I’m finishing up the first round of beta reading on my manuscript! So, as such, I figured I’d share what I’ve learned so far.
1. Be willing to reciprocate.
I had a few people who offered to read my manuscript as pure beta readers, one of who finished the story. The rest of readers I found by offering to read their work if they read mine. And honestly, that is a fair exchange. I don’t know what gave me the impression that the internet world would be clambering to read my story.
2. Be happy with what you get.
Not everyone will finish your book, not everyone will give the same level of feedback – and that’s OK. I’ve enormously appreciated all the feedback I’ve received, and all of it as proven to be beneficial to my story.
3. Read all feedback twice.
Or three times even. A lot of times I would get excited or nervous and miss some of what the beta reader was saying on my first pass. So, I made it a habit to read everything at least twice. If it’s bad feedback that gives you the chance to think about rather than argue with it, and if it’s good feedback it lets you savor the moment.
4. Be positive.
This goes for both receiving and giving beta feedback. Be appreciative of the feedback you get, even if you don’t agree with it – some stranger took the time to give it, after all. Also, find the good to point out in the work you’re reading. There is always something good. Always.
5. Focus on what you can fix.
This can be relevant if you feel a beta reader is pointing out too many problems, but it also applies to your beta reading as well. If you come across a work that you feel needs a lot of work, just focus on the biggest things. We’re here to help, after all, not nitpick an author’s hope away.
Well, that’s what I’ve learned over these past few months. I’m working through some more fine editing right now thanks for my awesome beta reader feedback, and then I’m ready to jump into round two!
Anybody want to swap manuscripts?