Well, I'm done writing! I'm moving onto the next phase of the publishing process, known as beta reading. And I want you to be a part of this journey with me!
What is Beta Reading?For those of you who don't know what beta reading is, it's the first public read of an unpublished, unedited manuscript. By sending a chapter of my book at a time to a test audience of its potential readers, I can ask for feedback. This constructive criticism lets me know what I did well, and what I can improve.
My ideal beta reader...
...is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsAnd I don't just mean the ones with perfect attendance, if you catch my drift. If you're willing to offer feedback on a book like mine, regardless of how simple or complicated being a member is for you right now, I value what you have to say. And who knows? Maybe you'll find something along the way that might help!
...has received a patriarchal blessing OR is planning to receive one in the near future.Anyone who has not yet received a patriarchal blessing will only be eligible to read chapter 1, and qualifies for only one incentive (listed below)
...loves to read, especially inspirational nonfictionYou don't need to know a ton about grammar or spelling. Leave that stuff to the editors that come along later in the process. I want to hear your thoughts, ideas, and opinions on what I've written so far. If you've ever offered a book review, you've got the kind of insight I'm looking for!
What does my beta reading process look like?
Step 1: Send me an emailYou can reach me at email@example.com, or by clicking here. In the subject line, let me know you're interested in beta reading.
In order to aid in the selection process, please tell me a little bit about yourself. The following questions will help me to understand where you're coming from with your feedback. Any other details you wish to share about yourself or your feelings on patriarchal blessings are completely optional.
- Your age and gender
- Are you a convert, or were you raised in the Church?
- Are you the only member in your family?
- How long have you had your patriarchal blessing? (Doesn't have to be exact)
- Was receiving your patriarchal blessing a positive or a negative experience for you? (Include as much or as little detail as you like.)
If nothing else, just let me know what made you interested enough to beta read a book on patriarchal blessings, and what you hope to get out of it.
Step 2: Read a ChapterI will email you chapters one at a time. The book is organized into five chapters, broken down into the following topics:
- The Basics - Focuses on who patriarchs are, what a patriarchal blessing is, how to prepare to receive one, and some basic insight into how to use them
- Study Methods and Topics - Examines various methods and learning styles for using your patriarchal blessing. For a more in-depth look at the type of study methods that appear in this chapter, see one of my previous posts on annotating patriarchal blessings.
- Family and Relationships - Explores how patriarchal blessings enrich our relationships. Includes a variety of reflection questions that will help you interpret your own patriarchal blessing.
- Testimony, Doctrine, and Church Service - Deepens the connection between the doctrines of the gospel, and the principles taught or mentioned in patriarchal blessings. From Angels to Zion, this chapter answers the questions you never thought to ask.
- Life Experiences and Challenges - Divorce, addiction, mental health, homosexuality: members of the Church have used their patriarchal blessings to face their challenges in life. This chapter builds upon the foundation created by the other four to show how patriarchal blessings address the complexities of life.
As of right now, the page count (including the front and back matter pages, not part of the beta read manuscript) is about 50,000 words and 240 pages. That number is subject to change as I complete my own final edits.
Step 3: Fill Out the QuestionnaireEach chapter comes with a questionnaire. These will be similar, but not identical. Fill it out after you finish the chapter, and email it back to me. And please be honest! I can't fix problems I don't see. Even the problems I do see, I may not know how to solve them. By pointing them out and offering your insights, you will help me to see what I've written in a new way. Sometimes all we need to solve a problem is a look through someone else's eyes.
And that's it! You're done! Sit tight, and I'll send the next chapter and questionnaire soon!
What's in it for you?Beta reading takes time, and I know your time is valuable. So as a thank you for your support in the formative phases of this project, I want to offer you some incentives.
If you are selected to beta read for me, and you finish the questionnaires for all five chapters, you will receive:
- A FREE download of the e-book
- 25% OFF of the list price for the paperback (Limit: one)
- First access to some of the study charts and printables I've developed to accompany the book. These are going to be posted online for everyone to use after book launch. But you, as a beta reader, will get to see and use them before anyone else.
If you're ready to see the first book on patriarchal blessings written by a convert--the one only a convert could write--be the first one to read it!
We'll make history together!