Tag Archive | beta readers

Working With Beta Readers

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Episode 5 of Mark Coker’s Apple Podcasts is about working with beta readers – A very important part of every writer’s process. Or it should be.

In this episode you’ll learn how to recruit beta readers, how to craft your questionnaire to collect the right feedback, and you’ll learn time-saving strategies to complete the round with minimal hassle.

Here are links to access the podcast:

Happy writing and editing!

my imageCKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

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

Ah. So THAT’S what revision means.

I really enjoy the revision process, too. I hope you do as well. It is very necessary in the whole book production process. Don’t forget, there will be more revisions once you give it to others to read.

A Desk In A Most Convergent Corner: The Writing Blog of B.C. Laybolt

Well, revision of the first draft of To Drown in Sand is properly underway. While my theme editor, the amazing Chad Horton, performs his surgery, I’m working through each scene with surprise and a sense of wonder.

After following Mr. King’s advice, and not touching or looking at the manuscript since about September (alright, I’m fibbing. I may have tweaked and toggled bits here and there, but nothing committed. I actually dug pretty deeply into the sequel), I pulled out my copy of the book and my red pen, took a deep breath, and flipped open the last scene. I like to rewrite backwards, apparently.

I admit to thinking that the manuscript actually wouldn’t need much.

Which is great. Because, in this case, I’m glad I was wrong.

I didn’t really know what revision was. But after researching it thoroughly, and discovering how critical it is to the process, I’m…

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