Kirk House Publishers TIPS FOR AUTHORS—TIP #2 – Beta Readers

Stay motivated by connecting with other writers who are going through the same creative writing process as you. You can offer to beta read someone else’s book in exchange for them reading yours. Being a beta reader is a great way to gather different ideas and improve your writing along the way.

Enlist Beta Readers

What is a beta reader? It is someone who reads your book before the editor and proofreaders have started. The beta reader can be a friend or relative (or several) who agrees to read the book. Always give them a list of questions to answer to make sure you are on the right track. If you don’t give them questions to answer, they will most likely tell you your book was “nice.” And having them tell you your book is “nice” doesn’t help you make your writing better.

Make sure you tell the beta reader the book has not been edited or proofread. They also need to understand that it is not their job. They only are to read the book for its content.

Enlist one or two first readers; more will spoil the broth (the “too many cooks in the kitchen” adage). Select some of the questions that follow for the beta readers to answer. I usually pick three or four questions to give beta readers, but you can choose which ones work best for your book.

1. Fiction: Was the story interesting from the start of the book? Why or why not? Nonfiction: Was the information interesting from the beginning of the book? Why or why not?

2. Fiction: Did you figure out quickly whose story it was? Why or why not? Nonfiction: Was the subject matter easy to understand?

3. Fiction: Was there enough intrigue and interest to keep your attention throughout the book? Did you need more? Nonfiction: Did the book flow well? Did it stall in parts? Where?

4. Fiction: Was there too much dialogue in parts of the book? Nonfiction: Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough?

5. Fiction: Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest? Nonfiction: Was the narrative compelling, and did it move along? Why or why not?

6. Fiction: Was the ending satisfying? Believable? Nonfiction:Did the book provide helpful next steps?

“Reading brings us unknown friends”

– Honoré de Balzac

#publishing #authors #kirkhousepublishers

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