Let me start by sharing what led me to start the Zak Bates Eco-Adventure Series so you’ll understand why this series has such a special place in my heart. My love for reading science fiction and fantasy started the summer before I entered the fourth grade shortly after my widowed mother moved us to Raleigh, North Carolina. It didn’t take long before our new neighbor took pity on my harried mom who I was driving crazy begging her to come out and play. You see, my older brother had quickly connected with friends his own age and left me feeling like an only child with no one to play with but her.

Enter Mrs. Crabtree, our neighbor who also just happened to be the children’s librarian at the main library in Raleigh. Noticing the drama across the fence, she brought over a stack of books hand-picked to appeal to a young boy my age.

Of course, I was far from receptive to the notion or reading anything during the summertime, but when my mom boycotted playing with me until I’d at least given the books a chance, I reluctantly agreed. Picking up that first book was like a bear trap clamping down on my imagination. In short, I was hooked.

Fast forward to 2019. Ghost Elephant is book #3 of the Zak Bates Eco-Adventure series. While the series is intended primarily for middle-grade kids (think14-16-year-old teenagers), I’ve found many adults also enjoy the series, especially animal lovers and folks who are young at heart.

Is that you? Read on to find out if you’d make a good beta reader.

What Makes a Super Beta Reader

You’re likely to be a good beta reader for this series if:

  • You’re someone who enjoys contemporary fantasy for teenagers and/or enjoys lighthearted adventure stories that involve animals, magic, and adventure. After all, the Eco-adventure Team is made up of the last living magic cat, her flying dog companion, along with teenagers Zak Bates, and Allie George.
  • You are also someone who will give specific feedback; what you like and enjoy, AND what doesn’t work or could be stronger.
  • While not required but a real plus: It will be helpful if you are on Facebook since it’s likely I’ll have a private Facebook group to facilitate the process. Also, if you know how to read and comment about documents that are loaded to Google Docs or are willing to learn, that will be great. NOTE: I can also provide the story as a PDF, mobi (Kindle), or epub if you prefer to read offline, and then provide your input either on the Google Doc or by email.

Why You May Want to be a Beta Reader?

Well, first off, many avid readers find that it’s fun. After all, you will get to be a part of making this book for young people as awesome and entertaining as possible while also educating them behind the scenes about some important environmental manmade challenges.

You’ll also get the story before anyone else. Granted, it won’t be in its final polished form, but you’ll be able to help polish it. I’ll also make the first two books of the series (Dominion Over All and Endangered).

You’ll also have the opportunity to put your experience as an avid reader into service for future avid readers.

But What About the Book, Ghost Elephant?

Oh yeah, you probably want to know a little about this third Zak Bate’s book. Well, Zak and his eco-adventure team travel to South Africa this time on an urgent mission to save a very special baby elephant from being captured or murdered by poachers.  Nia Gaines is a new member who joins them in this quest. Click Here to read the rough draft of the opening scene and meet this remarkable young girl.  I believe it’s the most exciting and harrowing mission so far.

One Last Thing

If you want to be kept in the know about all things Zak Bates related (and other stories I pen under my W. Bradford Swift name, join the WBS list and receive a free copy of Ra-Kit’s Initiation, a prequel to the Zak Bates Eco-adventure series. Just CLICK HERE or click on the book cover image. And yes, you can be on the list without being a beta reader.

So, Are You Ready to Join the Beta Reader Team?

Joining the beta team is simple. Simply complete the short form below.