Beta reading makes your book better
You’ve written a book? Congratulations. You have achieved what a lot of people set out to do but sadly never finish. It is said that we all have a book in us. but not everyone has the time to sit down and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). However, before you rush to send your completed manuscript to an agent, publisher or straight onto a self-publishing platform, you need to test how it is received by your audience. And the way to do it is through a beta reader.
What is a beta reader?
A beta reader is an independent person who reads and passes a verdict on your book before you commit to publication. They are not there to stroke your ego and tell you it’s a great read; their sole purpose is to give you honest feedback and ways to resolve any issues they come across.
They identify plot holes
When you write a book, it all sounds great as it transfers from head to page and plot holes can easily be missed. A beta reader will question everything and if something doesn’t fit, they’ll tell you
The characters you create will be judged by your readers. If they don’t resonate with the readers, or keep changing personalities for no reason, they won’t relate and will end up ruining the story.
Identify your bob’s from your bobby’s
It’s a rookie mistake, but sometimes writers change the names of their characters mid story. Bob may suddenly become Bobby or Louisa turns into Louise. Or even Lucy. Beta readers will pick up on this straight away.
give an overall view of the story
The story is the main part of beat reading and your readers will see if it flows. They want the storyline and sub plots integrate well within the main story. If it does, great job. If not, don’t be offended and get back to work on it.
How we can help
Many beta readers are happy to provide feedback on your work, but it can often be difficult finding the right people. Hypnocat read lots of different material and are happy to help you get you book on track.
A thorough read through
We give the manuscript a thorough readthrough, making notes as we go along, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the plot, sub-plots and characters
If we’re going to be critical, we do it in a way that is helpful to you, the author. If something doesn’t work or sound right, we’ll explain why, but not in a nasty way.
A Full report
After reading through your manuscript, we’ll give you a full report of any plot holes or issues we came across.
All feedback will be honest . We’re not going to tell you something is brilliant if it needs a lot of work. As a writer, you want and deserve honesty.
Things to consider with beta readers
Choosing beta readers can be daunting, and if you decide to ask social media for beta readers, here are some tips to help and guide you.
If you swap, don’t stop
If you agree to beta read a book in exchange for them reading yours, don’t let them down by not reading it. They’re investing time in your book, so make sure you reciprocate.
Get a team
If you’re looking for unpaid beta readers, make sure you get several. readers if you can. It’s always good to have a few points of view, especially if they all agree that your story is good.
Use google drive or similar
Google Drive not only allows you to share documents with multiple people, but they can leave comments too. It’s s useful tool to have in your writing armour.
Don’t get despondent
Whenever we receive criticism for anything, it’s easy to want to crawl under a rock and pretend you never tried in the first place. Criticism is there to help you grow, not hinder you. Take it on board and in your stride.