James J Cudney


James J Cudney, 25th March 2019 at 12:34am on mail

Author of Academic Curveball

Authors rely on alpha and beta readers to help with a tremendous variety of tasks while they’re writing a novel. Sometimes, it’s character or plot analysis. Other times, it’s providing feedback on word choice, verifying the consistency of events, or suggesting when pacing is off. And quite often, it’s detailed proofreading to locate missing words, duplicate phrases, out of order items, spelling issues, or grammatical errors. Digital Reads has provided all these services and more for three books in my latest series, the Braxton Campus Mysteries.

Shalini is an incredibly focused reader who’s reviewed and analyzed at least three drafts of each book to date. She takes great time to consider all angles, including pushing me to decide why I’ve included a red herring or chosen specific details in describing a setting or character. She understands how to offer feedback that is neutral, rather than stating what she does or doesn’t like, by showing me where I should spend time revisiting what I’m trying to achieve in a specific scene. This is the kind of beta reader we all need supporting a book in its early and final stages — one who loves what she does and knows how to be a partner.

Beyond suggesting places I might want to change or edit, Shalini provides dozens of comments on what elements are working well in the story. I love reading her thoughts (tracked in comments throughout my work) on a first draft because she reveals what’s percolating inside head along the path. Then, when she discovers what was really happening in the scene, she can reflect back with clever insight and detailed opinions. I highly recommend Digital Reads Library without any hesitation, and I plan to continue working with her on each new book I write.