This weekend I finished prepping Starforgers for my Beta Readers and starting today, I will be sending it out to them for review. Beta Readers are the first civilians to see a novel and are expected to give quality feedback in return for the honor of getting an early peek at the next novel.
Betas are usually a mixed lot of trusted readers and writers who will give me valuable input that I can use to ensure the novel works on all levels. They let me know when the plot veers off course or when they no longer relate to the main characters or when I attempt to break the laws of physics without a good reason. Betas often catch things that I don’t see because I’m too close to the materiel. Authors sometimes think they have written a critical scene when it turns out that they did not. A Beta Reader will realize something is missing and let me know.
I’m giving my Beta Readers a month to read and comment on Starforgers before I start making the changes that they have pointed out. After this draft is written, I send the manuscript to my editor. Give her a few weeks to do work that editor magic, and then the final draft is written. It is the final draft that is copy edited by myself and at least one other party who has not read the book. We usually copy edit from the back to the front, so we don’t get involved in the story, just the word order.
If all goes according to schedule, Starforgers should be heading to the Interior Designer in late August or early September for release in October of this year. Can you wait that long?