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Do You Need Beta Readers?
If you want a good manuscript you need Beta Readers before querying or self-publish.
Why Would I Need a Beta Reader?
Because I need fresh eyeballs on my work—I’m way too close. A beta reader can answer these questions:
Does the plot make sense and consistent throughout the manuscript (MS)? Or does the reader need a stiff drink just to finish it? Maybe they already feel drunk due to the swirling plotline.
Is my story slow or boring? Are there sections where I lose the reader and their eyes roll back into their sockets and their head bobbles down?
How about my writing style? Is it easy to read or does the reader need a dictionary with every sentence? Or worse, it’s narrative—meaning I’m just narrating instead of bringing the reader into the mind of my MC—into the MC’s world.
Are my characters alike (walk alike and talk alike)? Or worse, cardboard dolls walking through the pages? Do they progress in their journey and have an arc? Do they have distinctive personalities? Can I make the reader hate and love a character at the same time? Which would be great.
I’m looking for someone to be very honest with me and preferably someone I don’t know.
It is the scariest thing to send your MS (your baby) to someone to read for the first time. But it is a necessary part of writing a novel of any kind.
My first beta reader was my sister and she was horrifically brutal. She murdered my MS… and my eyeballs melted when reading the bloody mess she left behind.
Best Thing Ever
My first rough draft was crap as evident by the fifty-pound stack of comments she handed me.
I needed it! She was correct and it helped me write a much better MS.
But I am at the point where I need more eyes on my MS, especially someone that I don’t know—because I want them to be honest and not care if they hurt my feelings.
A serious critique is in order.
Where to Find Beta Readers?
I was having trouble finding beta readers because it takes a LOT of time and effort. Asking someone to read your MS and provide input (for FREE) is asking a LOT.
Asking family or friends leaves behind a feeling of “am I taking advantage of our relationship?” The answer is yes unless they offer (but that didn’t happen in my case).
None of my friends or family read the genre of my MS, so I was at a loss.
Thank heaven, I found that you can contract a Beta Reader through Fiverr within your genre.
Today, I just hired three Beta Readers in less than an hour and sent off my manuscript (Truth in Color—The Mahvarri Chronicles).
Crossing my figures they won’t be as brutal as my sister!
Once they’re done, I will post what happened and let you know how my experience went.
Stay tuned as this is only Round One. I plan to do this again with three new Beta Readers after fixing my MS.
This should be FUN!!!!