Okay, I’ve written my magnum opus. I’ve elicited friends, family and beta-readers to read it, and I’m waiting on pins and needles for the feedback. I’m sitting with fingers and toes crossed, holding my breath, checking e-mail every five seconds, hoping against hope that the readers will like it. Then I get the first response: “I liked it. It’s good.”
Helpful? Yeah, no. Of course I would love to have my first readers ooh and ahh over the book, but this very non-specific comment is not constructive. Nice as it is, it tells me nothing.
The purpose of beta-readers is not to stroke my writer’s ego. That job belongs to my mother. The purpose of beta-readers is to find all the shortcomings in my writing before I push the publish button. They need to take that puppy out for a rigorous shake-down cruise and find every bug, every glitch, every typo, misplaced comma, and inconsistent tense. It’s painful to get feedback with a laundry list of problems, but would I rather see that list now, in a private e-mail before publication, or see it pasted up in a lambasting Amazon review for all the world to read? Continue reading “Open Letter to Beta-Readers”
Beta readers are volunteers who will read a finished draft of your manuscript and provide you feedback so you can make improvements before you move forward with editing. This helps authors craft better stories, plug plot gaps, and work the bugs out. It can also lighten the load for an editor and save an author money. All hail beta readers!
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I’ll be honest; I’d never done anything with Advanced Review Copy (ARC) readers until the release of my most recent collaboration with the Evil Mastermind, Triple Dog Dare. It was all new territory, and it felt weird.
I don’t like asking people for anything, let alone to read a 100,000 word novel and be ready to write a review when the book goes live on Amazon. That seems like a lot to ask of someone. I stopped reading books for review long ago when the requests to do so became overwhelming. I was receiving emails from complete strangers from all around the world (not kidding) – with their manuscripts attached – asking me to review them. Unfortunately, I had to draw the line. So, I had to be frank with other authors; I would not be able to offer a review swap.
So…what incentive do these people have to put this kind of effort into something for someone they may or may not even know? Continue reading “An ARC Reader Reward System?”
KS Brooks was kind enough to give you the details of her pre- and post-release rundown for Triple Dog Dare (actually, it was a mandatory requirement of her probation, but we won’t go into that). Since I’m going through something similar, without the probation (so far) or a collaboration partner, I thought I’d share my perspective on the pre-release mayhem that’s happening in my house as I prepare to publish Sliding Past Vertical, my fourth novel. Here’s how it has gone down so far. [Note: Your actual mileage may vary. I certainly hope so.] Continue reading “How to Prepare a Novel for Publication in Ten Sort-of-easy Steps”