I’m a big fan of beta readers, and especially of MY beta readers. This is the method I used to brief my beta team for amazing results on my latest book project.
Every time I post about beta readers and how wonderful and essential they are, I get more requests for how to find some.
People want quick answers. Their manuscript is ready to be critiqued NOW. And as many of us know, the best betas can be hard to find.
This brings me to the brutal truth about beta readers…
Beta readers are those wonderful people (often volunteers) who read and critique the manuscripts of our books. Chosen carefully, briefed effectively and “heard” with discernment, I regard them as the superheroes of self-publishing. They can provide forms of editing – especially in the developmental stages of a book – that many self-publishers miss out on.
Traditionally-published writers need beta readers, too. You’ll find that most successful authors have at least one and often a team of them, whether they are other writers, editors, or trusted advisors who read their work before it reaches the publisher.
Last time in our beta reader series, we talked about a wise general approach to briefing a beta reader. This time, let’s look at some tips for the logistical side of your briefing.
I’ve heard horror stories of people receiving snarky and offensive beta reports on their manuscripts — the kind of thing that can crush your soul. I’ve also known of beta reports that were so fluffy and insubstantial that they were a waste of everyone’s time.
Beta readers are those superheroes who read the manuscript for our novel, memoir or non-fiction book, and give targeted feedback to help us improve it. (Check out my beta reader series for more.)
Some beta readers are just a bad match to a particular writer or book. But often, that’s not the cause of those disappointing beta reports.
What’s the secret to getting a beta report you can actually use? I’ve found that the key is in the briefing. A thoroughly briefed beta reader, even one who is inexperienced or lacks confidence, can often give useful tips, if they know exactly what you want.
Beta Readers are those wonderful people who critique your manuscript, usually as an exchange — they read yours and you read theirs. Many people are not quite sure of the best time in the development of their book to ask for a beta read. This timeline — adapted from the traditional publishing process — can help you plan your project.
A Beta Reader critiques your manuscript, and provides feedback to help you improve it. Lots of people will suggest asking a beta reader to copy edit your work. I don’t recommend that, and here’s why.
How do you find a good beta reader or “test pilot” to critique your manuscript, preferably for free? Finding the ideal beta reader can be a challenge. But here are some tips for where to start.
A good beta reader can help you make your book manuscript 10 times better than it was before. But where do you find one of these magical creatures?
A beta reader gives you feedback on your finished manuscript, so you can adjust it before you set it loose on the world. These are the reasons why every writer needs beta readers.