BETA READERS NEEDED! > 13,000-word mystery/horror novella

Hi, folks. I’m looking for beta readers for my newest book —”Doll Factory” (working title).

It’s a 13,000-word MYSTERY/HORROR novella following a hapless manager who discovers a macabre secret in his factory —a mysterious object that will haunt his thoughts and dreams, acting as an omen about really bad, apocalyptic things to come.

That’s the very short premise. I’m working on a good, catchy summary for my story, but the marketing side of my work always takes a lot of time (especially considering that’s not my “mojo”).

Here’s a more complete summary for now:


“This is the story of a little man who’s quite happy with his life —or who did a really good job convincing himself of his happiness.

Nothing ever changes… and nothing ever needs to: his job is easy, his pay is fair, his life is simple, and his workers are docile and compliant.

In the large, sprawling factory he calls home, everything makes sense, everyone is at peace.

Until, one night, he hears something: a long hiss; a pesky buzz which shouldn’t be there.

As the night grows thick and the dark spirits of his factory grow restless, he inspects the source of this mysterious noise… and finds something eerie hidden in one of the many engines of his production lines.

Something which brings with it an omen; one could even say a “curse.”

Something that’ll hunt this poor man until he decides to take some ACTION in his life… and avert that dreary fate that awaits the factory and all those who toil in it.

In this Lovecraftian tale of alienation and self-discovery, this one man will unearth the secrets of his dark, twisted world, and fight to free his fellow workers… before it’s too late.


As you can see, Lovecraft’s cosmic horror is a major influence in this story. I’ve got this tagline stuck in my head —”Lovecraft meets steampunk”— mostly because of its industrial, anachronistic setting.

The filmmaker Christopher Nolan was another major inspiration, especially his short film “Doodlebug,” (which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtDGJI32k2k. WARNING: watching it might SPOIL the “big reveal” in my story).

His films “Memento,” “The Prestige” and “Inception” are also big sources I drank from.

So, if you like cosmic horror and steampunk, I’d think you’ll like this book.

The same goes for anyone who digs “The Trial” and “The Metamorphosis” (Franz Kafka’s books), “Bloodborne” or “Dark Souls” (games), “Melancholia” (Lars von Trier film), and light surrealism with a bit of self-deprecating, “Woody Allen-esque” humor sprinkled throughout.


The work is quite short and a breeze to read through. I’m looking for beta readers who will help me see the flaws I otherwise can’t —one can only correct so much after enough revisions, I mean.

I want to know what works and what doesn’t. I need thorough guidance and honest advice, and I welcome any type of feedback you can provide.

An ideal timeframe for your feedback would be 2 WEEKS after receiving the work (again, the book is pretty short). There’ll be copies available on Google Drive, .doc, .pdf, Amazon Kindle or Kobo… any medium that’s easiest for you to read. 😉

You can be as detailed or a quick in your criticisms as you want —though the former is *definitely* better for me. 😀

You can provide criticism on a per chapter basis OR for the whole story OR scribbled in a stream of consciousness —basically, any way you want.

Please don’t be afraid of hurting my feelings. As long as you remain civil, you can rip my work apart as much as you see fit (I’m a big boy; I can take it).

I hope you enjoy my work. Please DM or e-mail me (dcysne@gmail.com) if you’re interested.

I’m also open to SWAP beta-reading for works of similar size (10-15k words).

Thank you so much for your attention! See you soon! 😉 😀

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