Published: October, 2013
In a terrifying world where an epidemic has killed off most of the world's adults, fifteen-year-old Abby struggles to keep her brother and sister safe.
When a new, deadly disease spreads among the survivors, Abby must make the dangerous journey to Colony East, an enclave of hidden scientists caring for a small group of children for reasons unknown.
Abby fears that time is running short for the victims, but she's soon to learn that time is running out for everyone outside Colony East.
About Beta Readers
Have you ever been a beta reader? Or, if you are a writer, have you tried to find beta readers to share your work with and receive feedback? As a writer, I think that beta readers are one of the most important parts of the publishing process. As a reader, you are providing an invaluable service. Yet there are many challenges for both parties.
I’ll define a beta reader as someone who reads an early draft of a novel. It may be a second draft or fifth draft. Whatever its state of evolution, the novel is generally not ready for publication. Parts of the story are likely undeveloped, and it may be riddled with typos. The final, published novel will be different than the version that beta readers see.
As a writer, finding beta readers can be a challenge. I’ve heard that goodreads can be a good place to find beta readers. Some writers trade “beta reads.” When I first started writing novels, I looked to friends and family. That, for the most part, did not turn out well. In some cases, friends simply disappeared, perhaps too embarrassed to tell me they could not finish a piece, or they didn’t want to hurt my feelings.
I have great empathy and respect for beta readers. I am asking them to invest many hours into reading something that is not ready for prime time.
In general, I accept feedback on my work fairly well. I have a belief that readers and editors are always right. If a problem is pointed out, I try to address it. I may not always fix it the exact way the reader or editor would like, but I try to address it. Some writers do not take criticism well, and I imagine that makes the job of the beta reader that much harder.
With Colony East, my beta readers were incredible, and they played a very important role in helping shape some important parts of the story. I found them through my author facebook page.
I had ten readers and each one seemed to focus on something different, something that was important to them. For reader A, it was character descriptions, or lack thereof. For reader B, it was the nature of several relationships, and questioning motives. Reader C focused on sentence flow. Reader D pointed out inconsistencies in fight scenes. Reader E focused on the science behind the story. Many helped point out typos and grammatical problems. It was really remarkable because when I totaled up all their concerns, I felt I had a very strong set of valid input that covered almost everything. I consider my beta readers part of the creative team that helped launch the novel.
Have you ever been a beta reader? I am incredibly curious to hear your side of the story. How did you provide feedback to the writer and how was it received? Would you do it again? And if you are writer, how did you find your beta readers? Did they help you?
Book#1 in series:
Night of the Purple Moon (Toucan Trilogy #1)
Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. The lightning-fast epidemic sweeps across the planet when the germs attack the hormones produced during puberty.
On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her -- adolescence.
About the author:
Scott Cramer has written feature articles for national magazines, covered school committee meetings for a local newspaper, published haiku and poetry, optioned a screenplay, and produced customer reference accounts for a big computer company. His pursuit of a good story has put him behind the stick of an F-18, flying a Navy Blue Angels’ fighter jet, and he has trekked through the Peruvian mountains in search of an ancient Quechua festival featuring a condor. He is the author of Night of the Purple Moon and Colony East. Scott and his wife have two daughters and reside outside Lowell, Massachusetts (birthplace of Jack Kerouac) in an empty nest/zoo/suburban farm/art studio with too many surfboards in the garage.
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