No matter how great you think you are as a writer it’s always valuable to get feedback about your work. Yes, feedback from your editor is valuable, but at a certain point you need to branch out and let other readers take a look at what you’ve been writing. These readers are called ‘beta readers’ and they can provide a wealth of critical information about your work. Their feedback will help you look at your work more objectively and will give you a better sense of your book’s marketability. If you’re ready for some beta readers to take a crack at your manuscript then here’s what you’ll need to do!
What’s essential to this process is identifying your ideal reader. It won’t be very useful if you send your crime thriller to someone who only reads romance novels. Take the time to imagine the person who you would expect to read your novel. How old are they? What’s their gender? What movies and TV shows do they like? What do they love in the world? What do they hate? Figure this out before sending out your book so that you can get the best feedback possible.
You’ll also want to cultivate a relationship with your beta readers. Asking people to read your book and provide valuable, critical feedback is not an easy task to ask of someone. If you’re planning on seeking beta readers outside of your immediate friend and family network then you’ll need to establish a rapport with them before sending them your work. Set up a Facebook Page or Twitter account for yourself or your book and start connecting with people who you’ve pegged as ideal readers. Start following them and becoming part of their community. Keep up a genuine interaction for several weeks before making the next move!
No, the next move isn’t sending them your manuscript – it’s offering to be a beta reader for them! People are far more likely to help you out if you do them a favor first. You scratch their back, they scratch yours. It will also give you some insight of your own into the process of beta reading. This can help you create a framework for how you want your own beta readers to respond to your work. The better job you do for someone else, the better job they’ll do for you, so don’t rush through the beta reading process just so that they’ll owe you a favor.
Once you’ve built up a solid foundation and community of trusted beta readers, send out your manuscript. Once people help you out, make sure to reward them for their service! Give them a special thanks in the book, send them a free copy of the finished work, or even a digital gift card! Check out the article below for all the ways to succeed during the beta reading phase!
Read the full article here: How to Find and Work with Beta Readers to Improve Your Book
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