Getting our writing critiqued is a vital learning process for writers. Through feedback, authors can mould their novel into a piece of work that’s coherent and has marketable appeal. Beta Reader’s response can help to judge which part of your book will work for your audience and those that may not.
I’ve wanted a Beta Reader for quite some time, but had no idea of how to go about it. Can we rely on our family and friends to be honest? Probably not, I tend to sugar coat things for those I care about.
How do we find Beta Readers?
Blogger Ari Meghlem recently asked this question on Facebook. Reaching out on social media is a great way of finding Beta Readers. It’s daunting. It requires bravery and a little common sense.
Finding the right reader is a vital first step. There’s no point in asking someone to read your genre if they don’t like it. Their feedback will be less than helpful. Ask questions and build a relationship. Your ideal reader should be similar to your target audience.
Here are my 3 tips for working with your Beta Reader.
Develop a list of questions that you’d like answered. These might be about plot, pacing, strength of character, or the organisation of the stories concept. Your checklist should meet the specific needs of each book you write. As a great starting point for question inspiration, go check out some of my ideas on these Pinterest boards.
Learnt to love negative feedback
Not everyone will like your work. So you shouldn’t revise your book based entirely on one person’s perspective. Gaining different points of views can help pinpoint the areas that need working on. And as hard as it can be, ask yourself: Will addressing the issues make your book better? Sometimes accepting the truth hurts, but that’s how we grow and learn. So remember to thank your beta readers, and embrace their feedback.
Return the Favour
Offer to work in tandem with your BETA reader. Or consider returning the favour at a later date. By reading someone else’s work you can gain experience at reading with a critical eye. This will be invaluable when editing your own WIP.
I want to say a huge warm thanks to Ari for agreeing to beta read my first novel, her feedback so far has been fantastic. You can read Ari’s previous guest blog post Here.
Thanks for reading my post. Do you have any tips on working with beta readers? If so, please share.
© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.