Yesterday, we connected with 24 of our beta-readers to talk about the first half of the book and for them to share the written reviews they had prepared.
The reviews were inspiring, positive, and helpful. I’ll share them in their full, unedited, un-spell-checked glory, one per week on the reviews section of the site.
The readers not only loved the book, but also had ideas on how to make it better.
For example, several readers found chapter 12 to be a bit too slow. That’s invaluable feedback and we’ll crack on with revisions to that chapter to make sure it’s just as much of a pager turner as the rest of the book.
Readers also wanted to read more about Sherman’s family, so we may pull forward some elements of Jessica’s development earlier into the book.
Mostly, however, the readers loved going on the adventure with Sherman and wanted to know what happens next.
It was a refreshing way to workshop creative material, sharing it in its not-quite-fully-baked form. It enables us to see any problems and fix them before the book hits the shelves.
The comparison with Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter came up; with the readers putting Alienated in the same camp as both those book series.
We’ve got more work to do, but the feedback has been both encouraging and invaluable. Thanks to all of our amazing beta-readers, you know who you are!