I’ve been promising this for a couple of months now so apologies for taking so long. As a few of you know, I want to increase the number of beta readers going forwards. I’m also looking for some ARC (Advanced Review Copy) reviewers. So what do these involve? Read on to find out…
Beta Readers play a critical role in developing a book. Once I am as happy with the story as I’ll ever be (it’s always possible to find something to tweak) and my editor has done her work it’s time to send out the beta copies. At this stage the book is complete but not finished. Feedback from the beta readers makes the book better than it would have been.
Some of the things I rely on beta readers for are:
- Feedback on the story as a whole
- Identifying any areas that seem weak or confusing
- Feedback on the characters
- Story related mistakes – e.g. If I’ve used the wrong name / had a character appear in a scene when they should be somewhere else
- Typo’s – generally things a spell check can’t find, a mispelt word where the typo is still a valid word.
- Grammatical mistakes
What I need from a beta reader:
- A commitment to read the story and provide feedback in a reasonable amount of time (probably targeting three weeks). Everyone has a life so sometimes it won’t be possible for you to help and that is fine.
- Honesty. Painful criticism at the beta stage is far better than the book going out and then receiving that criticism.
- Acceptance that I won’t take every suggestion. I will listen to and take seriously every suggestion, but ultimately I may choose to leave things as they are. Or make a different change. Even then your feedback will have been invaluable.
- Someone who enjoys my style. If you find yourself flagging twenty gramatical and sentance construction issues on every page then please don’t carry on doing it for the whole book. I won’t (and probably can’t) change it in that way, and you’ll be wasting a huge amount of your time.
- Tolerance of UK English. I’m English. The colour will always be grey. For that matter, colour will always have a u in it. I’m not saying the US versions are wrong (I hardly even notice them when reading a good US English book), they just aren’t something I can switch to.
- Confidentiality. I don’t want the story to be leaked early and still in an unfinished state. If you want to share it with someone please let me know and ensure they are committed to keeping it to themselves.
What does the beta reader get?
- The satisfaction of knowing they helped to make the book even better than it would have been.
- Sight of the story at least a month before it is officially released.
- My eternal thanks.
Interested? That’s great! Please use the contact form here to let me know.
Beta Readers see a finished but not fully polished story. Advanced Reviewers see the finished article, but earlier than everyone else. Probably a week to ten days earlier. The copy will be provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review, ideally to be posted within a day or so of the book being published.
Advanced Reviewers provide the first of those all important customer reviews on Amazon and other sites like Goodreads. Those make a huge difference in those first few weeks when the book is still appearing on many Kindle recommended lists.
Once again, please use the contact form here if you are interested in becoming an Advanced Reviewer.