I've had several people ask me what Beta Readers are, and if I use them for my books.

Let me explain my writing process, and show you where the Beta Reader comes in.

  • Write the First Draft
  • Edit, removing the stuff that really doesn't fit the story, filling in the gaps
  • Put it away for two weeks.... then edit it again
  • Send it out to Beta Readers.... wait patiently...
  • Edit based on the feedback of the Beta Readers - Repeat...
  • Once I'm happy with the first part of the editing process, I will send it to my Editor
  • ...........wait.........wait..........ugh........wait some more...... finish the cover art..... wait....
  • Apply the edits from the Editor that I agree with (I won't agree with all of them)
  • Publish

The Beta Readers serve a really great purpose. Some of them will see the gaps that I missed in the story and will let me know. Others will find spelling mistakes - usually spell checker words that are not the word I meant to use, but are not caught by the spell checker.

They will also provide reviews so the first day the book is available for purchase there are already recommendations.

I've written in this blog before how valuable your reviews are for the sale of my books, and this is one way to help those first day sales once the book is available for general purchase.

I have a fairly diverse list of Beta Readers, and each of them offers something that I value.

My list consists of people who are:

  • Avid Fantasy Fans
  • Not so avid fantasy fans
  • Several authors - self published and trade published, including:
    • One NYT best selling fantasy author
    • One NYT best selling non-fiction author
  • Very close friends and family

Some of the feedback is more critical than others - however I value all of the feedback I get. This might range from "I love it, when is the next book coming out," to "I don't like the way that Karoel deals with the King's men in the square out in front of the castle."  

It can also be as simple as "you used it's instead of its in Chapter 3," which is one of my very poor writing habits.

In the FAQ section of the website, I also answer the question of how YOU can become a Beta Reader for my next Work In Progress (WIP) if you would like to apply.

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