Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Request for readers

So, my book is done, and I've done some preliminary editing.  But the trouble is that I still can't tell if it's good.  I really enjoyed reading it over.  The wonderful thing about writing 100,000 words in two months while sleep-deprived and distracted with two small children is that when you read it over, it's all completely new.  I barely remember writing it.  But the thing is, I always like my writing if I can ever manage to read it instead of skimming over it.  It's always just the way I like it: some description but not much, characters that I TOTALLY identify with, plot that moves at exactly the pace I'm comfortable with ... because I wrote it and I always write the book I would like to read.

What I mean is, I need someone else to look at it.  But not lots of someone elses ... everyone is offering, but I really only want two or three people to read it at this point.  Otherwise I'll get too much feedback, which is just as bad as not enough.

So here's a list of what I want from a reader:

*You have to be willing to give substantial feedback.  I do not want to hear back with "It's great, couldn't put it down."  Argh.  That is no help.  I'm going to have a list of specific questions I'd like you to answer, and if you feel like jotting down the page numbers of any specific typos, that would be GREAT.

*You have to be willing to give honest feedback.  I would be happy to hear, "Put this one under your bed and start on the next," rather than "It's great," only to hear, "It's awful" from all the publishers.  If you liked it but hated the battle scenes and thought I needed more descriptions... that actually gives me somewhere to start and is the best kind of advice.

*I would prefer people who often read this genre.  It's historical fantasy set in 5th century Britain ... so if you are a fantasy nerd or especially an Arthuriana nerd, I would like to hear from you.

*Ideally you've written a bit yourself.  That often helps you be a better editor.

*I'd like it if you could finish within a month or two.  So volunteer if you have a little time on your hands.  It takes me a couple of days to read through it each time, but ... well, I'm no judge.  It's a pretty standard length for a fantasy novel.

Comment below if you'd like to volunteer.  I'll pick a few people and send them the manuscript.  If I don't pick you, I might send you a subsequent draft later, or my query and synopsis, so that a fresh person can read these.

Sorry to be so demanding about this ... but think of the benefits!  You get to read a book which might possibly be good, for free!  And ... no, that's about it.  But you'd be doing me a solid, anyway.


Meredith said...

I'd like to see it! And I can be a picky editor. ^_^

Enbrethiliel said...


I don't know if I'm your target Beta reader, Sheila, but you know what I've read a lot of and how I respond to it. If you think I could be helpful, just let me know! =)

Anonymous said...

I don't have much time on my hands, but reading and editing are in my veins, and I think I could be of service. I am not big on historical fiction, but I love fantasy and read a ton of Arthurian fiction in my youth (Susan Cooper, TH White, Marion Zimmer Bradley...) If you decide I'd be helpful, you have my email. If not, I'll await the fornal publication!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha - there is a typo in my offer! Well, your call....

Sheila said...

I read your comment SIX times before I found the typo. Shows I clearly do need the help!

Looks like I have enough readers. Time to take a deep breath and send out the MS. Thanks, all!

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