Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What To Define Before Looking For A Beta Reader

You have at least started writing your book. You are thinking about how to connect with Beta readers. Before you do that, think about what you want from these readers. You will want them to do a lot more than just read your book and make a few comments!

Beta readers have a significant place in the process of getting your book published, as do proofreaders and editors. Beta readers will give you feedback, point out any potential issues with your manuscript as far as readability and potential saleability, and help you to fine tune it for the proofreaders and editors.

Some things that you will want to take into consideration in a Beta reader is their familiarity with the genre you are writing in, how familiar they are with the publishing world, and that they are not so close to you that they may hesitate to tell you what they really think. You might also want to ask if they are regular readers - if so, they are coming to you with a solid background in the genre you are writing in. 

There is one no no that I would also like to mention here - you may want to think twice about asking someone from a critique group that you are in to be a Beta reader for your book. They have seen your book in progress, and heard other individual's critique of it. Ideally, you want your Beta readers to come in with no preconceived notions.

Beta readers should also be able to understand your writer's voice - not as it might be defined in a writing manual, but as you are actually writing. They need to be able to consistently follow that voice, and to be able to let you know when you are not being consistent.

Your Beta readers should also be able to understand the genre you are writing in, as well as be able to identify with locations referred to within your book. You need to have fresh eyes that will tell you whether what you have  written will hold within a particular locale. What flies in Denver, CO might not fly to well in Honolulu, HI.

In my next blog I will be discussing creating a format for the questions that you would like your Beta readers to respond to.

(c) April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproducton prohibited without written permission of the author.

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