Who are beta readers and what do they do?
Since beta readers are usually strangers, they provide unbiased comments, whereas our family and friends don’t want to hurt our feelings. Beta readers come from different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common. They like to read.
Below are some details about working with betas.
* Send your manuscript to the beta using Google Doc, print, or e-reader, but always send your finest work. Critique groups can help get it the best it can be.
* Send a questionnaire with your manuscript listing areas you want focused on i.e. character growth, dialogue real and natural, etc. Since many betas read for content, inform the beta before you send your manuscript if you want something else.
* When you receive the beta’s suggestions, remember, we all have different tastes. Discuss any comments that you don’t understand. Later review their remarks. Use only the suggestions that are beneficial to your manuscript. Place the rest in a file to review later. Be sure to thank the beta reader.
* Betas aren’t usually paid, however, if your beta is a writer offer to read her manuscript.
* Make sure you thank the beta in the acknowledgement section of your book.
* Ask people at conferences and writers’ clubs if they know a beta reader. Online the best site I found was Wattpad. When searching for one, find one that loves to read the same genre as your manuscript.
Have you ever used a beta reader? If so, please, share your thoughts.
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