How would you like to be one of the first to read Phantom’s Mask before publication and have your name printed in the acknowledgments? I’ll be looking for a handful of beta readers to review the manuscript and provide feedback before I send it to the line editor.
What exactly does a beta reader do? Essentially, beta readers are the first test readers. They’re on the hunt for errors and discrepancies, and they send the author feedback—what’s working in the story? What isn’t? Are any parts confusing? This gives the author a few “test runs” of the book to fix critical errors before paying a professional editor to review the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb.
“What if I don’t have an English degree or background in writing?”
That’s okay! I like to have a variety of beta readers. If you have a background in grammar and/or writing, that’s awesome! You have a sharp eye to offer technical insight on the book’s structure and fine details. But most of my fan base isn’t going to have that kind of background, so I like having beta readers who can provide a big picture point of view as well. You might be surprised by what you have to offer.
Just recording your reaction to a scene is helpful. It may not seem like much, but even comical comments like this one a beta reader wrote on A Fallen Hero‘s rough draft help me understand the reader’s mindset and ensure I captured the right mood.
Entering your email in the drawing to be a beta reader is easy and doesn’t cost a penny! If you’ve already signed up for On The Cobblestone Road’s monthly newsletter, you’re already on your way and may even be eligible. If not, there’s still plenty of time!
Here’s how it works: my email campaign has an automatic ranking system for everyone on the list. When you sign up for the newsletter, you start with three stars by default. Your star rating increases or decreases over time depending on how interactive you are with the newsletter. All you have to do to boost your rating is open the newsletter when it arrives on the first Monday of the month.
To boost your star count faster, you can click on one or more of the links contained in the email to visit the blog or other pages. The more interactive you are, the quicker you’ll reach five star status and become eligible for the drawing.
Phantom’s Mask isn’t due to be released until 2020, so even if you currently have only one star right now, you still have time! Near the end of 2019, I’ll be adding every five star email address to the drawing and selecting one lucky beta reader. If your email address is drawn, I’ll send you a message with the details and manuscript. This will be your chance to make your mark on an unpublished book before it hits the market. It’s an exhilarating feeling! If you don’t have the time to commit or aren’t interested in being a beta reader, you may decline of course, in which case another person will be drawn in your stead.
There will be other contests in the near future, so you’ll have opportunities to enter your name multiple times in other drawings for a coveted beta reader slot. Good luck!