beta notebooks blog

I expect by this Friday morning I’ll be feeling a bit like Eliza did when she received some life-shattering news:

Her lungs squeezed as if she still wore a corset, a knee in her back as Molly pulled its strings tight, sucking the air of her. She couldn’t breathe.

Eliza is off into the hands of seven beta readers. No one else has read this draft #6 in its entirety, post-editing based on my developmental editor’s suggestions. I’m excited, nervous, and ready to hold my breath for the next 4-5 weeks while I await their feedback.  Yet, I feel so fortunate to have connected with these seven readers. Each of them will bring a different perspective to help me move into the next round of polishing to ensure Eliza’s story will shine and wow the pants off agents and publishers.

(2) readers are men I’ve met from writing groups. I was advised to definitely have a couple of men read to provide a male perspective. My brother doesn’t count. One of them is also a Judge. He’s already reviewed a courtroom scene for me, but it will be great to have him read the rest of the story, especially since there’s a Judge in Eliza’s family, too

(1) reader is a woman doctor. Her review is paramount to confirm my presentation of medical scenes, as well as the emotions, motivations, and responses of Eliza.

(1) is a documentary producer and MD/PhD candidate in behavioral neuroscience. Her eye for historical detail will definitely be welcomed as well as her medical school experience.

(3) are women friends – one is also an aspiring writer whom I met at the St. Augustine writer’s conference, so she has a smidgen of background on the story. One is from my book club who participated in last year’s beta read; should be interesting to hear her take on the transformation of the story over the past 12 months. And the third is a long-time friend and avid reader. Her dream is to open a Books & Bagel shop in Hawaii. My dream is to hold a book signing at her store. 🙂


Now, what to do while I wait for feedback?? Hang this wicked-cool hat on my head, pack up my TBR pile and hit the beach and hammock (after regular work hours). Here’s my TBR pile – what’s yours for the next month or so?

P.S. My hat is on its way. I opted-out of Prime delivery in order to get the digital credit they offer. Makes those Kindle specials even less. If you’re interested, the hat’s on Amazon for $19.95, available HERE.

And, don’t forget – I post Kindle specials on a regular basis on my Facebook page – make sure you’re following to get in on the deals I scour and post for books I’ve read.


I invite you to follow my blog for book reviews and updates on my journey toward writing my first historical fiction.  More information in my Novel Synopsis. You can sign up from this page with the pop-up, or send me a note through the CONTACT page and I can email you an invitation to follow. I’m on social media, too:

  • On Facebook @JanisRobinsonDaly-Author — Follow me on Facebook where I also post info on the Amazon Deals I find on books I recommend
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5 thoughts on “Commence Holding Breath – Take 2

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