All right folks. This is it.
“Old guard” Alpha Readers have had access to Starforge‘s Alpha since Monday. Feedback is already coming in, which is awesome. Also it’s pretty positive feedback, not that I’m saying there aren’t changes to make—there are. Just small ones, thankfully, so far. No big plot holes yet.
Anyway, with the Old Guard already moving along, the time has come to open the doors a little bit, and extend a more open Alpha Call to those who are interested in experiencing such and helping with the Starforge Alpha Read.
Now, before you think “Aha! Free book!” or something similar, that’s not what an Alpha Read is. Though yes, you do get to read a title before it comes out, the point of Alpha Reading isn’t just to read it. The point is to perform an Alpha Reading. It’s an editing step with the aim of cutting out ambiguity, plot holes, checking to make sure the audience understands character motivations, etc etc. It’s not for typos or other small errors (those get cleaned in a Beta Read).
Nor is it “this author is asking me how I would write the book if I were going to write it, time to change the protagonists and plotline” (and if that seems hyperbolic to you, I’ve had multiple prospective Alpha Readers do exactly that). That’s not what Alpha Reading is. Alpha Reading is reading each chapter in succession, like one would the final product, and leaving comments like “This paragraph didn’t make sense to me. Who was speaking?” or “Hey, doesn’t this conflict with what was said earlier here?” or, at the end of a chapter, a summary of what worked, what didn’t, or both.
It’s a structural commentary, in other words. What’s working, and what isn’t? That way, I can go back and polish, tweak, and alter things until such concerns evaporate.
So, if you’d like to get an early look at Starforge by participating in this process, if the idea of being able to say to an author “Hey, I didn’t understand this bit based on the wording, can you change that?” sounds like something you’d wished you could do before … Well, now’s your chance. Leave a comment (the system requires contact info I can see, allowing me to contact you) and volunteer! I’ll set you up with a trial of the first few chapters (some quickly realize that Alpha isn’t for them) and if the experience is enjoyable, the rest of the chapters.
If you’re curious but currently busy, this will be the first of two Alphas. So there’s a chance at a future Alpha as well, and you can wait for the second round.
Anyway, leave a comment if you’re interested!