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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp out to Beta Readers

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp

I am delighted to be able to say that Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp has gone out to my beta readers for this book.

What does a beta reader do? After an author has completed a manuscript and gone through it at least once looking for errors that need fixing, it should go to several people who have writing skills and critical reading skills. They will look for plot inconsistencies, things that are beyond belief, grammar and punctuation errors. And of course, those ever-present pesky typos.

I recently read a traditionally published book, by an author who has been on the New York Times Bestseller List. I was enjoying it immensely until about page 500. It turned out the entire plot twist hinged on the police overlooking a very critical and obvious piece of factual information from the autopsy. Bzzzzzz.

This is beyond suspension of disbelief. It made me feel as if I'd wasted all the time I spent reading. I did finish the book, it was near the end. A beta reader, or an editor, should have said to that author, "This just doesn't make sense."

So I hope my beta readers will be honest with me. Then again, if they think the story is too outlandish, I really don't want to completely scrap the manuscript. Let's hope they find it enjoyable without too many huge gaffes.

I'm thinking the book should be ready to purchase in about three weeks. Meanwhile, you can get up to speed by reading the first three Anastasia Raven stories: Smashwords or Amazon


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