What is a beta reader and do I need one?
I’ve been hearing a lot about beta readers lately, which got me wondering if I needed one (or more). First off, what is a beta reader? From what I gather, it’s basically someone who takes your book for a test drive and gives you feedback before you officially launch your book for publication. It sounds like a good idea, but I’m still up in the air with whether or not recruiting beta readers is for me. How should I select my beta readers? How many beta readers should I have? My book has technically already been published and I’m polishing it so I can have it republished and available for sale on the Kindle. Should I utilize beta readers in this case? If so, at what point?
I’m about 60 percent complete with editing and polishing “Pursuit of a Dream” and thought about seeking out a few beta readers among my network of writer friends. I have no idea where to begin and I’m not sure if now is a good time to have beta readers test drive the first half of my book and then the second half later or what. So, with all of those questions going through my mind, I decided to post this on my site and see what my fellow writers suggest.
What do you suggest?
I calling out to my fellow writer peeps out there and asking for your help in guiding me in the right direction. If you have in the past or are currently using beta readers as part of your publishing process, please let me know how you felt the process went. How did using a beta reader help you? How did you go about finding a beta reader(s)? And last, but not least, did you send them the entire manuscript upfront or did you feed it to them in pieces?
While I do not have a goal of writing for a living, I do want to produce quality work when I’m writing. I know I still have a lot to learn, and I really don’t have an unbiased group that can trust to honestly judge my work. My closest friends and family will, of course, tell me that my book was great; they loved it. One honestly told me that while he thought the writing was good, he just couldn’t get into the story. I enjoyed writing “Pursuit of a Dream” and I hope others will enjoy reading it, too. But before I continue writing “Book 2”, I want to make sure I’m going in the right direction. So, the beta reading process may or may not be the answer.
Would you be interested in beta reading “Pursuit of a Dream”?
That’s where my network of reading/writing friends comes in. Assuming I decide to have some beta readers take “Pursuit of a Dream” out for a test drive, would you be interested? If so, let me know. I’m really interested in getting some honest feedback on my book to help me improve my writing and to gauge what’s working and what needs a tune up. And don’t worry, I have pretty thick “shark” skin. I believe any constructive criticism (good or bad) is healthy for a writer.
I appreciate any guidance, suggestions, advice and general comments regarding the beta reading process. Thanks for visiting my site and I look forward to hearing from you!