So I’ve been at this for five years and thought I had a good idea how things worked and the tools available to assist with publication. I was wrong. I read a blog by Joynell Schultz this past week that mentioned using a Beta Reader. I had never heard of that term.
I can talk all day about dialogue, settings, character development, on-the-nose-writing, head bopping. I think you get the idea. I’ve been so busy learning how to write and getting my manuscript ready that I haven’t put a lot of time and effort in to the getting it published side of things.
So I am hoping to have my work ready to go in about three months. I am doing one more read through with minor revisions and then hope to have it reviewed before I send it in again.
With this in mind I thought I should follow up and find out just what a Beta Reader is. I have had family and friends read my work in the past but they are not always the best people to ask to read your work. They care about you and have a tendency to overlook flaws in your work. Also, most of your friends and family probably don’t understand the craft. If you’ve been writing for a while you know there’s more to it than putting pen to paper.
So Beta Readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by Beta Readers include things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterizations or believability, in fiction or non-fiction. Beta Readers might also help the author with fact-checking.
A good Beta Reader would be a person who would buy and read your book if it were on the market. This person would also know more about the writing craft than you.
Places to find Beta Readers include Scribofile, Wattpad or a local writing/critique group (meetup.com). You may have to pay a small fee for a Beta Reader but many will review your work for free.
I do plan to discuss Beta Readers a little more in my next post. Hope this helped someone on the journey. I would love to hear any comments or suggestions to make my blog more useful.
Please consider following me and press the follow button at the bottom of the page. You will received emails whenever I update or write a new blog.