The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: beta readers

Seeking beta readers, non-smelly yarn and time to veg.

This has been quite the busy week, what with doing a load of laundry AND working on the cat room every day, plus editing one book while outlining another, plus my freelance writing and marketing projects. I’m pooped. Thank God it’s Friday, indeed. I plan to plant myself on the couch tomorrow and avail myself of our free Prime membership trial and stream the heck out of Amazon videos.

But first, today I need to hurry and finish up my freelance writing for the week, after which I’ll hopefully have time to type up my edits for my story collection, MIDNIGHT SNACKS (I’m looking for beta readers, by the way. Holler in the comments if you’d like to be one). And then I’m going to try to finish up the room part of the cat room (saving the closet for next week) and sort through my yarn stash to see what can be saved.

Speaking of “saving mah yarnz,” this is the funniest post about cats peeing on yarn and trying to save it that you’ll probably ever read.

Let’s Make 2014 Awesome!

shiny copyLet me get this out of the way first: I have a problem with referring to my readers as “fans.” Maybe this is a confidence problem, and I need to get over it and learn to embrace the word. After all, I don’t have any problem whatsoever with proudly referring to myself as a fan of the things that I love, and that’s exactly what I need to cultivate: a community of people who love and are enthusiastic about my fiction. Still, though, calling devotees of my own work “fans” makes me break out in mental hives. It just feels so egotistical and, well, unearned.

But here’s the thing: I’m willing to earn it. And with all of that said, let’s get to the actual point of this post:

Do you consider yourself a devotee, or even a fan, of my fiction? Are you enthusiastic enough about my writing to help spread the word? Are you impatient for me to write more books, and willing to do what you can to help make it possible for me to write more?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then this post is for you.

I’ve finally figured out what to do with my mailing list. I’ve decided to turn it into a sort of “reader appreciation club” whose members will receive the following:

  • Be the first to read my latest short story, Shiny: A Clockwork Fairytale, which you can preview right here
  • Exclusive sneak peeks and previews
  • Opportunities to beta-read new manuscripts and provide feedback
  • Opportunities to receive advance review copies of completed books
  • Be the first to know about release dates, cover reveals and other big news
  • Discounts on new releases
  • Have a chance to weigh in on decisions like which book I should write next
  • One-on-one communication with the author (that’s me)
  • And eventually, I hope to do exclusive giveaways and free swag, although that’s not in the budget currently

In return, I’ll occasionally ask you to do what fans do — be enthusiastic and tell people about my work.

So how does this help make 2014 awesome? Well, in theory, this will help generate some good word-of-mouth, which will help sell more books, which will in turn allow me to spend less time on paid freelance projects and more time on writing new books, and then we all win. Also, hopefully, organizing my reader base like this will help me keep tabs on how large my audience is and will also provide me with a muchly needed source for feedback so I’m not just shooting in the dark guessing about what my readers want.

Sound good? Well then, just enter your e-mail below to join the club!

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Beta Readers Wanted

I’m only six scenes away from finishing the second draft of Dominion of the Damned, which means I’ll most likely finish it up tomorrow, and then it will be ready to be seen by eyes other than my own.

I already have three beta readers lined up. I’d like to have two more. I think five is a good number — not too many to be overwhelmed by the amount of feedback, but a good comparative sampling to look for agreement and consensus about what needs to be fixed vs. trying to cater to individual reader quirks.

I’ll be giving my betas a free copy of the final e-book, as well as a mention in the acknowledgments. Requirements are that you actually, honestly have the time to read it and turn it around in a couple of weeks, that you’re not afraid to be honest, but you also have the good sense not to be mean about it. Protip: a good way to soften the blow of criticism is to also take time to point out the things that stand out that you like and think are good.

So, any volunteers? UPDATE: All of my beta slots have been filled. Thanks, everybody! I’ll be in touch when it’s ready.

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