Beta Readers Needed For My Poly Narnia Book!

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that last Tuesday, I finished the first draft of my latest novel: a bisexual, polyamorous portal fantasy that’s basically, Narnia with the serial numbers scuffed up.  (I celebrated by buying Horizon: Zero Dawn, which turns out to be a great reward.)

Now I’m looking for about ten to twelve people to beta-read for me and give me feedback in the next six weeks.

(Why ten to twelve?  Because I’d like about eight people, and generally I find that you hit about 60% on getting beta readers to get back to you in time.  And six weeks is a tight deadline, man.)

I am specifically looking for three types of people to beta read this time around:

  • LGBTQ people, as this story deals heavily with LGBTQ issues and I’m a cis-mostly-straight-white-dude who’s concerned about tone here.
  • Completely vanilla, non-polyamorous readers, because I’m curious to know how someone who’s not polyamorous reacts to three characters who are fully polyamorous but also human with emotions.  (For poly people: trying not to collapse a V relationship into a romantic triangle is hard, yo.)
  • Romance fans, because I’m preeeeeeeetty sure I’ve written a romance here and yet know nothing about the genre, so I’d like to know how this appeals to romance folks.

What am I not looking for?  Well, telling me “I’m really good at proofreading” pretty much excludes you from a lot of writers’ beta circles, including mine.  I’m going to take out 15% of the words and read everything aloud to check the flow of the prose before I’m done – and assuming I sell it to a publisher, we’ll have professional copyeditors and proofreaders sniffing this sucker like a bloodhound.  So I need no copyeditors at this stage.

No, what I want are the sorts of people who can tell me four separate things cogently:

•         The things that confuse you (“Why would $character do that?” or “Why did this magic not work this way?”)
•         The things that throw you out of the story (“$character wouldn’t do THAT!” or “Factually, that’s so wrong!”)
•         The things that give you ass-creep (“I got bored here”)
•         All the things that make you pump the fist (“This moment was truly awesome, and unless I tell you how awesome it is, you might cut this part out in edits”)

So if you think you can do all that in six weeks (or, preferably, way less), do me a favor and email me at theferrett@gmail.com with the header “FERRETT, I WOULD LIKE TO BETA-READ YOUR NARNIA.”  (People who cannot follow these simple instructions will probably not be entrusted with the novel.)

What does beta-reading get you?  Well, it comes with the great reward of being name-checked in the acknowledgements, if this eventually sells, and the arguable reward of knowingly going “Oh, God, I read it, that was crap” if it doesn’t sell.  I will most likely get filled up on people, but if I do, I’ll put you on the list for the next revision, if there is one, which there will probably be.

2 Comments

  1. Penn
    Mar 23, 2018

    This sounds really cool. I am not the person who can give you the feedback you want. 🙂

  2. Anonymous Alex
    Mar 23, 2018

    I can’t stop myself from copyediting if I try, but I’m pretty excited by the idea & looking forward to reading it when it’s done.

    -Alex

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