LOVE READING BOOKS? THIS FOCUS GROUP IS FOR YOU!

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“Ever wanted to influence the next bestseller? If so, this post is for you!”

Hello. Remember me? Of course you do. It’s just been a while that’s all.  

If you’re an avid social media follower of mine, you’ll already know that I haven’t been slacking. I’ve been busy working hard on a relentless series of photoshoots culminating in a major vintage shoot that took place at a railway station just outside of Cambridge, England just last week.  But then, you already know about that because you’ve seen the photos, right?

Right?

Well, just in case you haven’t seen them, here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes photo of yours truly at work and a few of the end products for you to feast your eyes on and, of course, if you would like to see more then head on over to my Facebook page by clicking here.

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Behind the scenes on vintage location shoot in Cambridge, England. 

Vintage photoshoot at a railway station in Cambridge, England

And so, as you know, completion of my latest novel, the supernatural thriller, INCUBUS, was postponed earlier this year until 2019  so that I could spend some time focussing on my contribution to stock photography. (More details in my previous post – here)

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been involved in book writing.  In fact, rather interestingly, my recent travels have led me to meet many people, including an exceptional new thriller writer who goes by the name of J.K. Franko. 

What? You’ve never heard of him before? Don’t worry. You will.  Soon.

Which brings me to the subject for this post.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll probably remember a previous post where I shared details of my writing process (original post here). I wrote the post in response to the many requests I’ve received asking me about my writing process, part of which is to hand over early versions of my  manuscripts to a focus group to read in exchange for most valued feedback.

Well, good news folks! J.K. Franko is now offering a limited number of avid readers that same opportunity and, guess what, it’s going to be managed by yours truly!

That’s right. I am, on behalf of J.K. Franko, now looking for new members to join this new READER’S GROUP. So, if you like the idea of clapping eyes on material never seen before by the general public, love reading edge-of-your seat thrillers, then read on.

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Screen grab of Skype view from an American PSYCHOSIS focus group member joining other members at Casa Bella in England via Skype session.  

It takes a very special person (or reader) to be part of the READER’S GROUP. Equally a very brave writer to hand over his/her work to complete strangers for review. Think of a manuscript as a writer’s  baby. Then imagine, if you had a newborn, how would you feel about handing him or her over to bunch of strangers to examine and critique? It isn’t easy. But we do it because we want our books to be the best that they can be before they’re released to the general public. That’s why things, like confidentiality, are very important.

We are looking for readers who are able to see the ‘big picture’ and accept the latest draft of the manuscript for what it is, a work in progress, which means syntax, spelling, grammar at this stage, are irrelevant to the overall essence of the story.

We need members of the readers group that can be minded by the above and are also able to provide constructive feedback on the characters and story as a whole. Good or bad! Good is always welcome. Writing is a solitary business. Writers spend hours locked away, alone, agonising over plot, narrative and dialogue. They more than often have to be their own cheerleaders to see them through the self-doubt. They can be the worst  and harshest of self-critics in order to remain honest to the story and to the reader. So, any impartial positive feedback is most welcome validation after months of solitary work. Similarly, if something doesn’t read comfortably or if a character doesn’t ring true or if the story simply isn’t doing it for you, then we like to hear about that too.  Did the story make the reader feel happy, sad, angry, scared. When and how often? Did it make them laugh, cry, or yawn? Where and which parts were their favourite and least favourite? Which characters did they love, hate or didn’t even notice? And, what impact did the overall book have on them, if any?

So, are YOU this person?

If you believe you are then great! Fill in the application form below.

But, just before you do, please take a look at the following important information.

WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED OF YOU?

  1. Sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement)/ Declaration agreeing to the terms of Reader’s Group membership, promising to  keep the manuscript in your possession at all times and to not disseminate it to anyone. Not even members of your family!
  2. Commit to reading the manuscript within a specific timeframe (normally within 3 to 4 weeks).
  3. Commit to making notes throughout the reading process and to report these back to the READER’S GROUP at the READER’S GROUP MEETING.
  4. Commit to joining the READER’S GROUP FACEBOOK GROUP.
  5. Commit to joining us  from wherever you might be in the world! We’ve opened up applications to all avid readers!  The READER’S GROUP MEETING will be set up in such a way  so as to allow members to join via VIDEO CONFERENCE. So, wherever you’re situated, you can still take part, time zone permitting.
  6. To commit to posting “spark word” snapshots to the Facebook group throughout your reading experience about each chapter as you read them. These posts don’t need to be an essay, just a couple of words that reflect how you feel about a specific chapter. E.g. PROLOGUE – “Awesome” or “Hard going”. These “spark words” will then be used as additional topics for discussion during the meeting, as well as potential ‘quotes’ for the book cover
  7. To commit to completing the manuscript questionnaire immediately after you have finished reading the manuscript, so that we may capture exactly how you felt about the read.

The focus group meeting will take place on  Saturday, 1st December 2018 at 14:00 GMT.

Full FOCUS GROUP MEMBER guidelines and declaration information will  be published to the FACEBOOK READER’S GROUP once you have been accepted into the group.

In return,  you’ll receive a free copy of the book upon its publication featuring your name, as Reader’s Group Member, on the Acknowledgments page and, if you’re attending the Casa Bella meeting, endless tea and cake!

So, if you love to read, are able to commit to the above, have a friendly, outgoing personality and don’t mind speaking in front of a group of people, then we want to hear from you. Fill in the following form and upload a current picture of yourself NOW!

 

 

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For ease, you can join us by video conference but if you're here in England, you're more than welcome to visit us at Casa Bella in Cambridgeshire for tea and cake!
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