Now don't get me wrong, Salvation is far from finished; I need to edit another 1/3 of the text at least, plus review character names for about a dozen. And that's before a final edit! However I'm in a fairly comfortable place now regarding the plot (thanks to some feedback I received from a couple of 'twitter friends' I got to read the very rough first draft!), so I'm willing to take the plunge!
So, as an indie author what is the next stage? Well this is where Beta Readers come in. For the uneducated, of which I was one little over a few weeks ago, Beta Readers are typically other writers, or serious readers, who will be the first to review your novel prior to it being released to the general public. They are there to review your story, spot spelling/grammar mistakes you missed, and the overuse of words or phrases which you will be oblivious to.
As any writer will tell you, re-reading and editing your own novels is not easy, and even though as authors we all believe we can edit our own books, the fact is we can only do so much! A different set of impartial eyes, other than friends or family members, is essential before you even consider publishing.
Beta Readers are people who will go through my manuscript on a line-by-line basis and give you honest feedback. Now most writers, even though appreciative, will hate these people, as there job is to spot mistakes and question every little thing! As a writer we all naturally believe our work is perfect, but these people are there to shatter this illusion! :-)
So, this is where I am today. I need Beta Readers, and I need them now. And hopefully this is where you come in. Firstly, before you consider volunteering, a few disclaimers on my part:
- The novel is a Sci-Fi / Fantasy mix, aimed at fans of Star Wars/Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones - so if these aren't remotely of interest to you, then you won't enjoy or 'get it'. Sorry!
- I have identified my target audience as adults, trying to make the story as 'real life' as possible - so there is swearing, and descriptive parts which I think count as graphic violence.
- The story has always been a movie in my mind; so the book may reflect this, with the writing style in parts reading more of like a screenplay.
- The story is long (270k words, 850 pages) so it will take some time to read. If you don't have the spare time to commit over the next few weeks then that is fine, but being a Beta Reader for me right now is probably not for you!
So I hope after reading this at least a handful of you will be interested, and for those that do, I will be eternally thankful, and of course will reciprocate your act of kindness as much as I possibly can!
To all the writers, remember when you have finished writing you need to