Beta Readers

Dear Future Beta Readers!

Thank you for your interest in reading my sci-fi novel, “Tesla Prime and the Regulus Event”. I am always overwhelmed with the amount of support I’ve received from twitter, Facebook, and from you all. I’ve done this a four times before with a lot of success so I have high hopes and expectations from all of you! However, this time will be a little different. 😉

As you might have noticed, I have posted the first 9 chapters of my book on this blog. I am looking for your detailed well thought out feedback on each those 9 chapters. When you are ready, send your feedback/comments to me at dequils(at)yahoo(dot)com. Also please for my own knowledge, include your gender, age, and city/state where you live. Your feedback can either be in-line or as an attachment and the title of the email should be “Tesla Prime Beta Read”. Once I receive your insightful feedback via email, I will send you the next third of the book and so on.

Okay, now that the logistics are out-of-the-way, here is what I am expecting. I am giving you an awesome and free science fiction novel (albeit in 3 parts). A lot of time and energy has gone into this book for your enjoyment. Equally so, I want your feedback to be awesome as well. Neither vague praise nor general criticisms are helpful. I need specifics, alternate viewpoints, analysis, and detail about what you like and don’t like. The more feedback, the better. Here are some ideas to point you in the right direction.

1) You general impressions of the book. At the end, did you feel like you completed a journey or finished a chore? Were you entertained? Was it emotionally satisfying? Did you want more? Would you be interested in the sequel “Tesla Prime and the Centauri Conflict”?
2) What were your impressions of each of the characters? Who did you feel most connected to? Who was your least favorite character? Were the supporting characters well-rounded?
3) The plot and story. Was there anything you especially didn’t like? Was it a minor annoyance or a deal breaker? Was there a plot device that seemed forced or out-of-place? Anything too convenient or implausible? Were there any plot holes or unanswered questions that bothered you? Was there anything confusing or that you didn’t get (even after you finish the book)?
4) Setting and imagery: Were the settings vivid enough? Could you visualize and more importantly feel the settings?
5) Anything else you can think of that would be helpful including but not limited to agents that might be interested in representing this project. 😉

Remember, I want specifics. I am looking for as many thoughts as you are willing to share on each chapter and each character. I will read everything you send me.

Pointing out any grammatical or spelling errors that slipped through would also be sincerely appreciated.

And please, there is no need to be overly polite. I appreciate comments like “I loved it!” but those aren’t particularly helpful. More helpful is why you loved it. I’d rather you be brutally honest, even if I disagree with your comment. Likewise, there is no need to be rude either. This book isn’t for everyone. =)

If you want to send me updates and comments as you read, that’s cool too. I will send you new chucks soon after I get your feedback. Last cycle, one person read the book in two days! =D And if for some reason you find that you dislike it enough that you can’t muster the will to finish, PLEASE tell me why. This is helpful as well. I hope to hear back from each and every one of you.

Also, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t forward the manuscript (when I send it to you) to anyone else without my permission. And finally, no book is written in a vacuum and it is important to me to acknowledge those that have helped me get this book ready for publishing. When you finish reading the whole book and have sent me your comments on all 3 portions, tell me the name you would like me to use in the acknowledgements.

Thanks again and welcome aboard Tesla Prime!

2 Responses to “Beta Readers”

  1. CopyrightX April 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Douglas, what’s the time-frame you’re looking at for releasing the 3 parts? I’d enjoy being a beta reader for you, but time is of the essence right now whereas late May and June will be a better time for me to invest into giving you detailed feedback on your book. It looks like it could be a great read.

    I’ve seen another commenter here ask a related question, and I too am curious: what type of copyright model do you envision releasing this book under? Will you reserve all rights? Or perhaps reserve some rights like Cory Doctorow does with Creative Commons licenses? Or perhaps choose a different model?

    Given that the US Register of Copyrights testified last month before congress about how desperately US copyright legislation needs reform ( ) it seems that it may be up to authors to begin reforming the law by setting the example regarding their choices of copyright models for their publications. Neil Gaiman recently gave an eloquent talk related to this subject that may interest you:

    Here too Neil talks about this in an older interview:

    • dequils April 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      CopyrightX, that is a great question and unfortunately, I don’t have the answer yet. I need to do some more research about the best copyright strategy to pursue. It makes more sense to me that authors would go the route of Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow given that they are building their brand full-time. Alas, writing is my second job which at times must take a back seat to my work at JPL. I will always write but I doubt I will ever be as prolific as Gaiman and Doctorow, enough to offset the losses of giving this book away for free. But the jury is still out.

      As for becoming a beta reader, when you have the time, definitely drop me a note and we’ll chat! Thanks for stopping in.

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