This is the “Alpha Reader” version of the book. Basically that means it’s my complete and polished draft- the “director’s cut,” have you. Not many have earnestly seen the book prior to this printing besides me- which is good and bad. That means it’s the exact version that I wanted to create- however it’s most likely sprinkled with inconsistencies, haha.
When you work on a project that has taken as long as this, you really become blind to a lot of things. I know the story too well. I know where it’s going before it happens. It’s easy to take the characters or plot for granted- getting that unknown first impression is invaluable and something I can’t replicate.
The Alpha Readers are hand-selected by me to receive a copy of the book, along with a red pen and highlighter. I tell them to go to town- cut it up! I truly encourage their criticism at this stage. Their comments and opinions directly impact the final version that will be sold to the public.
Once all of the Alpha Readers have given their response, I evaluate the comments. If there is a consensus among them of weak spots, unclear sections, plot loop-holes, or things they really liked- logic would suggest most other people would feel the same way as well. Their honest evaluation affords me the opportunity to see things from a different angle and go back to make the book that much better. To me, the Alpha Read is one of the most important parts of the process.
It’s scary sending something like this out into the world- the first time it’s being seen by anyone else! I’m never worried about people “not liking it” (I could careless about that), but I am worried that I didn’t convey the story properly. Is what's in my head actually transcending??? Time will tell! Can’t wait to hear back from the Alpha Readers!