Let’s Talk with Karla Brandenburg

Advance Readers
by Karla Brandenburg

One thing every author appreciates is people who are willing to read and review their books. With my newest release winging its way into the world, I’m counting on those people who’ve had a chance to read it ahead of time to let everyone else know what they thought. The downside to this process is that those early readers often get an “uncorrected proof,” which means some of the minor snafus haven’t been fixed yet, but I’m also willing to give them a final version upon release so they have the “corrected” version. In some instances, those early readers also represent an extra set of eyes to a beleaguered author’s vision.

As I prepare a book for release, it has been through countless proofreading cycles, including the editor, but nobody’s perfect. Mistakes happen, and despite reading and re-reading and editing and re-editing, things get missed. By release day and all the different methods and styles of proofreading, the expectation is that 99% of those errors will be corrected (if not all of them). Early readers also act as a layer of editing. Did I miss something? Did my editor miss something? Prior to release, early readers can be the final gatekeeper that lets us know if we’ve overlooked something important, or if we’ve added something that doesn’t work.

I’m a regular ARC reader for a couple of authors, and when one of them strays too far from their brand, I do point that out. The chief criteria for being an ARC reader is that I enjoy that author’s body of work, so even when she throws in a monkey wrench here and there, I can comfortably leave her a good review (I wouldn’t be an ARC reader if I didn’t like her books) but I can also say “but you know this one part? That strays out of the norm for me and I could do without that.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t go back to the final version for the book where I left that remark to see if she made the change, because overall it was still an enjoyable reading experience, but I know that on subsequent books, she reined it back in instead of going into that territory.

Advance readers are a win-win for me. I get someone who will tell other people about my books, and they get a free copy of a book they’re pretty sure they’re going to enjoy.

Are you an advance reader? I currently have a few spots on my ARC readers list. You can sign up here for consideration.

To celebrate the new release, I’m giving an e-copy of my new release, THE ARCHITECT, to one random commenter below.

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