Importance of Beta Readers

Let’s say you have your novel done, maybe even the editing portion, or maybe not. You’re staring at the document, wondering where to go. Do you get it formatted? Proofread? Or just upload it to Amazon, ready to publish and say screw it?

Remember when we talked about the fears of rejection? Maybe you are experiencing that. You are wondering if your story is any good. Or if there are plot holes you just can’t see. Does the story flow? Is it consistent? Is the dialogue realistic? Can readers relate to the characters or are they flat and blend?

So many questions, insecurities, and doubt! Your head is spinning, and the fear starts to choke you. Your finger hovers over the delete button, the fears holding you captive.

Believe me, I go through the same thing and emotions every time I finish something. I’ve been there, experienced that range of emotions on a gigantic size roller coaster, it isn’t even funny!

However, there is a solution!

Beta readers.

How you may be wondering huh? What are they?

Beta readers are individuals you send your manuscript too to get reader feedback BEFORE the book goes live. They can be people you’ve met on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, maybe even a few personal friends.

However, I really wouldn’t go the route of family or close friends. I’m always looking for HONEST feedback and I would wonder if they were being honest or just didn’t want to hurt my feelings. For me personally, I put the call out on Facebook, to other writers, authors, and even people I don’t know but love reading! I send sometimes up to 10 copies or so and I give the deadline of at least a week, sometimes two depending on any existing deadlines.

Then I wait, bated breath, and wondering.

Do they like it? Hate it? Are things missing? There is that range of emotions again!

Beta readers are so important because they catch mistakes, plot holes, inconsistencies, and so forth. They may even offer suggestions on what they think is missing, what could make it better, etc. My process always consists of beta readers, sometimes before the editor and sometimes after. It honestly just varies and depends on the process of the author/writer.

My own personal process consist of:

  • Writing the book (if you all would like me to write a blog of my personal writing process, please comment and let me know!
  • Revise
  • Beta Readers
  • Review/Revise
  • Proofreading
  • Revise/Edits
  • Editor
  • Format
  • ARC Readers before going live
  • Publish

I may be missing a few steps but overall, this is mine! As you can see, the beta readers have it before my editor, but in the long run, my editor has it twice. You’ll see I actually have an ARC team, which consist of readers who post reviews of the book once it goes live and there is a difference between beta readers and an ARC reader. The beta reader looks for multiple mistakes and anything wrong with the book while an ARC reader gets the final but Advanced Reader Copy.

I hope this helps!

Stay sane and stay safe friends! Thank you for reading!