Finding Beta Readers

The process of converting a first draft of a manuscript to a polished novel is a daunting one. The manuscript is like a cake; the batter is mixed, but the wet and dry ingredients may not yet be smoothly combined. Once this mixing is finished we still need to bake the batter, cool the cake and ice it. Beta listeners and readers are a critical resource to consult during this creative process.

Having a beta listener is a great way to start. If you are like me, when you are writing the first draft several options or plot directions will be available. It is immensely helpful to have a person who will listen while you talk through a plot twist. Speaking out loud to an attentive listener will often clarify the best direction.

Beta readers are also known as manuscript doctors. Laurie Boris has given tips on how best to direct a beta reader. A beta reader must know what their specific job is with regard to your manuscript. Handing your manuscript to three friends who love you and asking for general feedback will rarely net you any constructive criticism. This is the point in the process where you need a thick skin and an open mind. It is better to find, for example, a timeline problem now than have it pointed out in a review on Amazon.

The question is; where can you find several people who will be happy to read your rough diamond and feel comfortable giving you constructive criticism? It is easier than you may think. Continue reading “Finding Beta Readers”

Featured Book: Loud Evolution

Loud Evolution
by Goran Racic
Available from Amazon and Apple iTunes.

Thomas Loud is an everyday person – he thinks he knows what is wrong with the world and how to fix it, but never does anything. He thinks he knows what is wrong with society and has a vague idea of who to blame, but leaves it all for tomorrow. He thinks he knows about a lot of things, but the truth is, he doesn’t.

But one day, that all changes when a very, very stupid idea gets Thomas thrown amidst a shadowy organization that doesn’t want to rule the world. Quite opposite, the organization wants to save it. And they will soon teach Thomas that sometimes good genes aren’t in good people.

The Reader Survey

Being an indie author has a lot of benefits. One weakness though, is that we do not have extensive and reliable data on consumer behavior around which we can configure our marketing strategies. Most of our efforts to position our wares are based on anecdotal successes reported by other authors (i.e., here’s what I did that worked for me), or just groping about in the dark trying to find anything that works. It would be nice to have more information.

Bestselling author Marie Force headed up a reader survey effort that has yielded some interesting results. You should click over and read the whole thing, but I’ll tell you the bits I thought were most interesting: Continue reading “The Reader Survey”