Beta Readers For Your Writing

This week on Hide and Create, Joshua Essoe, Diana Rowland, Moses Siregar, and Jordan Ellinger talk about beta readers.

For some writers, beta readers are an integral part of the writing process. But how do you know what advice to take and what do ignore?

Well the most obvious answer is that if you see a particular critique popping up over and over again, you can be pretty certain that it’s a point that needs to be looked at. If a particular point was only brought up by a single beta reader, there’s a good chance that it was just a detail that struck that particular person wrong, and does not need to be addressed.

That’s not always true — you have to keep in mind the levels of expertise and knowledge-bases you’re working with. If you have sexist Uncle Tito tell you he thinks it’s wrong where you have the female lead punch her boyfriend in the chops when he smacks her, maybe take that with a grain of salt. But if you have your history buff tell you that they didn’t use flintlocks in the 1500s, then you probably want to double-check that.

Listen on for more.


2 thoughts on “Beta Readers For Your Writing

  1. Great post and well balanced as always! I was happy Joshua clarified the difference between alpha and beta readers, because I’ve heard a lot of confusion around that as well. One thing I was wondering is that for those of you who do use beta readers, at what point in the process do you use them (before or after sending to content/dev editor)?

    I’m preparing my first SFF novel for publication in early 2015 and am currently putting it through two rounds of beta readers before I send it to a content/dev editor later this year, in the hopes of keeping my editing costs low…

  2. Hey, Traci. Thanks!

    First, awesome choice to do a couple beta rounds and drafts before sending your MS to your editor. It will definitely make that person’s job easier, and hopefully help keep your cost down (depends on how they charge). For me this does help because I charge by time.

    I can’t answer for the rest, but I send my stories out to betas after I finish a draft I think is ready for anyone else to see, then do another draft based on feed-back. The clients whose processes I know about do it this same way.

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