Beta readers have proved to be valuable in shaping a book and giving it a refined read. A lot of authors have been using beta readers to get feedback about their books before finalizing it for publication.
For all those who are hearing about beta readers for the first time,
Beta readers are those who volunteer to read a book and give feedback and their thoughts on the book.
Especially for self-published authors, a good set of beta readers have proved to be valuable in giving insights and suggestions that a publication generally gives.
Getting Beta Readers Onboard
Getting some beta readers to read your book isn’t going to cost you anything. There are some online forums that help to connect the beta readers with the required authors but if you want someone close by, someone who already knows about your books, then reaching to your readers and fans will be a good place to start.
Post on social media that you are looking for beta readers. If you have an email list of readers, you can mail them asking for volunteers to read your book. It is best to have a couple of good beta readers on standby by staying in touch so that you get their help for your next book too. It is always better to choose beta readers who are familiar with the genre of the book and have read quite a number of books of the genre. In case you are writing a sequel, then try to get beta readers who have read your previous book.
How Does The Process Work?
Once you have the list of beta readers, all you have to do is send them an e-copy of the book in their preferable form, generally mobi or pdf and wait for them to read their book and get their observations. Generally, it is best to leave open the suggestions and feedbacks that they provide. In case if you want to know their opinion about a particular aspect of the book, then you can send them a set of questions to answer after completing the book. Make sure not to go overboard with the questions. It is best to leave open the feedback which will not restrict their thinking when reading the book. Get a tentative time of when you can expect them to give the feedback.
After the tentative time is up, give a few more days and send a gentle reminder if you haven’t heard back from them. Once they have sent the feedback, send them a thank you message and stay in touch with them so that you can get back to them for future suggestions.
Incorporating The Suggestions In The Book
Once you get all the feedback from the beta readers, you will have a load of suggestions and thoughts. It isn’t necessary to take in all the suggestions you get.
Now comes the part where you put in your mind and analyze the suggestions and see which ones are worth acting upon. Spend some time reading all the feedback and see which ones really make a difference. One good way to start with is to find the useful feedbacks is to map the commonly noted suggestions which are possibly the opinions of the majority. Then go on to the most thoughtful suggestions and see if they make a difference.
It is up to your discretion to choose which suggestions to take seriously. Make note of all the suggestions you wish to adopt in your book and implement them one after the other.
Advantages of Beta Readers
- You can get valuable insights into what your typical reader feels on reading your book and the suggestions can actually uplift the tone of your book.
- Apart from getting the feedbacks to structure your book, you can also ask the beta readers to leave their reviews on your online store after your book is released. These initial reviews will be your initial boost up to get more readers and grow in rankings soon after the book is released.
- Some beta readers will also point some typos in your book which will come in handy for a self-published author.
- Some beta readers, over a period of time, will also become good assets to brainstorm with when you are struck or when you need to talk out with someone about your thoughts on how to progress with the book.