(Wed07) Beta testing 2.0 In the old days, companies carefully screened and selected their beta sites. Some even made beta sites sign non-disclosure agreements. This even applied to books--most publishers would kill authors who provided an electronic copy of their book to strangers.
That was beta testing 1.0. Let me provide some stats about beta testing 2.0. About a week ago I shared a post asking 1,100,000 of my closest friends on Google+ to beta test my next book, What the Plus!. 241 people signed up in twenty-four hours.
I sent the Word file manuscript to all of them. Approximately 100 returned the file with comments within a week. Not counting duplicates, this is what they found:
- 147 grammatical and spelling mistakes
- 27 factual errors
And I implemented 67 suggestions on how to make the book better.
The book will soon go to a copyeditor. I'm sure she would have caught the 147 errors and will find even more. Still, as a matter of pride, I like to submit a manuscript to the copyeditor in what I consider "perfect" condition--even though I know it's far from that.
The 27 factual errors are a different story. Many required in-depth knowledge of Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Ditto for the 67 suggestions on how to make the book better.
Some thoughts on the process:
- These 100 people made What the Plus! much better.
- I didn't know most of these people in advance. I could have never found them without sharing a post to 1,100,000 "strangers."
- I probably gained somewhere between 100 and 240 evangelists for the book.
This is one of the beauties of self-publishing: You can do crazy things like this. (Although the truth is that I did a similar thing with Enchantment and just didn't tell my publisher.)
These are the 102 people:
Michele Abraham, Matt Acuff, Zach Alcorn, Jeff Angcanan, Terry Babij, Jennifer Bailey, Mike Bainbridge, Leonardo Benveniste, Lici Beveridge, Jan Borgwardt, Darla Brown, Tim Burrows, Roland Byrd, Pat Byrne, Matt Campbell, Arjun Chandrappa, Jonathan Chu, Katie Clark, Marlies Cohen, Michael Cunningham, Paul Diederman, Kenken Clarin, Robert Coller, Kishore Dandu, Jerry M. Denman, Ben Diaz, Jeff Dorchester, Tracey Edgar, Jon Elbery, Brandy Ellis, Connie Feil, Bryan Fuselier, John Gallagher, Sriram Gopalan, Greg Gorman, Hugh Grace, Matt Gray, Terrie Gray, Jon Greer, Dawn Groves, Hakan Gül, Jose Hanchi, Jophn Heckendorn, Sidhartha Herdegen, Dave Hidding, Adam Howard, Kim Josephs, Jeremie Kanter, Jennifer Karr, Josh Keene, Scott Knaster, Remo Kommnick, Kimberly Lau, Gary Lee, Ken Lee, Steven Lowe, Allison Makowski, Dusko Maksimovic, Daniel Mandel, Didier J. Mary, Chrisann Merriman, Linda Michels, Allen Moran, Rollin Morris, Marc Myton, Nasir Naeem, Chetan Naik, Claudia Neumann, Brandon Odegard, Gary Oppenhuis, Dan O’Shea, Yashdeep Patil, Jessica Pierce, Frank Ouimette, Yashdeep Patil, Katherine Pereira, Crystal Ponti, Peter Prescot, Tzafrir Rehan, Neil Roberts, Paul Roustan, Silvino Pires dos Santos, Daiva Rackauskiene, Jacqueline Samoise, Jeff Schultz, Joseph Siewruk, Bob Soltys, Martha Spelman, Keith Spiro, Patrick Stainier, Tara Stuttler, Jirapong Supasaovapak, Thomas Tenkely, Chet Thaker, David Thomas, Hal Thompson, Pat Toal, Alvin Toro, Pablo Valcárcel, Danielle Violot, Lisa Williams, Scott Yates, Aygul Zagidullina, Keivan Zolfaghari.