I am now passed the halfway point in the rewrite of the third novel in the René Beauchemin series which are naturist novels. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am rewriting the book with a shift to using the first person, telling the story from René’s point of view. I have to admit, I like what I am getting as a result. I am already itching to rewrite the first two books in the series using René’s voice and thoughts. One of the things I realise will be the need to repackage the books with new covers and new ISBNs. Since I am the owner of a registered publishing company, Retired Eagle Books, new ISBNs are not an issue. The Government of Canada lets me assign these numbers to any book that get published by my company, both eBooks and print books .
Now, there is a lot more to consider since the whole process is one that takes time. One of the more important tasks is to have test readers, or beta readers go over the book(s) and give their impressions. These readers are not editors. They can, and often do, point out niggling things such as spelling or confusing long sentences. But more important in their role are first impressions. What has worked in the story, what has got in the way of the story, and what is missing? Since these books are naturist stories, it only makes sense that the beta readers have a positive naturist background in order to be more objective. Judgemental readers too easily dismiss naturist stories just on principle. Beta readers are vital and are always included in a books acknowledgements. When one becomes a beta reader, there is the expectation on the author’s part that the beta readers will not only read the book, but communicate with the author about the book.
Now, with that said, one would think that it would be no problem getting beta readers. After all, they get to read books without having to pay for them. But in reality, it is a difficult problem. Naturists don’t necessarily read books, or if they do, more often than not, they read books by famous authors. Genre is yet another hurdle. Naturists who read books don’t necessarily read naturist fiction. Perhaps one could always turn to family to do the reading? … but then again, are they reading it because they want to or because they feel guilty not reading your book. Besides, readers who are close to you wonder what you are saying between the lines that might be pointing at them. Perhaps friends? … same problems and they are even less likely to tell you the truth about the holes in your book, the very reason you want them to read the book. So the search for an objective reader goes on.
Since many of those who read the blog posts on this site have a real interest in naturist fiction, perhaps you could volunteer as a beta reader. However, don’t do so if you don’t have the time to read or the heart to be critical where a good critique is warranted. Just know that no writer wants his or her book to be anything but the best it can be.