Some exciting news! I’m at the point where I am looking for volunteers to beta read my middle grade work, Mulrox. If this is something that sounds interesting to you please reach out to me in the next week or so.
What’s a Beta Reader?
A beta reader is someone who reads a book before its publication in order to provide feedback to the writer.
If you’ve ever worked in software development, it is like having Beta Testers, or conducting usability research. The point for the writer is to get an idea of what’s working and what isn’t before the book is released. Given the feedback, the writer can make changes to improve the story and make it more suited to his readership.
This can happen at all different stages in the process. In my case, I am looking for readers now who will read it before I send it off for professional editing.
What Would I Be Reading?
You would be reading my fantasy adventure novel, Mulrox and the Terrible Ideas. This book is aimed at grade school readers aged 8-11, but I would ideally like this to be something that could be read-aloud, and enjoyed by all ages. It is intended to a light-hearted, fast-paced, and humorous. Does this sound like your cup of tea?
Here’s the description from the writing projects page.
Mulrox and the Terrible Ideas
Mulrox, an ogre, harbors a secret desire to become the world’s greatest poet. But despite his dreams of perfection, he can come up with nothing but horrible ideas. Mulrox is ready to swear off poetry forever when his bad ideas suddenly come to life. The malcognitos, as they call themselves, have escaped from their land fleeing an unknown beast that is hunting them down.
Mulrox soon finds himself on a quest to protect the very ideas he loathes, pursued by hoards of glamoured animals, and stalked by the beast from the malcognitos’ realm of Sounous. But when Mulrox starts to receive visions that tell him of a different destiny, Mulrox must decide what is important, whom to trust, and ultimately confront the truth about his creations.
What Does Being a Beta Reader Involve?
Basically just two things: Reading the book and providing feedback.
I would send you an electronic copy of the draft and a list of high-level questions about the story.
- Where were you bored?
- Did anything confuse you?
- Was anything unbelievable?
- Who were some of the characters you liked? Ones you hated?
Though I am primarily looking for high-level feedback, you could feel free to ignore the questions and provide whatever sort of comments you liked.
I Would Also Ask That You:
- Agree to not share the work with anyone else before asking me. This is a draft of something I would like to publish and sell some day, so I do not want it widely available in its current state. You may share with your family, and if you know someone else who you think would be a great beta reader, I would love to hear about it!
- Understand that this is a draft. Hopefully with all of your wonderful help, the final product will be much improved!
- Be Honest! If you don’t like something, you can and should tell me. It’s not going to do me much good if I get a bunch of bad reviews later about something you knew was wrong but were afraid to tell me. I’ll understand that it is your opinion and you are trying to make the book better.
- Agree to a reasonable schedule in which to read the book and provide comments. I’m thinking 1-2 months. If you start and can’t finish for whatever reason, that is of course fine. But I do need to keep the process moving so I can eventually get the book out for publication.
If this sounds like fun, please reach out to me and I will add you to the list. You can contact me directly, or through the Contact section of the website
I am looking to gather readers in the next two weeks and I should have the materials ready for you to start reading by Monday, November 6th.
I can’t offer any kind of monetary reward, but know that I think you are awesome, and that you will have my eternal gratitude. Also, if you ever need something of yours beta read, I would be happy to return the favor.
If you are interested in beta reading, but this timeframe doesn’t work for you or you don’t want to read a kid’s book, don’t worry: there will be plenty of other opportunities. Shoot me an email now anyway, so that I can keep you in mind for future projects.
Still Not Sure What This is All About?
Check out this Beta reader Etiquette guide from K.M. Weiland’s Site, Helping Writers become Authors.
Looking forward to hearing from and hopefully working with you over the next few months!
As always, thanks for reading,