Sunday, February 8, 2015

Call for beta readers

Would anyone out there care to read Tiamat's Nest to help me steer it through the final editing stages?

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In a world where weather forecasting has become a life-or-death profession, hard sciences and technology are the only things keeping people alive and fed. Anthropologists, soft and useless, rank slightly below politicians and telemarketers on the social scale. This sucks for Charles Hawthorne, Professor of Anthropology.

Worse yet, his research into human behavior has got dangerously close to revealing how human history ended up on its current miserable course, and the perpetrator is hell-bent on keeping it hidden.

Worst of all, with everything mechanical under computer control the most innocuous device is a potential murder weapon to a well-connected villain. After a series of deadly near-misses Charles flees to the wilds of Greenland where the global network has yet to reach. But to deal with the threat, to save himself and his family, Charles has to confront technology full on and enter the even more hostile world online.

Saving humanity from a lifetime of slavery comes as an added bonus.

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I'm nearing the end of my current round of revisions, and I'm looking for a small handful of beta readers to provide feedback into the next stage. The latest version will be ready for circulation later this month, and I'm looking for people who can commit to a (maximum) two-month turnaround.

I'm aiming for publication this summer, so timing is important. Only respond if you're confident you can read and provide comments before the end of April. At the same time, please let me know what you would like in return, e.g. a read of your own novel.

You can respond in the comments on this blog with instructions on how to contact you. If you are not comfortable showing your email address here (and I can understand that, I choose not to publicize my email address) then drop me a note via my website's contact form.

Thanks in advance...

19 comments:

  1. What kind of qualifications does a beta reader need? I guess if I need to ask I probably don't, right?

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  2. If I wasn't already swamped with tour posts and the Challenge stuff, I would!

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  3. I don't read much Sci-fi and don't think I could offer anything useful. Good luck, though.

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  4. Delores, good question. I'm sure there are many versions and folks may disagree with me here, but this is what I'm looking for: Can you tell what works and what doesn't work for you when you read a story? Can you articulate it in enough detail to help the author understand, i.e. not just "That didn't make sense" but "I can't see the heroine reacting that way because she's all 'act first and ask questions later' and besides she doesn't like chocolate..."? And do you have the perseverance to put a novel under that kind of microscope chapter by chapter and write down your thoughts about it?

    In summary, the main qualification is to be a reader who is self-aware and analytical (and honest) enough to be able to express their reactions to a story in some detail.

    Alex, no worries, you already have so much on your plate it makes me tired just thinking about it :)

    Stephen, I understand, it's not for everyone.

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    1. And you say there is two months to accomplish this in. I think I'd like to give it a try if you don't mind.

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    2. Delores, thanks for the offer. I'll be in touch via email at some point (assuming the one in your profile is correct) with a few more details.

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    3. It will get you there. I've been rereading Ghosts Of Innocence in preparation.

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    4. OK. Just want to be clear, this one is completely separate from Ghosts. Different characters, different setting etc. - in case you were maybe expecting a sequel (which is on the cards, but early days yet)

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  5. I would offer my help, but I'm actually in the final stages of my own novel and looking for beta readers. Best of luck to you!

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  6. It sounds really interesting, but I barely have time to finish my own stuff. You could try critique circle?

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  7. Chrys, unless you're lucky enough to have a publishing house with an editing team waiting in the wings, I suspect most writers are in the same boat, which is why I'd be expecting to offer something in return :)

    Cindy, this has already been through CC, but it's a six-to-nine-month process to push a novel through the queues. I'm looking for folks to take the thing in its entirety and look at it holistically.

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  8. I'd be useless as a beta reader, (came here via Delores)but if that excerpt above is any indication, I'd be more than happy to read the book once it is published.

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  9. Is it a long book? How many pages?

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  10. Hello River, well I hope you pick up the book when it's finally published. If you're into sci-fi, my first novel is already out there - links in the sidebar.

    In answer to your question, the current version is sitting at about 250 pages.

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  11. Oh you've got so far with your novel, Ian. I am so happy for you. This is so exciting. I wish you an international success with it...Good luckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

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  12. That is such an exciting stage to be in ... finishing revisions. Congrats. :)

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  13. Unikorna, we can always dream, can't we? :)

    Margo, exciting indeed. Plenty of work still to do, though...

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  14. I'll be glad to sign on, Ian. I think you have my email addy. :-)

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  15. Many thanks, Teresa. I'll add you to my list and will be in touch in the next week or two. I think I've got a good group together now :)

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I love comments. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

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