Why You Need Beta Readers

Calendar - Date
April 30, 2016

Beta readers can be helpful in providing feedback for your book. For authors opting to self-publish, having an acquaintance read your book can improve the process of revision. Here are a few things you should know about beta readers.

 

Tucson book fair
Readers and book lovers visit LF booth during the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books.

 

Here are the Reasons Why You Need Beta Readers

Why are beta readers needed and why should you consider having someone scrutinize your book before getting it out there? More importantly, who should read your manuscript and why is it important that you get the right beta readers for the job?

Beta reading is common among self-publishing circles. Unlike traditional publishers, self-publishing companies mostly publish your book as it is without giving any input or feedback. Beta readers for original fiction are especially important for you to determine what’s best for the story and to revise accordingly.

 

beta reader
Image source: Pixabay

 

What should authors know about their book? Below are some questions for beta readers that authors should ask:

  • What does the beta reader think of the general flow?
  • Are there any plot holes that need to be filled?
  • Is the pacing too fast, too slow, or just right?
  • Lastly, did the beta reader enjoy the opportunity to read your work?

You may have a hard time looking for book reviewers or the best beta readers’ fictional works need. You can solve this dilemma by posting a “readers wanted” on forums or social media, among others. If you think you can trust your friends and family members with giving an impartial opinion on your book, you may also ask them to take a look at your work.

 

beta reader
Image source: IOP.org

 

Additionally, to get the best reading critique, you may want to join critique groups who’d be more than delighted to give feedback for your written masterpiece. If you want to get professional advice, you may also want to ask: do beta readers get paid at all? In some respects, the answer would be yes, but it is not a requirement that you’d seek those who charge for their services. Again, impartiality is the key.

Get the best reviews for your book. Here’s how.

So back to the original question: are beta readers needed? The answer would be up to you. However, it’s always best to be thorough with your work and hire a “test pilot” for manuscripts, before getting your book out there.

Since many authors hold that self-publishing is the future, they also understand the importance of feedback, especially from those who are free of any sort of bias. As such, be sure to give beta reading a shot and have someone read your book before selling it to the world.

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