Would you like to become a beta reader?
April 18, 2014
I am looking to add to my fleet of beta readers as I ramp up production to publishing three books a year. I have some awesome beta readers already, but the more the better the cumulative edit. (And all readers have busy lives and can’t beta all the time.) Kagent II is at the editor, Kagent III is getting a self-edit before it goes to beta readers.
You will get these fabulous perks:
- Sharpen your reading skills
- Sharpen your editing skills
- Get an early sneak peek at upcoming books
- Find mistakes I made and laugh heartily at my incompetence
- Point out the above mistakes to me
- Affect the final book
- Be thanked by me in the acknowledgements
What am I looking for in a beta reader? I want to hear what you think about the book, as if you were telling me about a book you read that I hadn’t. I know some of you will want more specifics, so here’s questions to think about:
- Did you enjoy it? Would you buy it?
- What did you like and dislike?
- What did you wish you had read?
- How did the book meet or fail to meet your expectations?
- Where did it lag or go too fast?
- Would you recommend it to someone who likes that kind of book?
- Were characters, settings, and dialogue good, flat, sharp, crisp, fully realized?
- Did the emotional cues work: did you laugh, cry, think you would see a cliche happen and then it didn’t?
Some beta readers will mark up the manuscript and point out grammar errors, awkward phrasing, bad stuff, great stuff, and every detail they can comment on. Others will just provide about thirty words of verbal comments. And everything in between, which is fine. Whatever is most convenient for you.
90% of the time, a beta reader confirms something that a wee voice had been saying in my own head, but I hadn’t listened. Fixing those problems (story, theme, punctuation, pacing, etc.) makes the book better. Beta readers are a key part of the publishing process for me and many other writers.
There’s no guarantee that I’ll take all of the suggestions. But I can guarantee that I will consider all of them seriously.
If you are interested, send an email to mark dot sarney at gmail dot com. Thanks.