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The story thus far.

It was a dark and stormy . . . er, never mind.

Alrighty, where are we then? Not existentially, of course, that’s a different blog. In the world of Ezekiel Jones . . . well, let’s not talk about that now. There may, or may not, be news on that in the future. Maybe.

Marcus Faust, then. I have one last set of edits to go through on The Machiavel. It should only take a few days. So far I’ve knocked 500 words off of the book, about 3500 fewer than Ezekiel I, even though I ran them both through the same editing process. Practice does make perfect-ish.

What does this mean? It means I’m getting close to needing some beta readers.

What’s a beta reader you ask? They’re like alpha readers, but get a more polished version of the manuscript. The alphas get to see it in a sorry state, after some rough editing but little else. They get to hack and slash their way through the jungle of my mind, helping me cut out the utterly useless clutter that’s hiding in the corners.

Beta readers, on the other hand, get something a bit nicer, even if their job is essentially the same. A beta reader still looks for the things I’ve missed (spelling, punctuation, crappy grammar, etc.) and is also looking for things like plot holes, continuity errors, etc. Stuff the alphas have looked for but might have missed while wading through the rest of the debris. In theory a beta reader’s job is easier, I should have caught most of the stuff already. So why is beta reading necessary? Because I and the alphas can’t catch everything. Its like reading your own work; you already know what it says, so in your head it makes sense, even if it doesn’t to anyone else.

What is the awesome reward of being a beta (or alpha) reader? There is, of course, the knowledge that you’ve helped your fellow human, but mostly its your name in the acknowledgments. There might be a signed book in the offing, but that’s assuming I sell the bloody thing and I get more than one copy for myself . . . we’ll have to see.

So, that being said, I’m hunting for beta readers. Let’s go with five, because its a nice number, very pentagonal. If you’re insane enough to be interested (i.e. you’re seeing the fnords), please reply here. You know, so I can keep the awe inspiring numbers of fanatical legions all in one place.

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