The Child of the Volgs Beta-Read

I am seeking beta-readers for my novel, The Child of the Volgs! As a beta-reader, you get the opportunity to read the book one chapter at a time and provide me with feedback. It's an opportunity to be involved in the writing process, and (hopefully) enjoy a good book in the process. Read on for details.

About the book:
Felitïa just wanted to be a wizard—so much so that she was willing to run away from a life of wealth and privilege to become one. She never expected it to be a simple life, but she also never expected to develop unreliable telepathic powers, or for worshippers of the god of darkness and death to come after her, calling her “Will-Breaker” and seeking the location of someone she doesn’t know. On top of this, her best friend harbours dark secrets, and she’s started having memories of people she’s never met before. Everything starts to come together when she meets a young boy with unexplained powers. When Volgs, creatures out of legend itself, kidnap the boy, Felitïa decides enough is enough. If her enemies are going to keep calling her Will-Breaker, it’s about time she lived up to the name.

The Child of the Volgs is the first part of The Will-Breaker, an epic fantasy series of magic, mystery, adventure, and romance. It contains a diverse cast of characters of various personalities, races, genders, and sexualities.

Content warnings: violence (some graphic), swearing and other harsh language, sexual references, and some (mostly implied) sex.

This is not a first draft. This is the 3rd complete draft, though some sections of the book (particularly the opening chapters) have gone through multiple additional revisions. However, it has not yet had a professional edit. The book is 42 chapters and just under 290 000 words long. I am aware this is a long book, and future revisions may look at reducing the length, but for now, I am interested in feedback on its current form.

My Beta-Reading Process:

If you are interested in beta-reading for me, the process will be as follows:
  1. I will send you the book in pdf format and you agree to read it.
  2. When you finish the book, let me know as soon as possible and I will send you a questionnaire for your feedback. If you would prefer to do an interview instead of a written questionnaire, let me know and we can arrange something.
  3. Be honest in your responses and feel free to say as much as you wish. Try to provide reasons with your responses, though your responses do not need to be long. “I don’t know” or “I have no opinion” are acceptable responses. Feel free to include comments about topics not on the questionnaire if you so desire.
  4. If, for any reason, you are unable to finish reading the entire book, that’s fine. I ask only that you let me know you won’t be completing it. You do not have to provide a reason. If you would like to provide feedback on the portion of the book you did read (however short or long), you are welcome to do so.
  5. The expected time-frame of the process is about 3 months. I will send you periodic reminders (about once a month). If you have not completed it in 3 months, that’s fine (I understand that life can get busy), though I will inquire at that time how much longer you expect to need.
  6. Please note that The Child of the Volgs is my property and by beta reading, you agree not to plagiarise or steal my work.
If this looks like something you’d like to be a part of, please send me an email at, direct message on Twitter (@MRayJohnson), or message me on goodreads, and I’ll send you the first chapter. Please include an email address to send chapters to.

Thanks so much for your interest in my writing. The Child of the Volgs has been an on-and-off labour of love for me for many years, and I’m excited to be reaching the final stages. For those of you who take part, I hope you enjoy the ride!

Michael Ray Johnson
March 2019


  1. Have you published this book yet? It seems interesting and worth a look see.

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