Dreams of VictoryApril 26, 2015
Renegade Legion is mobilising…May 1, 2015
[Update: the Recon Team is now operational and closed to new members for this book, but if you add your name below, I’ll add you to the list of interested people for the next book. Thanks.]
Renegade Legion, the third Human Legion book is nearly ready for beta readers. Because I spent twenty years arranging beta teams for (relatively) dull corporate database software, I’ve decided it would be more fun to call this a Recon Team. What’s it all about? Recon Team volunteers help by scouting ahead for hazards and highlighting dangers in an early draft of the forthcoming book. If you read a passage and it makes you whistle, curse, or throw your book (and the device you’re reading it on) across the room because something isn’t right, then I would like you to tell me about it. I ran a score of beta teams at Greyhart Press and had several repeat volunteers who said they kept coming back because they got a kick out of getting involved in a book project. I’m hoping you will get a similar buzz from getting involved in the first Human Legion Recon Team. Here’s how it works in outline:
- I have up to thirty places in the team. If I get more volunteers than that, I’ll give priority to those who asked to join up first (and that includes those who kindly volunteered before today).
- If you’ve already volunteered, you don’t need to do anything; I’ll be on touch soon. If you haven’t, you can sign up by adding a comment to this post, and I will contact you via email.
- I’ll get you a first draft of the book as soon as it is available. I can provide Kindle and ePUB electronic versions. I am also happy to provide paperbacks, but the time taken to print and post will mean you will have less time to read, and realistically, delivery times mean I can only post paperbacks to US and UK addresses.
- By first draft, I mean the book will be complete, but I haven’t sent it to any proof readers, and I will expect to go over it a few more times to tune up some of the words and sentences.
- What I’m asking volunteers to do is to read Renegade Legion as if you were reading any other book (rather than as an insider) and make a note of anything that strikes you as wrong. This could be characters acting in a way that doesn’t make sense, passages that are confusing or have spelling mistakes, sex scenes that make you cringe, combat scenes that don’t ring true, or anything else that feels wrong. (I’ll give instructions on how to pass me your notes when you sign up).
- There is a military backdrop to this novel, but I haven’t myself served my country in the armed services, and so I am particularly grateful to advice from those who have. I know Marine Cadet is a better book for having some of my movie-inspired nonsense pointed out by a former RAF serviceman.
- I promise to read and take your comments seriously. I can’t promise to act on every suggestion. It’s possible that I do agree with an issue you raise, but choose not to do anything about it because doing so would mean months of rework, and I judge the issue relatively minor. It’s a strange truth about reworking books: rewriting takes longer and is more prone to errors than writing in the first place. Reworking software code is exactly the same.
- Like I said, the reward (hopefully) is that you have some fun getting involved. To show my appreciation, I’ll send you paperback and eBook editions of the finished book, and there will be a page at the front of all editions where I will thank all the Recon Team members by name.
- In terms of the timetable, it is going to change on the basis of when I’m ready and how much and what kind of feedback I receive. But here’s an initial outline.
- With luck, I hope to finish the first draft this Friday (1st May). However, I seem to be having some health problems at the moment, so I may choose to push that into the following week in preference to keeling over dead from overwork.
- I want the book to be in a pre-release state on Amazon by w/b May 25th. However, I would far rather delay that if the book could be improved by holding off..
- That gives you 2-3 weeks to read, pass on your comments, and for me to implement them.
Hopefully I haven’t put you off yet! If you’re interested, please sign up by commenting below. Many thanks in advance, Tim