This week I got 8 people lined up as "Beta-Readers" for my second novel "THE SHIP".
For those not familiar with beta-readers, they are basically test readers for you book. They will read the story and give you feedback on what they thought of it. But what kind of feedback am I talking about?
Well this may vary from writer to writer. For me I'm looking for the following feedback:
1-Did they like the story? (this is a given, I have to know whether or not the story is even working for my readers in the first place)
2-How was the pacing? Did the story drag a lot, or was it too-fast paced and hard to keep up with?
3-Were the characters likable and did you come to care about them? Did they intrigue you? Did you want to see more of them in the future? (I'm working on an ongoing series where I will rotate some of the cast from time to time)
4-Spelling errors? (I've done my best but some things will still slip past me so a few more sets of eyes doesn't hurt)
5-Grammatical issues? (I've chosen my team from a variety of people including a few authors and grammar nazis who will be more than willing to point out areas of concern)
6-Did the story flow well? Were there areas where there were contradictions in who was where during an action sequence? Was there an idea that got confused and hard to follow?
7-FINALLY: What did they think of the piece overall?
This is a lot of questions I know, but this is the book's testing ground. One of your last chances to work out the bugs and iron out any problems before you unleash your work on the public. And trust me, sometimes the public can be unforgiving and harsh. Remember, most of them will be putting out money to buy your work, so make sure you strive to put out a really good product. Your reputation is on the line whenever you put out a book. Never slack off on quality or it'll hurt the sales of your next book.
As I mentioned earlier in this entry, I'm doing a series. So one of the things I made sure to do was get at least a couple of beta-readers who did NOT read the first book. People are not always going to buy your books in order, so make sure you keep each story neat and self-contained that anyone can jump into whatever part of your series they happen to spot. Give enough references to past events from earlier books so intrigue them enough to maybe want to check out the earlier books, but not detract from the one in their hands at that moment.
Beta-Readers can help your work tremendously. And like editors, you don't have to take EVERY suggestion they make to improve the book. You want to keep faithful to your own vision, but weigh the pros and cons for each change. Some may prove to be a master-stroke, while others may not. After all beta-readers will not know your long-term vision for your book and have all the insights you do. So be careful how you take their advice.
Finally, always be gracious even if they give advice you don't agree with. Remember, they're trying to help your book become something even better.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.
Popular posts from this blog
Well, my wife Helen and I have finally finished moving into our new place. I'll be posting some more videos from my Vlog about that shortly, but I wanted to focus on another subject today. Hobbies, talents, things people do for adventure, enjoyment and relaxation. Now in creating characters that seem real to the audience I've found that the more real and reachable the characters are (i. e. they're like people you know or might meet) they're the ones that the readers seem to really relate to and even come to love. Now one method I've used to make my characters seem more human and real is to give them traits that are familiar, and even somewhat odd but intriguing. I've given characters hobbies or activities I've tried. When they are finished with what I've written, some have even gone and done research of their own on the activity. Some have even taken it up and made it a part of their lives. But how did that happen? Simple, whether it's pla
Okay, yesterday was a big day for me. My novel "THE BRIDGE" is now available in two 'brick-and-mortar' bookstores. How did I make this happen? Are sales jumping through the roof? Is my name out there so much that fans are demanding it be available everywhere? Two words.... I WISH! No, the simple truth is when you're an Indie Author (someone who has published through Createspace or other means to make a printed copy of your book), you have to do a lot of things yourself. One of them is marketing and getting your book into stores. Now, if you've done a good job marketing and your sales on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites are going really well, you might land up in bookstores. Some chains look to those sites to see what's the hottest sellers going and is it available in print form. They don't want to be left out of the loop and fall behind. But you have to have great sales for that to happen. But if you're just starting out and are
Welcome to the first solo novel of Helen Krummenacker, co-author of the Para-Earth Series. Adventure, humor, film noir and dark urban fantasy blend in a unique vision that will appeal to fans of Harry Dresden or Marvel's Horror Comics.... Enter the world of The Forever Detective Series... Raphael Jones' love of adventure took him into police work, military service, and finally a career as a private eye. But when his first couple of cases combine to drop him into deep trouble, can his sense of adventures survive? For that matter, can he? A practical man with a kind heart, he never expected to encounter supernatural evil threatening the people he cares about. "I was reading along enjoying the Raymond Chandler vibe and suddenly WHAM! Night Stalker!" - author Danarra Ban Available June 1st, 2019 for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback! Reserve your e-book now at: Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-