SOOO I promised to report back..
I plan Monday to send the book to my editor. Since posting looking for Pre-Readers (see previous thread) the following has happened:
My wife made the first edit pass. She handles the "easy" stuff (then/than, to/too, said instead of ask, etc). She does a great job of pre-editing before the professional editor gets the book. This saves us money cause our editor charges by effort needed. Plus it frees up the editor for the harder stuff like over used expressions, and etc.
While she did that we have had several pre readers.
1) A reader that has read every book and enjoyed the series. This reader sent no negative comments in about the book in the pre-read. None. Sent positive comments about things they liked, but that is it.
2) Some one that previously not read my books, and only read book four (and 1) for this pre-read. This person sent about four pages of MS Word typed feed back. They found some things that I changed, and some things that they were confused about that was a product of not reading the first three books. This pre-reader was very useful.
3) Another pre-reader that also was new to my series but took the time to read all the back books before reading the new volume. This reader also sent several pages (think 4 also actually) of feed back and I did make changes here to. This one had a lot less confusion then #2.
4) A fan of the series that has sent critical advice in the past. This person has yet to actually read the book or send any feed back.
5) A fan of the series that has given useful comments in the past. This person only made it about 70% through the book, but did find things that every else missed and I made corrections based on that feed back. Hoping to get one last update from this reader before I send the book to the editor.
So that is where that stands. I think it was very successful first try at this. I would suggest it to others. I am currently working on my fifth novel and likely will do this again.
Some comments on the results
1) With the exception of #3, all my pre-readers noted that my characters were a bit too good, #3 told me my good guys were "brutal". Still trying to reconcile that one
2) There was very little over lap in the findings. By that I mean The things that #3 found that needed fixing, no one else reported. Same for the others. I would say around 90% of feed back from each was unique to them.
3) About 1/2 of them saw little to no grammar/editing issues, and 1/2 said.. yeah your editor will have fun with this.
Shows the difference in level of tolerance for these things
4) Everyone wanted feed back on their feed back.
5) I tend to cut/leave stuff out that I think is distraction or boring to the plot lines - most pre-reader confusion comes form the stuff I left out, or was too subtle about. I guess you can edit too much.