For those that do not know what a beta-reader is I'll give you the wikipedia version: a non-professional reader who critiques your work. I gave them all specific instructions: no need to edit unless you see something glaring, just tell me what parts are too slow and what characters don't work. I have some random people reading it. A few men I know that love the Adirondacks and the history, a woman I met at a conference who shared my love of reading and I tracked down on Linkedin to ask her to read for me; a person that follows me on Facebook although I am not even sure how I know her; a former journalist and his wife who I used to babysit for and I haven't seen since I got married 26 years ago; an architect; and an avid reader of Jane Austen because on of my betas keeps telling me I should be writing like her. (I think Jane Austen is boring).
So far I've received some good feedback. The cover design for example went through a couple of revisions. And I cut 1,000 words from the first few chapters.
My biggest problem is trying not to pester people about it. I read 2-3 books a month. So of course I can't understand how someone I gave the book to over three weeks ago hasn't finished it yet. Or have they and they are afraid ot tell me what they think? Is it that bad?
The other problem I am having is not going back to the book and editing. I keep wanting to read it over again myself and edit even though I promised myself I wouldn't touch it until late March. And god-forbid if I get started on the next book in the trilogy. I can't even think about starting the next until I have this one wrapped up.
So what have I been doing with myself? Well the picture below tells you some of it. I went out for a ski on the lake yesterday with my daughter. And enjoyed the sunshine. But not as much as the two ladies that had set up beach chairs and a cooler of beer and were sunning themselves in 20 degree F.