Thursday, March 21, 2013

WIP Day - The Beta Stage

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know: I have sent LJ off to my Beta readers!  Granted, this has happened about three weeks later than I had planned.  And this blog post is already a day late.

I originally wanted to be done with this last edit round in early February.  But life sometimes just can't leave you alone, and before you know it mid-March is here and you are just finishing things.  Being behind schedule is normal.  At least for me.

But I am there now!

I have had many people ask me about how the Beta stage even works.  Many authors do things very differently.  I thought it would be nice to share with you how this stage in the editing game works in my little writing world.

FIRST... I finish the in depth edit round that I have been stuck in for a few months.  Ideally it doesn't take that long.  But like I already said: I am almost always behind schedule.

While doing that, I decide on my Beta readers.  There are many things I take into consideration when making this decision.  Will they be honest with me?  Will they follow the directions I give so I can easily find all the input they return?  Will they read it in a timely matter?  Can they pinpoint grammar errors, plot gaps, character consistency, while still telling me things they love?  How good are the cookies they bribe me with?  Can I trust them to not share this writing with anyone?  Can they make me more cookies?

After all those questions are answered, and all the cookies are given, I email my list and tell them to wait.

SECOND... I have finished the edit round.  Taken a few deep breaths.  Scrolled through my WIP a few times.  Resisted the urge to change my mind and hide it in a drawer for a few months, or years, or forever.  I plop it into an email... and send it off.

A screen shot of the cover page... Oh man...

Now the Beta readers have it.  They are being busy bees, doing my bidding and hopefully making more cookies.  I try to resist the urge to bite all of my finger nails off, go insane, and tell them: "Just kidding!  That's not the book!  Give it back."

Which leads to...

THIRD... While my Beta readers are reading and editing away, I take a few days off.  Then: I print of the paper edit copy of my WIP.  I will mark it up all red and pretty like.  (Post about that process to come soon!)

FOURTH... Once all the feedback from all my Beta readers is back, I sit down, eat the stale cookies, and start sifting through each Beta edit.  I plug edits in, take advice, ask for explanations... And I move forward.

FIFTH... Make more cookies.

I cannot tell you how much I love my Beta readers.  I have already gotten feedback back from one, and am anxiously awaiting the rest.  They are amazing people who are setting aside time in their own busy lives for me, and millions of cookies could never thank them enough.  In a few days, I print that paper edit copy and off I will go.  For the time being, I am seriously searching Pinterest for a good cookie recipe, finding amazing reviews on PN that make me smile, and biting at the bit to get this WIP done.

Some of you have asked how you can become a Beta reader for me.  While I do not need anymore at this time for this project, I just may in the future.  You can always email me with your request and info about yourself, and I will keep you in mind. 

Happy Writing!


Aurora Smith said...

ermergerd, hurry up and publish it! :)

Liz said...

I am so excited to hear this! I got Prison Nation last year when it was free for the Kindle, every few months I've checked back to see if there will be a sequel. (I have never done this with a book I got free before). Finally, tonight I decided to search your name with Prison Nation Sequel since I haven't seen anything on Amazon. I seriously am soooo pumped that you're coming out with Lady Justice!!!! I loved Prison Nation and was really surprised it was your first novel. Just wanted to let you know how great of a writer I think you are!



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