Monday, June 27, 2016

You Asked: What the Heck is a Beta Reader? Do I Need One?

Beta ReaderWelcome to another,  You Asked, the Experts Answer, segment.  This week’s question is: What are Beta Readers and do I need one?

A Beta Reader is someone who reads your manuscript before you release it and provides feedback.  Similar to technology companies who release software updates to Beta Testers so they can work out the bugs before releasing the software to everyone. A Beta Reader does the same sort of thing for you. It’s a test run of your manuscript and the personal impressions of the reader.

Is it the Same as a Critique?

No. Critiques, are more in depth and are focused on grammar, plot holes, and the mechanics of writing.

A Beta Reader focuses on reading your manuscript. Feedback received includes their overall impression and any glaring mistakes. They will also provide a review after the book is released.

Do I Need One?

Based on what publishers and other experts say, yes. For those who choose to self-publish, using Beta Readers is, particularly, important. By the time we’ve finished a manuscript, our eyes stop seeing the holes or mistakes. Beta Readers are your test readers. Sending a book out into the world without utilizing this valuable resource can make or break your book’s success.

Where To Find Beat Readers

  1. Social networking with other authors and writers in your genre. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook Groups are all excellent.
  2. GoodReads has an online Beta Reader Group.
  3. A local group.
  4. Fellow Bloggers.

Things to Remember:

  • Beta Readers should not be family or close friends.
  • They should, ideally, be within the target audience for your book –  age, gender, genre, and interest.
  • They’re avid readers.

Want More? Check out these other great posts on Beta Readers.

Coming soon, a request for Beta Readers for my soon-to-be-released Collection of Short Stories. More about that later. Until then, I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram.

Filed under: Tips and Resources for Writers, Writing, You Asked Series Tagged: #amwriting, #asksheila, #betareaders, Writing tips

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