What should I publish next? Beta Readers Wanted, apply below.

Before we get to the good stuff, the details of the novels available for beta reads, let me update you on where I am, so to speak. I’d also like to talk a little about the importance of beta readers.

My April writing challenge is over, I have just under 30,000 words of a sequel to Life and Other Dreams in the bag. I can see the start of the story, all that’s needed now is to finish it off; when the characters tell me what they want to happen next.

As I told you before, the way I work is not what you might suppose. I know that there are authors who plot the whole story out before they ever commit a word to paper. I’m just not one of them.

However, when it comes to getting the finished story into a state that can be sold, I’m fairly traditional.

I have an editor, which may come as a shock to many who think that self-published authors don’t bother with things like that!

Mine likes to see my work as it progresses, so I will send them my first draft, incorporate their corrections and prepare a beta read version of the novel. This goes out to my beta team, who read it and comment.

Now you might be wondering at this point, what is the idea of a beta read?

After all, it’s not as if you’re getting the final version of the novel, it might still have errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting. Well, let me give you my take on the concept.

Beta reads give me a chance to see if my ideas are working. Very often, the people who beta read for me have read my other titles, so they will recognise my style. And the ones who haven’t, well they might like my work and read more of my back catalogue; or tell their friends about me and my work. And I make sure that I explain to everyone that this is not the finished article; so that people know not to expect perfection.

I talk to my beta readers a lot, I take notice of all the comments and suggestions. Often, they will give me ideas that I can use in my second draft. After I have re-written, the book goes back for another edit.

After that has been returned and I’ve corrected it where necessary, I reckon the story is just about ready, I get it formatted for print and it has a third edit, just to catch any errors that might have been missed.

I’ve been dithering about which novel to publish next, and time has gone by. I’ve been writing a lot and storing it all up, with the result that I have four novels that have completed stage one. So they are all just about ready for a beta read. The question is, which one should I offer? To solve my problem, I’ve decided to make them all available.

Two of them are parts of series, the others are new work, although they may well become part of something more in the future.

I can sit on them for ages, while I decide what to do, or I can get them out there.

So, in brief, this is what they are about. I’ll leave it to you, please let me know which you think is the best one to get published next. I’ve included the latest ideas for the covers as well.

If anyone’s interested in a beta copy, just comment below and I can arrange a copy for you. I have .epub .mobi and .pdf versions available.

First, the stand-alone stories.

The Sensaurum and the Lexis,

this is a Steampunk adventure, set in Norlandia, several years after the events in my other Steampunk stories.

Artwork by 4Star Scifi and Pixabay

Jackson has lived in the Makewright Orphanage since his parents were killed in an accident. Now, he is selected to join a band of agents under the control of Sir Mortimer Langdon, investigating the murkier side of life in Norlandia.

In this tale, Jackson is thrust into action against a man who would use perverted science to take over the world. Using the latest fantastic creations of Steampunk technology Jackson and his friends must thwart The Master of Automata. 

(91,000 words)

Survive (the tale of Ballantyne Alysom).

Another stand-alone story.

Artwork by 4Star Scifi and Pixabay

Ballantyne Alysom is Galactographic! Magazine’s most intrepid explorer, Davis Jansen is the cameraman he takes on his most dangerous expedition so far.

When things go wrong and the survivors of the group are stranded on an unexplored planet, Davis sees the real man behind the carefully constructed public face.

Now he has a choice, does the world need to know the truth? And which one’s story will they believe?

(87,000 words)

Next, the series.

While these stories are part of the universes of their series, they can be read without having seen the other parts.

The Lost Princess,

This is a novella, the prequel to Ribbonworld and Jungle Green.

The Lost Princess is the tale of Layla Balcom
The prequel to the Balcom Series

Where is Layla Balcom?

The most famous woman in the Galaxy, heiress to the Balcom empire, has vanished. Has she simply exchanged her celebrity life for peace and quiet or has the unthinkable happened?

In the midst of the search; where rumours and speculation are rife, journalist Miles Goram thinks that he’s found the answer. A girl on the run suggests that Layla could be a hostage, in a club where the rich indulge their fantasies. It’s located on Dalyster, a corrupt and secretive world. A place where his status as a reporter will do him no favours in his efforts to uncover the truth.

Caught in a rivalry between politicians and businessmen, is his world about to fall apart around him?

(41,000 words)

Last, but by no means least, we have

Andorra Pett, and her Sister

The third of my Andorra Pett stories.

“When a sister hates you, then that really is the end of the world.”

Andorra Pett returns, artwork by Matthew Britton

Andorra Pett’s sister is in trouble, big trouble. Andorra hasn’t seen her for a while, they never really got on, then there was a falling out. Andorra’s in London on business when she gets a cry for help. As if she hasn’t got enough to deal with, all she wants to do is get back to normality. Just what has her sister got involved with? Why does she have to sort it all out for her?

When the chips are down, will family come first?

(63,000 words)

What do you think? I’d love to know which one you’d like to see published next. And if you’d like to read one of them, please let me know, there are a limited number of beta copies available. Once I have an idea of the running order, I can get publication organised. Meanwhile, I’m off to see what I can do about the half-finished work I have. More on that next time.

Don’t miss the Indie Showcase on Thursday, when I’ll be hosting another great author, see you then.


2 Responses

  1. Jenifer braund

    Hi Richard
    Just read your column for the first time, I am dumbstruck by how much you produce my friend. Recently beta read RichardLs new book. Happy to do any of yours, have read some of your steampunk and the first 2 Andorras.
    Only drawback I need papercopy as old eyes don’t read well online. Don’t know if that world for you?
    Next is I go to the USA next Monday. !! For 3 weeks. Am taking Dreams with me, happy to take one or two to beta read . I make notes on the copy then type them up after.
    You may get swamped with offers of course, but if not let me know.
    Best Jeni

    • Richard Dee

      Hi Jeni,
      thanks for commenting, I’m glad you like the post.
      Unfortunately, I don’t produce paper copies, as these are only really draft versions, they’re really only offered to get an idea of whether people like them or not.
      Have a great time in The U.S.A., I hope you enjoy Life and Other Dreams, see you soon.

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