With the rough draft of Troll Curse finished, I'm into the editing stage, and I decided to try something different this time. I'm looking for a team of beta readers to give me some actual reader feedback, instead of just an editor.
What is a beta reader?
The job of a beta reader isn't to catch every spelling or grammar mistake (though feel free to point out any your notice if you want!) Beta readers are for story development. The typical information I'll be looking for is:
General impressions – did the story flow well, did you identify with the characters, were there any bits that were too fast or too slow? Is there a section I skipped that you wanted to know more about? Do you think the characters did something unexpected, or something that makes you not like them?
Did I miss anything? – When I read the story, I know the characters and background information, and sometimes I forget that a reader doesn't! If anything doesn't make sense, or you feel like you've missed something, let me know.
Description – As above, I have the characters and places in my head, and sometimes I forget to write that down (or don't put in enough details). Let me know if you'd like to know more, or are having trouble visualising the scene.
Any Confusion – If something doesn't make sense, for whatever reason, let me know! Or if I change character names, ages, places, or anything else without warning or explaination.
Anything else – If there's anything else you'd like to comment on, let me know!
The Good and the Bad
If there's something you really like about the story, I love to hear it! But that doesn't mean you should praise everything. I want to know the things that are bad or wrong so I can fix them.
What if I haven't read the first book?
That's okay. Though Troll Curse is the second in the series, it's written so that it will stand alone. In fact, if you haven't read the first book, I'd particularly love your feedback to make sure I'm not leaning too heavily on the knowledge of the first book.
There are Two Options
Mostly, beta readers get the book after the author has done an initial edit to smooth out the rough spots, and read it straight through then send the writer a list of their thoughts.
I want to try something a little different. I'd really love to get feedback as I'm going, chapter by chapter. That way if there is a major story problem, I can fix future chapters as I go, rather than having to do extra passes. I'm proposing setting up a private Facebook group, and posting each chapter as I go. You can either write comments on the post, or send me them by email. My plan would be to post a chapter a day.
Of course, I'd also love people to read straight through and give me their overall thoughts as well, so choose whichever option works for you. If you choose this option though, I'd need feedback in 2 weeks, as I'm hoping to have this book out some time in November.
How do I sign up?
If you're interested in either of these two options, contact me and let me know. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or a message on Facebook. If you comment on this post, please make sure you leave your email address, or I can't contact you back!