Would you like to be in one of our books? If you join the beta reader team and are selected for a book then you get a chance to read and comment on an edited but not yet released book (you can read a paperback or eBook edition — your choice). We’re looking for anything that stood out as wrong for you, especially typos and unfamiliar idiom.
As a thank you, we will send you a copy of the paperback when published, with your name in the list of acknowledgements for beta reader team members.
We’ve had a great deal of valuable comments for our first book in this program, The Last Sunset. Most of the beta reader team members say they enjoyed themselves, certainly no one said they didn’t.
The next book in the program will be Badger’s Waddle, and I’ll be choosing team members at random in around a week’s time. Please leave a comment if you’re interested (no need if you’ve already said you were interested in the program). Sorry, but US, UK, and Canada only please, unless you’re happy to receive an eBook of the published version.
We publish a range of books and I’m sure it will be more fun to do this with books that you would enjoy reading anyway, otherwise reading could become an onerous task and that should never be. So to help, here are some notes on Badger’s Waddle.
Synopsis: Life in the quaint English hampton of Badger’s Waddle is never quite the same as elsewhere in the country… or any other country for that matter. The first sign of impending chaos was when giant rabbits breached the defenses all along the indeterminate length of the vegetable garden of Little Twee cottage. To patch up the defenses took the combined efforts of the resident gastrognome and a Crippin & Hare Indifference Engine operated by Tavarius Truckle, the man with the highest ever score in an apathitude test. But when tourists start exploding at the village fete, bank deposits build up a critical pressure, and the church’s resident saint finds a loophole in his contract of supra-ecclesiastical employment, the whole hampton must unite to restore some semblance of normality (except for Tavarius Truckle, who’s far too apathetic to care). Only Goode Nurture, the nice old lady in the tall, pointy black hat, has been preparing for this moment, shaving her gibbons in readiness for the looming crisis.
Style/ Genre: It’s fantasy with deliberate smatterings of science fiction and even a little gothic in places. The little village of Badger’s Waddle is a haven of old-fashioned English politeness and traditional values (hot, sweet tea, stiff upper lips, choir practice in the medieval parish church), but look again its inhabitants are grotesques and pastimes surreal. There is a dark and subtle humor running throughout, and although the language and descriptions are never crude, some will find the goings-on in the village to be “gross-out” humor.
Language: British English, in keeping with the setting.
Length: 55,000 words — short novel
Similar authors/ works: Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Ghormanghast, PG Wodehouse
Here’s a copy of the original beta team invite…
Today, we kick off our Beta Reader Program. Get free paperback editions of our books as soon as they’re published… and see your name in the acknowledgements.
Here’s how it works.
- Put your name down to join the beta reader team for a book that catches your interest
- If you win a place in that book’s beta reader team, then when the book has cleared editing, we’ll send you an advanced copy of the book. We can send you an eBook worldwide, or a paperback if you live in North America or Europe.
- Read and enjoy the book. If you spot anything in the book that you think is wrong, make a note and tell us about it. The book will have already been edited, but we want to double-check nothing’s slipped through.
- When the final edition of the book is published, we will list the people in the beta reader team inside the book, and send you an eBook or paperback copy with our thanks (paperbacks to N. America and Europe only).
You can register your interest in the Beta Reader Program from today.
The first book we will put through this program will be The Last Sunset by Bob Atkinson.
How do I register? add a comment to this post or to the page on our website for the book you’re interested in.
How do I qualify? we’re currently limiting membership of each team to eight people. If there’s more interest than that we will select membership at random.
Do I have to review the book? The answer is no. Of course, we’re always very grateful for positive reviews on sites such as amazon.com as it helps us and helps our authors. But that’s entirely up to you. This program is about being the final gate of quality control.
What am I looking for? Anything that sounds or feels wrong to you. Typos, grammatical mistakes, bizarre idiom, inconsistencies. Regional variations of English is of particular interest. Our authors come from a variety of countries, and some books will be written in a regional version of English that is not yours. We’re proud to be an international organisation but we do try to be aware of idioms or word choices that don’t travel well, and avoid them.
How long do I have to review the book? Watch for announcements about each book. There will be a minimum of 4 weeks between sending out beta review copies and publishing the book.
Can I also review the book and qualify for Read… Review… Repeat! Absolutely, yes.
What if I don’t like the book, and don’t finish it? We’re sorry. Obviously we can’t guarantee you will enjoy the book. If you had a go and gave up then we will still list you in the acknowledgements but won’t send you the finished book.
What if I don’t like the book, but did finish it and did send a list of issues? Thanks for persevering. We will send you the book you tested, if you like, but we understand you might not want that. So, as an alternative, we will send you another book (existing or forthcoming) of your choice.
Just checking… when you said the program applies to Europe, does that include the UK? Yes it does. Anywhere in the EU. Although I do understand that many British people like to think of Europe as someplace foreign and far-off.