Wanted: A few good beta readers for the upcoming Caterpickles book

As some of you know, I’ve been working on a series of books on how parents can foster their children’s curiosity about art and science without being an artist or scientist themselves. (This is a large part of why I haven’t been around here as much lately.) The books are based on the lessons I’ve learned over the years I’ve been writing Caterpickles. (Ironic, isn’t it?)

The first book in the series, The Caterpickles Bunny Book, talks about how even artistically inept parents can use public art to nurture their child’s love of art.

I plan to release the book this summer, but first I need your help.

I am looking for 3-5 Caterpickles readers to serve as beta readers for the Caterpickles Bunny Book. Normally, beta readers would just comment on the text, but back when the Bunny Book was undergoing its developmental edit, my editor pointed out that it was almost impossible to assess the text without the photographs of the art being discussed.

One of the great things about self-publishing is that if you have to, you can do things out of order. So I temporarily skipped the beta read phase and instead have spent the past few weeks working with a book designer on a prototype of the Bunny Book.

The preliminary design will be finished this week. Once all 100 photographs have been integrated with the text, I plan to pause the book design process to get feedback from a few trusted readers.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

I’ll ask you to preview a PDF of the Caterpickles Bunny Book, and comment on all the usual beta reader things:

  • Is the book interesting?
  • Does it read well?
  • Is it organized well?
  • Is it actually useful for parents?
  • What is it missing?

I’ll also ask you to comment on a few not-so-typical things:

  • What do you think of the layout?
  • Does the design work?
  • Do the photographs complement the text or detract from it?

You’ll only have a week or two to review the book and make your comments. That should be plenty of time though. I’ve intentionally designed the Caterpickles Bunny Book to be a quick read. The prototype is only about 40 pages and there are 100 photographs scattered throughout. We’re all too busy parenting to spend a lot of time reading about parenting, right?

If you’re interested in helping out, leave a comment or email me at shalahowell@gmail.com by May 15, 2017.


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