A beta reader can help you polish your manuscript and get you that much closer to seeing your brain child on a bookshelf. It’s great to have multiple beta readers because reading, as an art form, is subjective, and you’d want to cover all your bases to spot and correct every typo and wonky phrase.
It’s such a common occurrence to miss the teeniest details, such as a missing comma, writing to instead of too (or vice versa) when you’ve read and reread your work dozens of times. Beta readers can also help offer suggestions for all the times you repeated a word or phrase. They can also help you tighten up your sentences and clear up any concepts that get lost in translation.
Fresh eyes will allow others to let you know what you’ve missed and also provide insight on readability from their perspective. It’s essential to know if what you want to share with your audience effectively and accurately reaches them as intended.
This month I resumed my beta reader duties and I already have a few beta reading requests lined up for next month. Aside from building a powerful network of fellow writers, it’s also given me an opportunity to read with a writer’s mindset. Taking a break from my work to read someone else’s has allowed my brain to reset and to be more receptive to seeing where to improve aspects of their story that I might not notice right away in my manuscript.
With any skill, practice is important in order to improve and expand your knowledge base. While helping others with their writing, I’m also helping my own. You see the patterns that work and those to avoid. Reciprocity is wonderful. Everyone improves their skill set and is closer to their publication goals.
Do you like to beta read for others? What have you learned from your beta readers? I know they’re invaluable as they are essentially my focus group for a potential audience and it’s always a good thing to have your story double and triple checked so that you’re putting your best work forward and showcasing your talent in the best way possible.
Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.
Until next time,