What I’m looking for:
Beta reading means reading the beta [unedited] manuscript version and providing feedback to help me improve the manuscript before it gets published. Peccadillo is almost finished. When I’m done with it, the beta-readers can tear it apart and provide feedback. I will read the feedback and implement the necessary changes before publication.
Do I need to be a professional proofreader or editor?
Anyone who wishes to help me with this, please send me an email. Don’t worry about not being an editor or proofreader, what I require is mostly ‘emotional feedback’, i.e. what is your response to a scene – like/dislike, laugh, cry, vomit, anger, fear. I’m particularly interested in scenes people want to skip, because those are parts that I might want to edit out of the manuscript. And, of course, alerting me to any typo or omission will be most welcome. Also, while I enjoy feedback from fellow writers, you don’t need to be a writer to be a beta reader.
Shouldn’t I read Reprobate first?
No, preferably not. That doesn’t mean that having read the first book in the Amsterdam Assassin Series disqualifies you from beta-reading Peccadillo, but I’m interested if the sequel is sufficiently stand-alone that you can enjoy the novel without having read the first book.
How much time do I have to read the manuscript and provide feedback?
And the beta-reader has two weeks to read the manuscript [about 110K words] and another week to provide insightful feedback. *grin*
Will my feedback always be used?
Depends on the feedback. If you spot a typo, omission or error, it will be corrected (of course), but emotional responses differ from one individual to the next. Taste and cultural background colour the response, and while I aim to please, I have no illusions I will please everyone. So a scene that draws a yawn from one reader will probably remain unchanged, but if the whole audience starts yawning the scene has to be changed or even removed.
What kind of novel is Peccadillo?
The genre is suspense. Peccadillo is about a freelance assassin, Katla Sieltjes, whose legitimate business cover becomes the target of a hostile takeover by a Chinese gang. The novel has several story lines that intersect and circle around each other. My aim is to make all story lines equally interesting. Since Katla is no stranger to violence, the novel contains scenes with violence, sex, profanity, sarcasm, and other possibly objectionable actions. The setting of the story is Amsterdam, but might show a different side of the city than most readers would expect, since the author actually lives in Amsterdam.
What do I get out of it?
Well, first of all, you get to read Peccadillo before the general public and help an author with the publication process. You get to contribute to the shaping of a novel, and you’ll know the full content, instead of the edited content that will be published. (If you don’t know what I mean, compare the first version of Stephen King’s The Stand, and the unabridged version he published later). Your name will be included in the acknowledgements in the published version, which you will also receive. Plus, beta-readers who haven’t read Reprobate will receive a free e-book version
What do I need?
I only publish in digital e-book format, so you can receive the file in either Word, PDF, .epub or .mobi. So, I think an e-reader would be handy, but a computer would be mandatory.
I’m game, where do I sign up for this?
Send me an email at katlasieltjes (AT symbol) yahoo.com, put ‘Beta Reader’ in the subject line, and motivate your request to be beta reader with candid pictures or a list of your specialties. *grin*
Well, writing crime fiction is no picknick, especially if you try to stick as close as possible to reality and your protagonist is a free-lance assassin, but it got easier after I killed my first target and I’m still improving.
Apart from that I visited experts on the maintenance of saxophones, caring for macaws and repairing diesel engines; went to a shooting club to fire different handguns to get a feel for them; befriended hackers to explain to me how they scaled firewalls and extracted information from hospitals, police files and hotel registries; learned how to open locks with simple lockpicks; visited an institute for the blind, learned braille and walked around with my eyes taped shut for an entire day; smoked lots of doobie with Rastafarians; read countless books on obscure topics that might have a bearing on whatever I’m inclined to write about; befriended musicians so I could sit in on sessions; learned how to pick pockets; accompanied the police when they went to haul in a ‘water corpse’; rode motorcycles and Vespa motorscooters; and some other things I vowed to keep secret…