Are You Still Making this Newbie Mistake?
Beta readers. Many reading groups request for beta readers. You will never ever ever see that in Write to Publish. Here’s why–quite simply, they don’t work.
I got an email from a writer. She was working on their novel, was really excited about getting it published, and was looking forward to chatting with me. But first, she wanted to implement some feedback that she got from her beta readers. I wrote back to her and told her that it is her novel and can certainly do what she wants with it.
However, here is what I’ve seen over the years. Beta readers are not industry professionals. They are not the same thing. Beta readers are readers who know what they like and what they don’t but it does not necessarily know a lot about the industry. They won’t be able to tell you why something is not working in your book.
We have taste but we also have expertise. Your average beta reader will not be able to name two publishing houses–never mind what those publishing houses are looking for, what’s been trending in the market, and what editors want.
If you are using beta readers, you are getting really poor and incorrect information. Some writers who have used beta readers have edited it to their standards. When it comes time for professional editors to look over their manuscript it does not reach the industry standard. The beta reader might have liked it but one, is it strong in craft principles and two, does it address the needs of the market right now? In the end you will have to edit your manuscript all over again.
You will be wasting your time with beta readers. Please stop using them. They might stop you from writing altogether or might create more work for you come revision time.
If you are serious about getting the kind of feedback that’s actually going to help you to traditionally publish your novel, well I’d love to chat with you about where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there.