As a part of our indie experiment, I have had the good fortune to begin working with someone who is a published author and works in the book space. He has seen this process from both sides.
For the time being, I will refer to him as Mr. T.
Mr. T has strongly recommended, convinced me, that I should submit Eye for Eye to a focus group for review. The idea is NOT to test the subject matter or see if the “ending works” or anything along those lines. The idea—as pitched to me—is much higher level.
Basically, we are going to get a group of people who read thrillers to read Eye for Eye and provide feedback as to whether they like it, would recommend it, would read a sequel.
Up to this point, I have had about six people read the book (beta readers), and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. But, these people all know me. And, while I believe they are being honest about their impressions of the book, I know that it’s impossible to separate who wrote it from how it reads.
It’s just human nature—it’s natural for there to be some bias, however tiny.
So, the focus group will be reading the book. They will post feedback as to what they are feeling or experiencing as they read. And then there will be a big meeting at which they will be debriefed by Mr. T.