I appreciated the fact that this story is about the author's own father. My only qualm with the sample was that it got a little boring (the diary entry, specifically). Still, I think I want to finish this book because I am interested in this era. I didn't notice significant grammatical errors.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 6:40 pm by Ashley Simon.
The cover and the title are enticing, and sure made me interested
in sampling the book.
The first chapter is so mesmerizing! It sums up the finale of
the story in a succinct way. I found the book to be professionally
edited, and didn't find any mechanical errors. The formatting looks
good. I wonder if one would be motivated to read this book in full
since being shot down is covered in the first chapter itself, and
readers would suspect that the rest of the chapters are just supporting
information and may not be motivated to read the rest.
I did find an official OBC review for the book, but historic war stories
are usually not my genre, so I am not reading this book in full.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 9:08 pm by va2016.
Both the cover and title of "Shot Down" alerted me that this is not my kind of book. The synopsis and review confirmed this, as did the sample. While the sample was written well and contained no errors, it still was of no interest to me, and I had trouble getting into it. I'm just not into either history or war stories, so I will not be reading the whole book.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 10:12 pm by MsTri.
With a praising review, along with some very trusted Onlinebookclub member opinions about this book being excellent, I just have not found myself interested enough to continue with the story. Possibly because I'm not a fan of nonfiction, bit I double I would have considered reading this one at all on my own just because of the genre. I found no editing errors so far in reading, but do not plan to continue to see if the entire book is well-edited. Despite my already formed opinion, the cover has a nice design.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 10:15 pm by klbradley.
I probably wouldn't have chosen to sample Shot Down if I were not apart of First Ten. I don't typically read nonfiction novels, though I do enjoy them once I get around to it. While the blurb interests me, I prefer reading fiction novels over non-fiction. I will not be finishing Shot Down - I think it's amazing that the author wrote a book to chronicle the experiences of his father and others in WWII. However, after reading the first ten pages, I didn't feel any motivation to continue. The official OBC review was very favorable towards this book, and the themes of heroism and sacrifice contributed to the appealing nature of Shot Down. However, at this current time, I'm not very interested in reading.
This book appeared to be professionally edited, but I did catch an error - "...shot down over German occupied Europe." This sentence confused me, and I read it back a few times. I believe there's a missing hyphen between German and occupied.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 10:19 pm by ladycraic.
I would not have chosen my this book to read. I'm not a huge fan of history, but moreover my husband is in the military and this is just too real for me to read. I do think that it is an amazing book. The author started off with a lot of action. It serves as a great reminder for the men and women who serve today or have in the past. I didn't see any editorial errors. All reviews, including OBC, were really positive. This just isn't a book for me.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 10:59 pm by Afuglsan.
I’ve read and enjoyed several nonfiction stories about various wars and military people, so I’m always interested in a new story. This one seems like quite the tale - a plane shot down over foreign territory and the way the author’s father and his fellows escaped. I’ve noticed a couple off phrasings so far but nothing too terrible. The author captured the fear of the plane being hit incredibly well, and I’m definitely intrigued by how they made it to safety. I didn’t even look at the OBC review honestly, I definitely want to finish this one sometime regardless.
First Ten review added on December 9, 2017, at 11:18 pm by CataclysmicKnight.
Well, I already read this book back when it was the Book of the Month. Still, I will give my thoughts about the summary blurb, beginning pages, and what made me decide to read it (please note I do not read every Book of the Month). Obviously, I sampled the book without the First Ten program. I did so based on the glowing OBC review and the fact that I am fascinated by WWII and the resistance against the Nazis. The Amazon summary appears to be professionally edited and gives a good explanation of the book. I liked that it stated that the book was based on journals, diaries, and interviews. The cover photo of the crew also captured my interest. The sample pages are also well written and interesting. I loved how the first chapter has excerpts from the author's father's diary from WWII. It gave an authentic feel to the story. There is a seamless switch back to his father Howard's upbringing in Chapter 2, which made me feel like I knew the man. The only thing I didn't care for in the sample was the numerous review excerpts right after the cover - it was too "in your face." I decided to purchase and read the book at the time, based on my interest in WWII, the positive OBC review, and enjoying the sample pages.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 12:47 am by bookowlie.
The OBC review of this book was great. It said that the story is about real heroes from WWII and based on historical journals. I usually read books like that, so I got interested. After I read the sample pages, I thought the book was professionally edited. My favorite part was the beginning, which accounts how the ship got hit and on fire. Snyder and his friends had to jump. The scene had me on the verge of my seat. I will eventually read this book because I like history books, and I liked how the story starts.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 1:19 am by Yolimari.
I love what this novel is trying to do; it's important to keep the real-life stories somewhere prominent and give them a proper voice in the modern world. However, I'm just not particularly into books about war so I would have skipped over this one outside of the program despite how glowing of a review it received on this site. It's just a matter of personal preference. After reading the first ten pages, I have to stick with my original thought: I won't be reading this. While it's beautifully written, very detailed and I found no errors, I just can't get into this genre. I love that it has a personal touch to it, but it's still just too dry for me.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 4:00 am by Mallory Whitaker.
I decided to sample this book thanks to this program, I probably wouldn't have done that based on the cover and the description. The reviews both on Amazon and OBC are great, so I expected a lot from this book. The first ten pages were indeed captivating. Scary, since it's a true story, but credible and intriguing. I'm quite sure that the book is professionally edited as well. Therefore, I didn't find anything that could be improved. The only reason why I won't be buying it is because I'm not interested in military history. It's an intriguing subject, but also disturbing. However, I will gladly recommend this story to friends who are looking for something similar to read.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 4:20 pm by IsabelMay.
