Stephanie Snow’s post, Care and Feeding of Beta Readers, could not have come at a better time. I’m currently working with a few beta readers on a story collection I’m in the process of self-publishing. Her tips are excellent. Give Stephanie a shout out at Bare Knuckle Writer and as always, I’d love to hear your comments.
DO: give thematically-appropriate gifts.
DO give them a properly formatted, grammatically-correct, spell-checked manuscript.* It’s annoying as hell to wade through someone’s poor grammar to try and understand their story.
DON’T respond to critiques about poor formatting, poor grammar, misspellings, or misused words with “that’s just how I like to do it.” That’s fine if you’re journalling just for yourself, but the second you give someone a manuscript to read you’re on their time and you owe it to them to follow the rules of engagement. Also, you sound like an entitled twat.**
DO include any relevant reference material. Maps (especially for alternate world settings) and glossaries are useful for understanding some stories.
DON’T foist your whole world-building bible off on them so they can be awed by your genius. They won’t be.
DO offer compensation. Some don’t want it, but you should still offer. It doesn’t have to be money…
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