Monday, March 19, 2012

Beta Makes It Better

In about one hour I am stopping by Pakuranga College to drop off five manuscripts of Forbidden Territory. Ten students from their book club are going to share them out and beta read them for Brenda and me.

I just wanted to take the time to say I love beta readers. I think they are awesome and so vitally important.

I know your work needs editing, I know it needs critiquing by other writers, but it also needs vetting by your target audience. If they don't like it, you probably shouldn't be publishing it.

Brenda and I have found about 20 - 25 beta readers. A few are adults, but most are students between the ages of 12 - 17. We have made up a questionnaire for them to fill in once they've finished reading and we are hoping for really good feedback - obviously!!

We know that if they all come back saying similar things that we've either struck gold or we've got some work to do.

I used beta readers for my Time Spirit Trilogy and their feedback was so helpful that I ended up rewriting the first book. When I tested it again, the kids couldn't put it down. It gave me the confidence to pursue publishing. I felt like I had hit the mark and the reviews I've been getting are backing this up - phew!!

So this post is a shout out to all you honest beta readers who take our work from average to brilliant. Thank you for your time and your feedback. You guys rock!!

Do you use beta readers for your writing?
Have you ever been a beta reader before?


  1. what an awesome idea. You're so lucky. I'd be happy to find 1 beta reader.

    1. I've found the English teachers at local schools are really enthusiastic. Good luck finding some more betas :)