Had I not sampled the book, I would not have read it. I usually read romance books. Having read the sample, I thought that the descriptions were in adequate detail and allowed the reader to imagine the event being narrated. However, there were many technical words and this interrupted my flow of reading. The book seems professionally edited. However, since I do not read this genre usually, I will not be reading this book further.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 4:23 pm by AA1495.
I wouldn't have opted to read this book on my own, without the program. It just isn't the kind of book I'm into. True, I'm beginning to take up an interest in world history, but I still have my limits. I thoroughly enjoyed the sample (read more than the actual ten pages) and found it to be flawlessly edited. I loved the tone and writing style, quite conversational. I enjoyed reading about specific dates, especially the scenario surrounding how the U.S was dragged into the war. I can't find any aspect to be improved upon. The OBC review on it was riveting and stimulating but I began sampling with mixed feelings. After reading the sample though, I'm not sure if I would complete reading it; I'm quite dubious if I want to keep reading such detailed material over a long stretch of time; but I'm not totally ruling it off either.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 4:49 pm by Vickie Noel.
Had I not actually sampled the first ten pages as part of this program, I would not have chosen to read or sample this book based on the theme. I am not fond of war stories. I find them too sad.
I am not going to buy and read the whole book because of the topic. Stories of the war do not interest me.
Based on what I read, the book seems like it was professionally edited. I didn't notice typo or grammar errors.
What I like the most in the bit I read is the cover and the sincerity of the writer. I also liked the documentary style of writing in the sample and prologue.
What could be improved is some minor changes like removing the ellipsis from the title "growing up... in the thirties" and deleting the sentence before the title.
The book has an Official OnlineBookClub review that I saw.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 5:29 pm by Izesicle.
The title, while simple, matches the cover and summary. I do not normally read this genre so I would have skipped this sample without this program. I like the writing style; it is a good blend of diary, research, and storytelling. There were no errors that I noticed. However, it is not a genre I usually read and my to read list is very long right now.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 6:38 pm by Christina O Phillips.
Although the premise of “Shot Down” sounded interesting, I don’t read a lot of nonfiction. Therefore, this isn’t a book I would choose to buy. The OBC reviewer had a lot of positive things to say about the writing, perspective and storytelling aspects of this book, so I at least wanted to sample it. After reading the first ten pages I thought the beginning was a little slow. Understandably, there is a lot of information that needs to be introduced. That being said, I thought the book could have started in a more attention grabbing manner to hold my interest. I did find the writing to be error free and well organized; however, I don’t plan to read any more of this book.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 9:21 pm by MarisaRose.
Had I not read the first ten pages as part of this program, I would not have chosen to read this book. Based on the title, cover, and reviews, it's not the type of book I enjoy reading. I typically gravitate towards fictional stories. I won't be buying and reading the whole book because it would bore me to death. It's just not what I typically read. Based on what I read, the book seems to be professionally edited. What I like most about the bit that I read was how it went into detail about what it was like to grow up in the thirties in Germany. That was a nice touch. I don't see anything in the book that needs improvement.
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 9:23 pm by vaz222.
From the cover, blurb, and review of this book I may have read it. I love WWII historical fiction and I know that I enjoy books that describe real life WWII actions. After reading the first 10 pages, it definitely confirmed that I would enjoy this book. The writing style and the approach to this book are excellent and the subject matter is right up my alley. I didn't see any errors in the first ten pages and the book definitely seemed well written and edited. I will most likely be buying and reading the rest of this book. The official OBC review I saw did not affect my decision at all
First Ten review added on December 10, 2017, at 10:07 pm by Scerakor.
When I first see the cover, I don't think that I will be reading this book because I think that it's about the B-17 Flying Fortress Susan Ruth, which I supposed is a plane. The reason why I don't think I will be reading this book is because I am not really interested in war books. I will not be reading this book because it's like a biography on Howard, and doesn't seem to be very interesting. It seems professionally edited. I did not see a review, and I don't think that would've affected my decision.
First Ten review added on December 11, 2017, at 2:00 am by jungkookblog.
I would not have sampled this book based on the genre, blurb and OBC review. I don't usually read non-fiction books. After reading the first ten pages, I won't be finishing this book. Right away, there was too much military talk for me. It just wasn't something I could get into. It did seem to be professionally edited.
First Ten review added on December 11, 2017, at 2:49 am by anneloretrujillo.
I probably wouldn't have sampled this book because I am not particularly looking for war memoirs at the moment. The first ten pages did not change my mind from my original guess because although this book is interesting, I know that some of it is harrowing. This appears professionally edited as I noticed no mistakes. I liked the photographs best because they add a visual element. I don't think anything particularly needs to be improved - as non-fiction, this is an account of real events, and the writing is clear and concise. I did see an OnlineBookClub review.
First Ten review added on December 11, 2017, at 4:24 am by ButterscotchCherrie.
I like reading books that are based on wars and soldiers. The cover of this book is good and I may have bought it. I read the official OBC review and the plot seemed very intriguing. The sample was well-written and fast-paced. I liked how the writer presented his characters. They were well-built and I'd like to know their story further. There were no grammatical mistakes.
First Ten review added on December 11, 2017, at 4:53 am by ReviewerDiksha.
Total ~ 27%
Shot Down earned a score of 27%.
In other words, out of the top-level reviewers who read at least the first 10 pages of this book, 27% 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.