Tag Archive | belinda pollard

What makes a good Beta Reader?

image from jmdeditorial.co.uk

image from jmdeditorial.co.uk

Belinda has some very good points about what to look for in a beta reader – I think the most important point is that they read – a lot. Someone who reads a lot knows what stories are supposed to “sound” like when they are read, even if they don’t know why. And they don’t have to know the why’s of a good book, that’s the authors job. But they can point out areas in the ms when the author isn’t hitting the mark, or when the author has strayed (“That part was a bit slow.” or “I found myself wanting to skip this part.”…)

I usually have different readers who are good a differenr things. I have one friend who is very good at picking up grammar and punctuation errors. This is helpful to me because if I can fix those things before I send the ms to the editor then that is less time the editor has to take with my manuscript, which then saves me money on my edit. I have another friend who is good at picking up on what’s good or not so good with the story itself – if I should have given more detail in some place or went over too long in another place.

What Belinda doesn’t mention is how many readers you should have for your book. I would recommend at least three and more if you can find them. I say this for two reason.

1. I am constantly amazed how people read the same material differently and find different things.

2. Not everyone you ask to read is going to give you what you’re looking for, so the more people you have reading, the better your chances of getting good feedback.

Another important thing to remember is to give your beta readers some instructions about what you want or don’t want them to do. If they have agreed to read your ms then they want to help you. Give them a heads up and let them know what kind of feedback you’re looking for. This helps them focus and not get totally lost in the story. And your instructions might not be the same for each reader, either.

And last but not least – thank them – profusely! A dinner, bottle of wine, chocolates… whatever suits their fancy, and be sure to give them a copy of the book, once it’s done (assuming they liked it :)) Hopefully they will be willing to help you again, and again.

What makes a good Beta Reader? | @Belinda_Pollard.

my image Christine Keleny of CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Why are book editors so expensive?

Belinda Pollard has laid out the process and time commitment very well for an editor such as myself, along with the angst of having to pay for one myself, as a writer.

But it’s a very necessary part of the process if you’re serious about being taken seriously as a writer.

My daughter – an avid reader and very good student – recently agree to read a book for an author that contacted me for a review (I didn’t have time but my daughter did). My daughter has come up with a very long list of things this author missed including words misspelled and a error in a reference to the battle of Troy. This author said she did an edit swap with a fellow writer, which obviously didn’t cost her anything except her reputation as a writer. A pretty high cost in my book (pun intended). Unfortunately, she published the book before she asked for reviews. Hopefully not many people have seen it yet because it needs a lot of work, work an editor would have picked up on before potential readers had seen it.

I know it’s an expense, but it is one of those things that you get what you pay for.

Why are book editors so expensive?? | @Belinda_Pollard.

Beta Reader, what’s that?

This is a little (and I mean little) post on beta readers. If you don’t know what a beta reader is, don’t worry. I have used them but didn’t know the chic, book-world term I was supposed to call them. If you click on the Bibliocrunch link below, you’ll learn all about them. What you will also see is a bit better link to a blog by Belinda Pollard. His post will discuss what makes a good beta reader. I particularly like her comment of finding someone who knows the difference in “proper” English and the writers voice. They are not always the same thing. When you do find a good beta reader, be nice to them, very nice to them! They are wonderful people and a must have for any writer whether if you are going to self-publish or go the traditional route.

BiblioCrunch | Self Publishing Blog.