I’ve written three books- not my cheesy guitar tab book, but three actual manuscripts. The problem I have is editing; I can’t seem to make it good enough to show to others. This is fairly common with authors (I’m told), so I’m not really surprised by it. One coping mechanism is to have a beta reader review parts of your work and give you feedback.

Jackie has been harping on me pretty hard to find a beta reader to review some of my work, which will hopefully give me the confidence to press on and get past the nine-month-long editor’s block.I finally broke down and had Jackie ask around for a beta reader (since she runs LiteraryEscapism, she knows the right people). From there I was directed to a site dedicated to providing manuscript critiques.

I tried to give it a go, but the flaws with the site quickly showed themselves; user accounts were created manually, usernames were incrementally created (i.e foobar12332), and separate basic auth was required with every manuscript you wanted to critique. The critique process was ugly, and afterwards I didn’t even get credit for the review I did (you have to trade reviews for critiques, like an old warez FTP ratio). There were enough things within the first 2 hours of using that site to convince me not to use it.

What bothered me most was that it was a good idea, but the implementation was horrible.  Within minutes of using the site, I knew I could design better. This is honestly a fortunate turn of events; I’ve been looking for a project to learn java web development since that’s what I support during my day job. On top of that, the new place is deeply entrenched in agile methodology, which I’m only partially familiar with.

So my books have been (yet again) left by the wayside as I begin a new development project.