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Wednesday 22 May 2019

Apply To Be A Beta-Reader

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   I recently finished a side project, and I'm really very proud of it - but I have no idea if it will work as a published piece. Why? Because though the book has been written as a stand-alone, its events fall between books 2 and 3 of The Devoted trilogy, and, as the writer of said trilogy (book 2 will be out this August, and book 3 is in progress), I know reasonably well everything that is going on behind it. Which means that I'm blind while reading through this side project.
   Therefore, I'm looking for a handful of readers to take a look at this stand-alone and tell me if it does, in fact, stand alone.

   Anyone can apply, and you will receive either a PDF or paperback version. If I release it, it will be some time next year, which means that beta-readers will be getting considerably early access. Applications are open worldwide and are made through the below form until June 14th 2019.

What will beta-reading involve?
   I'm not looking for proof readers, per se, but for people to read the story and, at the end, answer this question: did you feel like you needed more information, or did you want it? Or, were you lost while reading, or curious? If you needed more information, then I've failed and the book can't stand alone. If you were merely curious, then I'm happy. If you had no questions at all by the end of it, I'm even happier. I didn't want it to be a piece that would make people feel like they had to read any more of my work to get the best out of it.

   The project in question is called Hlífrún and is a 150 page collection of short stories that come together to tell a single over-arching story. Hlífrún is, of course, the main character, and while you meet her in The Devoted, book 2 (out this August), you have already met some of the forest denizens she rules over in The Zi'veyn - namely, the ditchlings and the harpies. But there are many more.
   Each short story is told from a different perspective regarding an event that shakes the world, and comes together at the end to a final solution and personal decision.

   On June 14th the application process will close and I'll begin picking participants. Everyone will be notified, successful or not, within 1-2 weeks, and postal addresses collected if required.
   Successful applications (which will be chosen at random, though paperback copies are limited) will be notified when their copies have been sent, unless PDFs have been requested, and will have 1 month (30 days) from receipt to read it and deliver feedback. For those receiving a paperback copy outside of the UK, this 30-day period will begin 2.5 weeks after I have posted it. No replacements will be sent if it goes missing because it's all paid for out of my own pocket.

   I'm not setting any NDA on it, so if you'd like to write a review for your website, blog or Instagram (after you have sent your feedback), that's totally fine, though the book will not be out for quite some time, and you're more than welcome to take a picture of the book or of yourself with it and post that, too. Be sure to tag me @KimWedlock on twitter & Instagram. The only thing I do ask, of course, is that you do not post the contents themselves anywhere, even as a snippet. Beta-readers will be given early access, but they don't have any of the rights to the contents.

   If feedback is largely positive, I will be submitting it first to literary agents, but am happy to self-publish it instead. If feedback is negative, then rather than release it as a book, I'll simply publish the stories and chapters for free on my website and Wattpad. The work will be made available to all, but I won't be making any money from it, which I hope will balance it out.

Apply here to beta-read Hlífrún