This Is Crazy…Beta Maybe?

by | Jul 12, 2013 | Reading, Writing | 4 comments

If y’all have been paying attention you’ll know that I’ve spent the last few months revising the heck out of the manuscript I completed this past spring. Now, the only step left before I can release this project out into the big, scary universe is to let people actually read it. So far I’ve let my mom and my husband read it, but that’s it. And they’re not exactly the most objective readers in the world when it comes to my work.

Not that kind of beta, silly.

Not that kind of beta, silly.

So, Uncle Lyra Wants You! Yes, You! Do you like words printed on paper? Do you like reading brand new manuscripts that haven’t yet seen the light of day? Are you a critical thinker and a careful reader? Are you bored with summer yet? Then you are the perfect candidate for being a beta reader!

Here’s a little bit of information about the novel in question:

Title: Blood King

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Length: 106,000 words (that’s about the length of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, just to give you a comparison)

Synopsis: Dez Ashwood has only been King of the Blue Bloods for a few months when a spate of undead revenants threatens to upset the delicate balance between Life and Death. A stolen artifact, an ancient prophecy, and rogue necromancers owing fealty to a wraith bent on destroying the world; all are pieces of the puzzle that Dez must solve before time runs out. Will she be able to keep the streets of London safe from hordes of the undead? Or is it just her destiny to die trying?

You can also read this post for character profiles if you need more of a preview.

Style: Past readers have described my writing style as dark, driving, and cinematic. The novel is packed with action, vivid descriptions, and just enough romance to keep things sexy. The target readership for this book is 16 and older, so don’t assume the YA label means it’s kid stuff.

Warnings: This book is pretty violent, with blood, gore, and dead bodies galore. If that kind of stuff grosses you out this book might not be for you! (Also, what’s wrong with you?!?)

What I Need From Beta Readers: First, you’ll have to read the book. All the words, all the way through. Second, I ask that you write a few paragraphs about your general impressions of the novel, including any major issues you may have had with continuity, characterization, etc. I am NOT asking for line edits. Third, you should be willing to answer no more than 4 or 5 follow up questions from me regarding your aforementioned written impressions of the book.

Broken clock is not a valid excuse.

Broken clock is not a valid excuse.

Fourth–and I’m gonna be pretty strict about this one–you need to read the book in 2 weeks. I ask this for a few reasons. One, because I think impressions are fresher and more immediate if one reads a book relatively continuously over a short period of time, and two, because I don’t want to have to send awkward follow up letters three months later asking if you’ve forgotten about me. I’ll have the manuscript ready to go on Monday, July 15th, so you should be willing to finish the book by Wednesday July 31st, at the latest.

What You Get If You Agree to Beta: What, my undying gratitude isn’t enough? Fine, okay! Every beta reader will get a $5 Amazon Gift Card, plus I’ll be doing a special Beta Blog Post wherein all you folks with websites and blogs will get free publicity from yours truly! Also, if the book ever gets published, you’ll get a shout-out in the acknowledgements. And if you’re local, I may even bake you cookies!

And that’s about it! If you’re interested, drop me a line at lyra[dot]selene[at]gmail[dot]com. It’s fine to express interest in the comments but please email or I might forget! I will then email you an eyes-only copy of the manuscript on Monday! Let’s get this show on the road!


  1. Emmie Mears


    I wish I wish I WISH I had the time to offer you for this. :/ I’m beta reading Kristin’s MS right now and on a really, really tight agent-related deadline for some other things. If that wasn’t the case, I’d be all over this. I’m sharing this post on Twitter and Facebook, though. I hope you find some takers!

    • Lyra Selene

      I completely understand! Your help in connecting me with others who might be interested has been more than enough. Thank you!

    • Lyra Selene

      Please send me an email at lyra[dot]selene[at]gmail[dot]com with your details!