[Sent this out today — eep!]
Good afternoon, Alpha Readers.
First, before all else, before another word — thank you. You are doing me a giant favor, dedicating your time, knowledge and taste to helping me achieve a goal that I’ve had my entire life. Thank you, thank you – thank you a thousand times.
“Wait, I don’t remember telling Derek I’d do this for him.” You probably forgot, that’s okay — don’t worry, I’m not offended. You’re a busy person.
Can I admit that I’m afraid of you?
I’m not one that enjoys making art of any permanence, my insecurity and ego will not allow it. Temporary, ephemeral bursts of creativity – that’s my racket. But now I’ve written an entire book — with a beginning, middle and end, and now I’m going to let you inside my head to read it. You might all hate it. Hate it viciously. Or even worse, find it mild and forgettable. You are going to tell me things I don’t want to hear, you are going to break my heart. And more often than not, you’ll probably be right. And you must do these things, I implore you.
Which doesn’t mean I’m not going to be a giant baby about it.
I’ve never done this before! You can’t expect maturity.
I’m completing my latest pass of editing this week, then sending the draft to be printed so I can hand deliver them to you. If you would prefer a nice, shiny PDF of the draft instead I can happily provide it [what’s more you’ll get your copy earlier than the other people.] If you don’t live in Athens, please send me the address you want your copy mailed to.
Draft Length: 144 pages / approx. 50,000 words
1. Read the book.
2. Tell me what you think.
I have no idea how each of you wants to give me your feedback. We could sit down and talk about it, or you could send me an email, or attach your reply to the wing of a raven and hope for the best. Whatever is most comfortable for you, especially when you have to give me the “bad news”. I vow to be as professional and non-tear stained as I can be when you give me constructive criticism. What works best for you? Respond to me directly with your thoughts.
I’m trying to be scientific about this process, it alleviates my anxiety. In this first Alpha Reader group there are an even mix of genders, and a fair spread of age ranges. All of you are fans of genre fiction in some way or other, and I respect your opinion as an educated audience member, but also as artists and creators in your own stead.
After you’ve all given me your feedback, I will internalize your responses and then do a fresh edit of the book – probably several, before it goes on to be read by 5 brand new readers for the Beta Draft.
1. Please don’t discuss the book with each other, until after you’ve given me your feedback. Don’t be messin’ with my scientific method.
2. Don’t copy edit. If you can’t stand a grammar issue [and there will surely be some] please feel free to mark it, but don’t feel like I’m trying to con you into hours and hours of work.
3. Write all the notes you want on the draft! I want to know when you had questions, when you were confused, and most importantly, when you got bored.
4. Help me make my book better. Whatever that means, however you think best to do it.
Thank you again, you terrifying people.
G. Derek Adams