One of the writers I’ve come to know and admire through writing this blog is JH Mae, who asked me to write a guest post about beta readers. Please join me at By, JHMae, and while you’re over at her blog, I hope you’ll take a few extra minutes to read some of her amazing work!
After you complete your manuscript, it’s time to send it out into the world.
Or is it?
If you are serious about publishing, your first readers should be beta readers.
And just what is a beta reader?
Think of beta readers as superhero partner/readers for your WIP. Correctly employed, your superheroes can save you a lot of time and money. How? I’m glad you asked!
Ideally, you want to assemble a team of beta readers. By getting focused, constructive criticism from multiple viewpoints, you’ll be able to identify (and you’ll have the opportunity to address) potential problems with your manuscript before you spend money on professional editing. Then, when you do hire an editor, you’ll get more bang for your buck. (I wrote about that in Three Things You Shouldn’t Hire an Editor to Do.
Each one of your superheroes will have a different strength, and no one beta reader will offer the same level of advice in every area. (That’s why you’ll get the most comprehensive feedback from a team.)
Some will be generalists, some will be detail-oriented, but they’ll each see your story in a new way, because
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Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be.