Open Call for #BetaReaders! (Gods, golden guns, and diversity – sound like fun?)

I’m well-rested from my vacation week, and I seized that free time to finish Draft Six of Paradisa. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be polishing it, and then October means another beta round! Interested in becoming a beta? Keep reading ;)

What’s it about? Paradisa is a 90,000 word modern fantasy centered around mythological characters. In the realm of Paradisa, all deities from world’s religions, past and present, begrudgingly cohabitate. Despite their personal disagreements, most residents of Paradisa share a common goal of protecting and serving humanity. But now, this truce strains under the weight of a growing new evil – a monstrous entity and underground alliance which threatens both human and heavenly realms.

When Connor Bishara – an ex-SEAL whose life was ruined by DADT – has a permanently damaging encounter with this evil, he is left only two choices: join the fight and be cleansed of the damage, or run from the darkness until it kills him. Luckily for Connor, he has the help of a variety of allies, including the archangel Raphael, Greek gods Hephaestus and Aphrodite, and his college-aged sister Clara. With their combined strength, they will defend gods and men from the encroaching dusk…or watch helplessly as evil conquers a mission as old as time.

What is it like? In spirit, it can be compared to modern adventure fantasies like Artemis Fowl, Supernatural, Once Upon A Time, or even Doctor Who . This is not “urban” fantasy like Lost Girl or The Mortal Instruments nor is it “high” fantasy like Game of Thrones. I promise that unpronounceable names and leather clad werewolves are absent.

What does a beta do? Starting in early October, you will have 30 days to read the book and answer some survey questions. This is a content review only – not proofreading, copyediting, or line editing. You may provide commentary or margin notes, but that’s optional.

Who can apply? Anyone interested in the book who can return feedback by early November. I hope for a mix of both writers and casual readers, as well as a good spread of demographics in gender, age, and race. I would particularly appreciate the feedback of any LGBT, military, and/or Middle Eastern readers, as my protagonist is all of these things.

What format will the book be in? Any electronic form you request.

How do we sign up?. Email me at michelleiannantuono (at), or comment on this post before September 25th. Please provide your name, your email, and why you’re interested. And if we haven’t met, a little about yourself!

I wanted to beta, but you declined me :( Sorry, friend! I’m aiming for a diverse selection of 7-10 readers, so perhaps I already found someone similar to you. Or perhaps I chose someone who knew me less personally, due to their less obvious bias. Most likely, I’m picking on a somewhat first-come-first-serve basis, and there may be no slots left. I’ll be sure to keep you in mind for next time.

What did I get in return? My absolute willingness to beta a novel-length work of your own, at any time in the future. I also hope to provide a small token of my affection. If you live near me, maybe I’ll take you out to lunch. If you live far away, maybe an Amazon gift card. I know what I’m asking of you is a huge favor, so the best I can do is return the favor sometime for you.

Feel free to share, reblog, or link your friends to this post if you think they may be interested. I hope to reply to all interested parties as quickly as possible. Thanks guys!

7 thoughts on “Open Call for #BetaReaders! (Gods, golden guns, and diversity – sound like fun?)

  1. Alicia

    I’m am interested in becoming a beta reader because I think that beta readers are crucial to the process of getting a great book ready. I blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy books and would love to contribute during the process instead of after the fact.

    I have been in the Navy for 7 years, and I have been blogging for only 2 months. I am an obsessive reader and casual writer.

    Thanks, and good luck!

    • Nice to meet you, Alicia! You’re exactly what I’m looking for. :) I feel like Paradisa is almost aimed at fangirls, as I’m one myself, so you’re a really good representation of the audience I’m trying to find.

      I’ll add you to my list and email you all the important details in about three weeks. Are there any ebook formats you prefer? I like to give people epubs for formatting reasons, and encourage them to use a reader app like OverDrive Media Console or Kindle. But I can do pdf or doc if that’s easier for you. If you wanted to print it out and read a hard copy, then I’d recommend pdf.

      (PS – my dad is also a Navy veteran, which is one reason I wrote my main character as one. He always wanted me to be a nuke like him, but I was too much of a wimp. I admire your courage!)

      • I’m so glad I cam be a part of this with you! Being a Nuke is rough! I had the option, but steered way clear – it’s definitely not for everyone!
        I prefer Kindle, my email is
        I’m really looking forward to seeing your story!

      • My dad was a submarine Nuke, so he regularly did 3 month tours out on a sub. I can’t even imagine. And he’s really never had a low-stress job since.

        I actually live in Goose Creek, SC, where they have Naval Nuclear Power School. So Dad was practically begging me to go, haha, because I wouldn’t have to move or anything. He said that with my chemistry degree, I could be a teacher there and never have to step off land. I still keep that in mind in case I get laid off or something, but I saw what he had to go through in that field and….nah. I’ll stick with my casual, decently paying chem job and enjoy my free time being a writer ;)

      • Sounds like you know what works best for you! There definitely isn’t a lot of productive free time in the Navy. You are living in a beautiful area though! I’m glad you get the best of both worlds, and I envy how smart you are! I didn’t do so hot in my mandatory two semesters of chemistry…

    • I’m currently at 10, but I’ll be glad to count you in. It might be a good idea for me to include someone who participated last time – you’ll have a better perspective for how far it’s come (or, on the flipside, if I’ve lost something special from the previous version). I’m trying to have the round started by October 15th, so I’ll be in touch!

      (and don’t worry – since you’re a return beta, I will ask you far less survey questions this time :P)

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