Test Readers

Test Readers Wanted

More About the Book and its Chapters

The Test-Reading Process

Test Readers Wanted

Calling all popular science book lovers!! I have just finished writing a new world history tentatively called The Evolution of Human … . My manuscript is complete and unpublished. I am now looking for test readers to help me shape this book into its final form. Each reader will be assigned to one chapter, roughly 10,000 words. I am looking for readers with no particular expertise. You will help me perceive the strengths and weaknesses of your chapter through a reader’s eyes. Along with supplementary material (like the introduction) and communications with me, the assignment will take about a month. Your feedback will make the book more clear, consistent, and captivating! When the book is ready for self-publication, I will acknowledge you in the preface and send you a free paperback copy. Please read more about the book below. If interested, email me at ScotFagerland@Gmail.com and let me know if there’s a chapter that interests you most. Otherwise, I’ll assign you to one.


More About the Book and its Chapters

I don’t want to describe the book in too much detail now, because part of this assignment will be gauging whether I am creating the right first impression in readers’ minds. Suffice it to say that it is non-fiction in the category of “popular science”, that is, science and / or history for non-experts.

I currently need readers for the following chapters. You may choose your favorite, or I’ll assign you to one. (Note: As of October, 2020, all chapters are tentatively assigned to test readers).

CHAPTER 4:  THE LAST FEW TEN-THOUSAND YEARS. From hunter-gatherers to civilizations.  Discussion of wealth, power, and organized religion. (Update 10/04: Assigned, unfinished)

CHAPTER 2: THE LAST FEW CENTURIES. From empires and world religions to modern culture.  Covers the Enlightenment, world wars, industry, and the origins of today’s left and right politics. (Update 10/06: Assigned, unfinished)

CHAPTER 1: THE LAST FEW DECADES. From modern culture to big data.  Discusses the millennial experience and sets the context for today’s world news. (Update 10/06: Assigned, unfinished)

The Test-Reader Process

Test reading is an 8-step process. Some steps ask for written feedback.

Step 1: Questionnaire

Step 2: Opening phone call

Step 3: Judging a book by its cover

Step 4: Front Matter

Step 5: Catch-Up Reading

Step 6: Your Assigned Chapter

Step 7: Closing Phone Call

Step 8: Evaluating Revisions

Step 1. Questionnaire

To see if your interests make you a good match for this book. 30 minutes.

Step 2. Orientation / introduction phone call.

Please schedule a phone call with me. I prefer making a phone connection early on. We’ll discuss your questionnaire, get acquainted, and make sure you’re getting off to the right start. 15 – 30 minutes.

Step 3. “Judging a book by its cover”

Title, cover, blurb, aka “Sales page”. 30 minutes. Please use a computer larger than a phone.

Now open the WELCOME page . Read it from the top and then click on the notes that are directed to test readers.

You can leave comments at the bottom of each web page.

Step 4. Front matter

Preface & introduction. An hour.

Open the FRONT MATTER page. Read it from the top (don’t download the PDF) and click the “Test Reader” notes when you get to them. You can leave comments at the bottom of that page.

Step 5. Catch-up reading

Summaries of the chapters that came before yours. Average 1 hour, depends on your chapter.

In this step, you will read the summaries of the chapters that precede yours. Most chapter summaries are accompanied by a picture gallery. Remember that the chapters are numbered in reverse. For instance, if you are the chapter 8 reader, then in this step you will read the chapter summaries for chapters 10 and 9 (including gallery).

On any page, if you see a word that should be in the glossary but isn’t, please bring it to my attention in that page’s comments section. Otherwise, I don’t need feedback from you on this step. It’s for your sake. My special apologies and thanks to you low-chapter-number readers. You have a lot of catching up to do! 😛

Now you can move right on to Step 6.

Step 6. Your assigned chapter

Estimated time 1 week – 1 month, depending on how busy you are.

Here are the main things to watch for:

Strong and weak spots. Favorite passages or pictures, especially pictures that help you understand a point. Any passages that are hard to understand, repetitive, tangential, or start to lose your interest?

Expectations. Is the chapter giving you what you expected from the introductory material? Do the chapter intro and summary stay on point?

Presentation. Does the reading level seem like a good match for you? Do the tone and style seem appropriate?

Resources and format. Are the glossary, integrated table of contents, timelines, footnotes, citations, etc. helpful? Which resources are most essential?

You’ll find a few of my own questions embedded within the chapter (as endnotes). It will be clear when to click them.

Click your chapter in the top menu bar and dive right in! Remember that you can leave comments at the bottom of each section / web page. To refer to specific passages, it will help to follow my outline nomenclature. Topics are identified by capital letters and subtopics are numbered. For example, you might refer to “that point you make in the 2nd paragraph of subtopic C.2.” There are only a few sub-sub-topics with lowercase letters.

When you’re done, we can schedule your exit phone interview.

Step 7. Exit interview

Wrapping it all up over the phone. 30 – 60 minutes. Schedule appointment here.

Step 8. 3rd draft review

After I make changes to the secondary text and / or your chapter, I will bounce the changes off you.

Thank you!!!

Scot

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