The idea of the cover.. From this to that.

I started sketching ideas for Nostalgic Rain cover at the time when I was waiting for the final edited manuscript to get back to me, from my editor Blake Atwood. I really had nothing to do at that time — Except for studying hundreds of pages of diseases that won’t even show up on exam.

I had so many ideas in my mind. I wanted the cover to be clean. That was my one and only objective when I started brainstorming. I wanted a cover that was simple and strong– something with, let’s say, a totally black background and just a symbol in the middle. Yes. That simple.

I ended up creating something exactly opposite to what I wanted initially. I drew a Castle and three moons and woods and a creepy hand. I even added The Ten Domes, for all of its glory. 



I know. I suck at drawing. Anyways- I was very conscious about what I was doing. Simple Cover Vs A complicated was one of the toughest decisions I had to make. I chose the latter. Simple covers are great, no doubt. But they are very safe– no one hates a simple cover. No one falls in love with them either. I knew a cover with many elements ( Castle and moons and domes and woods etc.. ) would be risky. And not everyone would like it. But I did. And I knew a lot of people would love it too.

Here’s how it looked initially. Art by ‘Dane’, my badass cover designer.


Nostalgic Rain


This was the first draft — just to make sure all elements were in place. I approved it right off ( I asked him to add one more dome and to change the color of the gate into gold) . I really liked how it looked – raw and expressive. And I honestly didn’t expect the final version to be like this:

Nostalgic Rain 001-2.jpg


I was so pleased with the results. But soon after I realised the font of the title was kind of a cliche for fantasy novels. So i requested a change, asking Dane for something more glittery and fresh. I wanted it to be silver– shiny silver like steel. I even sent Dane pictures of how I wanted the font to be like. And he did it, just the way I wanted. (Name of the author had been changed too.)


Nostalgic Rain 005



Why isn’t there a pre-order page for Nostalgic Rain?

Pre-orders are great. They build up anticipation and hype for any forthcoming project. But why did I, and many other authors decided not to set up a pre-order page? Simple. First of all, how do pre-orders for a book on Amazon work? First, people notice your book, and then they buy it. They won’t get charged until your book is finally out. So, in my case, if I had set up Nostalgic Rain for pre-orders, people would buy it and only get charged once it’s out – July 1st. When the book is out, it will be instantly installed to their Kindle.

So far, this seems perfect. But this has one downside, and its ugly. All of the purchases prior to launch, (Prior to July 1st) won’t be counted as day 1 purchases. They don’t accumulate and spike on launch date. So let’s say a hundred reader pre-ordered Nostalgic Rain. Each purchase will improve the book’s ranking on the day it has been purchased(even if the book is not out yet). This affects the overall ranking of the book as one hundred books bought over a period of two months is not as good as one hundred books bought on the first week of launch. Dilution of definitive purchases from people who’re interested in your book over a long period of time will negatively affect the performance of your launch, and your chances of hitting a bestseller list (which is hard in either case).



Friday update 0.2 – 1000 Reader Shelved #NostalgicRain as to-read! And More.

Hello #Rainers (i’m good at subtly introducing new words, ehm..)

The last time I ran a giveaway on the glorious writers hub, Goodreads, it had resulted in 2383 reader requesting the novel (I know I repeated that number a lot.) Anyways, experimenting with this site again, yet with fewer copies this time and for a shorter time ( Five free copies instead of ten, and twenty days instead of a month for the availability of the giveaways on the website).

In two days, 750 reader requested the book. This does not necessarily mean that 300+ reader will request the book everyday, as the “Visibility” of the Giveaway decreases by time, until the last two days (or sometimes three), where the widget shows up on the first page in the Giveaways section. We’ll see how things go in the next few days.

Note: So far, 1000 shelved #NostalgicRain as to-read. Woah. 

Finally, there is now a countdown till launch date on the right sidebar of the website, as well as twitter feed and a search bar. Few tweaks here and there just to make the website better.

See you next Friday. Or the one after that.

Friday update 0.1 – Marketing.

Before I start this week’s update- a huge thank you to all of you great people reading and tweeting about the book. It makes me so happy. For real. Now let’s talk numbers. In the last couple of months I have done several things to market the book, I will talk specifically about my experience with goodreads giveaways. For ten copies of Nostalgic Rain, all countries enabled to enter giveaways, these are the numbers:

-2383 reader requested the book.

-886 reader marked the book as “want-to-read”

-4 readers emailed me directly asking for a free copy.

By the way, I have shipped the ten books to the winners yesterday (3 copies to USA, 2 to Canada, 1 to UK, 1 to Bulgaria, 1 to Tunisia and the last one goes to India).

Second giveaways start 22nd of March! How much will this giveaway add to book? I don’t know, really. Hope it goes well.



Hey, it’s A.S Altabtabai.

I have good news and bad ones. Let’s start with the bad- someone claimed yesterday on goodreads that he was me- author of Nostalgic Rain. Upon sending him a message threatening to report an identity theft, he changed his name. I hope this doesn’t happen anymore.

I’m very happy to tell you that there are more than 2300 request for a free copy on goodreads! I’m also glad to tell you that more than 800 reader marked it as to-read. You guys are awesome. Can’t wait till July.




Wednesday’s Update: The Cover Has Been Chosen!

I’ll keep it short. I posted a poll yesterday, asking about “How Cool” was my book cover, designed by Dane, and I got fascinating replies and suggestions. More than 80% of you, as of now, think this cover is good to go. Few more tweaks will be made, and that’s that!

 Thanks for the great suggestions! 

Reminder: Chapter 3 will be posted this monday, 10th of October, here on