A couple years ago, my newsletter column for the month was “Six Types of Books in My Library.” In summary, this is how I viewed my books:
- Books Worth Keeping: I enjoyed them once, and I’ll read them again.
- Reference Materials: Books with information I want to keep.
- Books I Plan to Read: I really do intend to read them – someday. read more>>
We wrap up this series of posts about beta readers by answering the essential question of where to find a beta reader.
Relatives: Our family is often a great place to start. While not every family member would make a great beta reader, there are likely some relatives who would enjoy it and provide helpful feedback. Family members, however, may not be as critical as needed, since they want to encourage us and don’t want to hurt our feelings. Even so, relatives are a great source to give our work its first read. read more>>
In this series on beta readers, let’s shift our focus from beta readers to ourselves. Quite simply, are we ready for beta reader feedback? Here are some underlying questions to ask ourselves before we seek beta readers:
Is Our Book Ready? We’ll waste beta readers’ time if our book is not the best it can be when we seek feedback. And once we’ve wasted their time, they’ll not likely want to help us anymore. We honor them by giving them our best work. read more>>
We’ve talked about the importance of beta readers and what to look for in a beta reader, now let’s consider what we should expect from beta readers. Discussing these items ahead of time will avoid frustration later.
Timeframe: How quickly can beta readers give feedback? While we generally want to hear back right away, this is seldom realistic, so agreeing to the turnaround time in advance sets reasonable expectations. read more>>
Last week we talked about the importance of beta readers to give feedback on our books. I hope you’re as sold on the idea as I am.
The next step is finding beta readers – not just any one but the right ones. If we pick a beta reader who isn’t a good match, they could do more harm than good, both for our book and for our career. The ideal beta reader should: read more>>
The more people who provide feedback on our books the better. Of course, to be of benefit, this needs to happen before publication, when there is time to make changes. Although review by various types of editors (each pass focusing on different elements) is essential, basic feedback is first needed to work out the kinks, spot embarrassing errors, and correct deficiencies before handing it over to professionals. The more work we do before editors do theirs, the more they can do to improve it.
Once we do all we can ourselves, beta readers can give us critical feedback to make our book better before we move to the next step. read more>>