Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs

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Advice wanted on beta reading please

I can't believe I didn't think to ask my LJ friends this before. Tomorrow, I hand over Waking up Jack Thunder to my three wonderful beta readers, along with a note (copied below) listing the kind of feedback I'm looking for. This is the first time I've ever used beta readers as opposed to having someone read a draft. If anyone can think of anything else I should ask for, I'd be most grateful for their suggestions.

Here's the note as it stands:

WAKING UP JACK THUNDER – beta readers’ notes

Hi guys,

Let me start by thanking you in advance for doing this for me. I really appreciate it.

First the good news: I’m not looking for a detailed critique. Instead, I’d like you to read it as if it were any other book (albeit a letter-sized one). I would like you to make some notes though, along the lines of the following:


Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I get one of those ‘I’m really enjoying this!’ moments. In the unlikely event this happens to you while reading WuJT, please make a note of where and why.

Next, and sad to say, far more likely, if you get bored at any point, or confused, or the writing gives you a ‘huh?’ moment, or kicks your eyes off the page in any way, please make a note of where in the book that happened, and if possible, why you think it did.


It’s quite possible for a book to be neither boring nor gripping. How easy was it to put this one down? I’m particularly interested in how easy it was to take a break at the end of a chapter and whether you had any problems getting your bearings at the beginning of a chapter?


This probably comes under those ‘huh?’ moments I referred to above, but were the characters' and their actions believable? Was there enough/too much information about them?


I call Waking up Jack Thunder a sci-fi thriller (mostly because the opening chapter is more like a plain old thriller), but when I first started writing it, I considered it a sci-fi action/comedy – there’s a lot of humor in it. When you finished reading it, I’d be grateful for your opinion as to what genre I should pitch it as.

“What about the bad news?” you say. I’d have thought that was obvious – you have to read my book :)


Although I'm handing over the beta draft tomorrow, I don't expect the feedback until the middle of January, so if you do have some advice, but didn't read this until later in the week, don't worry about me not being able to use it.

Many thanks in advance,

Tags: fiction, waking up jack thunder, writing

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