On June 15th, I finished the second draft of my work-in-progress, Hidden Truths. Since it’s a rather long and complex story with many characters and subplots, I wanted to have a few test readers who read the story as a whole and give me some feedback.
So I posted a request for test readers here on the blog and in groups like lesfic_unbound.
Reactions were pretty overwhelming. Within a few hours, my mail box filled with offers to test read. In total, I got about sixty offers from potential test readers. Wow. I wasn’t quite prepared for that much feedback :-)
Some of these potential test readers are writers (some even published writers), others experienced beta readers; one is a reviewer, and two have worked as editors. Then I had a few test readers who have a lot of experience with horses (while I don’t, and horses play an important role in Hidden Truths), and one has first-hand knowledge about the area about which I’m writing (the Willamette Valley).
Telling any of these people that I don’t want them to test read seemed like such a waste of resources. I also wanted to include a few people who are not writers, not involved in publishing, and not even experienced beta readers. And I wanted someone who hasn’t read Backwards to Oregon and can tell me whether Hidden Truths can stand on its own.
So, in the end, I choose twenty-five test readers.
I told myself I’m crazy, but I’m getting a lot of really helpful feedback, so I certainly don’t regret working with so many test readers. I’ll blog more about what I’m learning from this experience.
For now, thanks to all my test readers and to all the people who offered their help!