Beta Format/Book Format/Feedback

Welcome To Astlan Forums The Heavenly Host Beta Beta Format/Book Format/Feedback

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    I think what I am going to do is have a latest version posted here on the site for only beta user access.

    I expect there will be changes that I will want people to comment on…so there may be mutiple versions coming out….I.e. people get alerts there’s a new one and this issue has been fixed, check it out. etc. So I fear people having to make too many changes. However, if they have Calibre, it’s not hard to change format.

    Actually what I really want to do (book 3+) is have an online editor that people read offline and then can come into the web app and make changes/comments and it will note who did what. It gets complicated with 30 or so people doing this, so the application logic is tricky, particularly on the back side where there had to be control for the master editor (author) to select which changes he/she wants and merge together. It’s like “web based super review” of what Word does.


    Epub, I think, would work. It is a standard format after all. So almost everyone should be able to read it.

    The raw formats though (.doc, .docx, .odt, etc.) or even plain text file might be more useful though to beta readers who might read it in a pc and use some advance tools to do their jobs.


    Hmmm… I think the beta readers might be too diverse to make a single app or system to work for all. Why don’t let each beta reader have their own thread or something, so that each differences would be catered?


    Make a new thread that has a title referencing the chapters and continuity error?

    E.g. Continuity error Chapters 1+8:

    issue in question in the actual post part.

    Just an idea of course but it should work.


    I agree on continuity and major plot points. Those issues are so broad of scope that I see them as their own topics.

    We can create as many topics in the forum as we want. I think the idea of “plot issue: Chapters X, Y, Z” or similar would work good.

    I will be running through Calibre, so I can produce an epub from that as well as azw3. What app are you using smw? My concern would be any tables or things like that which get tricky. In the final version, for publication of the book, I turn tables into images for older Kindles. But I don’t want to do that until they’ve been edited.


    These are all great questions, which make me want to design my betademon website sometime and incorporate this…

    Someone on my Amazon blog mentioned people using github and that really works well for exactly the story conflict issues…

    I would seriously have to think GRRM would need something like that with swim lanes for each thread or some sort of pinnup board with strings and pictures on it…

    I think we will just have to do the new topic break.

    One nice thing is that scenes/sections are relatively modular this time around. That can help with continuity.


    I use either the Kindle app or Aldiko Premium. Both have the ability to annotate while reading. I don’t like interrupting my reading to take notes. I just highlight and move on. Later I go back and fill in detail for myself.

    The tables would be in an appendix right? I probably would not need it right away. I will switch to the pdf version if that is really a problem. I had issues with reading your tables on the kindle on my phone the first time around anyways so this will be nothing new.


    Discussion of Beta Mechanics



    One of the things I have spent a lot of futile time on is how to do the feedback for the beta. E.g. comments and corrections. I’d played with the idea of writing a web app that has the document and allows multiple people to add comments or comment editing (e.g. put a rewording in a comment) because trying to coordinate a whole bunch of people making changes/suggestions can get tricky. Decided I had no where near enough time. But I think the idea is good and would be useful to a lot of authors. But anyway…

    So what I am thinking to do is distribute the book in an agreed upon format/formats for people to read.

    Then have a Topic in this forum for each chapter. I will number the subsections of the chapters. So when you want to comment on it, you’d go to the chapter topic and then put the section number 105.2 for example in the subject.

    People can then interact on that section or argue with that change.

    Does this seem reasonable? I am open to other suggestions.

    Also for book distribution formats.

    Unfortunately Amazon has no beta channel distribution platform, so I can send it through the store.

    I am thinking to put out an AZW3 (most common current Kindle format) and PDF. I can also do some other formats if people request.
    If you want to read on your Kindle or other Kindle like device/app, there are several ways to get it on your kindle, including plugging your Kindle into your computer and using [url=]Calibre[/url] or emailing it to your kindle’s email address.




    I think pdf should be fine. (converter are found easily)
    Concerning typos and grammar errors (i know it’s not a priority) the solution with one post per chapter should work. (maybe an extra subforum for that?)

    However i don’t think the solution will work well with flaws in the plot, especially if those will be discussed by the beta demons. (coulda be a little bit confusing if post 5 discusses topic 1 and post 6 topic 2 post 7 topic 3 post 8 topic 2 etc…) At the very least we need an additional rule for conflicts between two or more chapters. I would suggest the first chapter, in which the conflict occurs, is the naming chapter. Then again i wouldn’t create one topic per chapter, but one per problem with a certain nomenclature for the topics. For example chapter and possibly subsection first and then a short description of the problem if compatible with the max number of chars.
    To make it more oversee-able the topic should be ordered by names and no longer by date of last entry.

    editing and posting takes hours…. till it’ stops loading.


    Mobi format works. I like to highlight as I go and then comeback after finishing the chapter to write up my thoughts. Copy-paste that from Kindle.

    Also, how do you handle story problems that cross chapters, e.g., Chapter 1 has a conflict w/ Chapter 8. Do we post in 1 or in 8?


    Yeah all tables there and at end. It’s no where near as table heavy as book 1. I may work to reformat non-tabular if they are amenable.
    It also depends on how space ends up going if a lot gets added in beta, that would be less appendix, if a lot gets cut might need new ones.


    I would really like epub. I read on my phone and use an app to mark problems. It would be really helpful if I could use that.


    For distribution to beta readers, how big is the file? You might just be able to email it to people in a compressed format and everyone that has signed up to be a beta reader can convert it to what they need or want. Everyone’s email should be on their accounts so distribution that way should be easy. Since we are checking for continuity and checking for redundant chapters or suggesting changes our input can be more vague so it shouldn’t hurt anything if people have it in different formats.


    Maybe have it display a side by side of the original text with the proposed change? With an option that lets the master editor (author/professional editor whatever the case may be) scroll through the suggested changes and select one to replace the original or just keep it the way it is. That and having the original text be changeable by the master editor in the event that a change is suggested that you kind of like but need to adjust it to get it to fit right. Might need to get some professional programmers to write something like that as it sounds terribly complicated.


    That’s actually what I’ve been thinking about…all changes in side by side columns that maybe scroll or something (like OS X Finder folders)

    It’s actually quite a bit of work, not so much for display, but for storing it all and linking it to the original content and apply/unapplying it.

    My day job (depending on the day) is a systems architect so I can do the programming, assuming i have the time…and there’s the rub…I am great at managing other people’s scope creep in developing applications…I am miserable at managing my own. All my own software projects quickly spiral out of control as I try to add more and more neat features and never get it “finished” to a release point.

    That has also sort of been the problem with my writing too…DoA may still get to six hundred and sixty six volumes…

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