B is for Beta Readers

B is for Beta Readers.

A beta reader is someone who readers your work before it is published and gives you honest feedback. No one likes to be critiqued, however, it is absolutely necessary while on the author journey.

I believe there is a secret.

In my opinion, your beta readers need to be people you trust to give feedback and people you respect. A great beta reader isn’t someone who is looking to shred your work to be mean or spiteful. A great beta reader wants you to be successful and is looking to help you get there.

A moment of honesty…

Sending your work to beta readers can be terrifying. I recently sent a manuscript I’m working on to six ladies in my writing group. These are women I have grown to love and respect over the past two years. These are women who I have shared my wins and shared my frustrations with. These are women who I have read their work and respect their craft greatly. With all of that said, hitting the send button to share my manuscript still made my palms sweaty and my heart pound. Luckily, these ladies are responding with great suggestions, complimenting parts they think will resonate well with children, and helping me make it even better.

In Writing Picture Books – A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul, she dedicated an entire chapter on how to share your story with other writers, how to receive and how to give feedback. I highly recommend her book to anyone looking to write a picture book.

Beta readers are an essential part of the writing journey. The A to Z theme of resilience definitely comes into play when sharing your work with others. Keep in mind, the right beta readers want you to be successful and are willing to give you their time and honest feedback to help get you there.

So, wipe those sweaty palms off and share your work with others. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is exactly what your manuscript needs.

#atozblogchallenge2023 #AtoZChallenge #AprilAtoZ #bloggingchallenge #writingcommunity #authorjourney #dream #betareaders #writeon

6 thoughts on “B is for Beta Readers

  1. I’ve been a beta reader several times and I know that in a few instances I was really helpful and a few I really wasn’t. The times I know I helped were ones where I really clicked with the book and was able to build on that in some way to suggest ways that it might work even better. Other times, I didn’t click with the book and my suggestions weren’t that helpful because I just wasn’t the right audience.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beta readers who are trusted for their sensitivity and consideration, as well as seasoned skill absolutely prove that being part of a group can be worthwhile.

    My role probably falls in line with most writers; I used to dish it out but not take it. This isn’t meant to be cynical. The info I return is honest, but also a fair critique, offering open feedback with compliments. What I’ve found true is that oftentimes, authors will rise and defend their babies or take the sheers to my work in a critical way. So, before turning work over to others, or trading even, make sure you are confident enough in realizing you won’t always agree, your work may not be clear, and if the person’s good, you’ll want to work with them again.

    So, this is usually a big step in getting your work out there. Having a set group, as you’ve described, is an incredible way to go. I’m sure it must have been hit and miss in building a group with the same flavor that you could trust, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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