So You Want To Be A Beta Reader

The following article was posted last year on the Indie Chicks Rock website, but there is a lot of valuable information that it’s worth repeating here. So if you’re a casual reader who has ever wanted to be a beta reader for an author you love, spend some time checking this out!

One of the most crucial parts of the writing process comes with beta reading. For authors, it’s anxiety-ridden. For the reader it’s exciting to get to read an early draft of a manuscript. And when beta reading is done well, it can be a lot of work.

All of us Indie Chicks have had our fair share of awesome beta readers … and unfortunately some not some awesome ones, too. So we wanted to share some candid thoughts with you on beta best practices. Oh hell, that sounds so corporate … let’s try that again…

So we wanted to share some candid thoughts with you on how you can avoid being a crappy beta reader and become an author’s best friend. 😉 Because let’s be honest … if you beta our book and really help us out, we’ll be begging to work with you again.

That’s much better. Let’s begin, shall we?

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Waiting for my Betas…a story told by gifs.

So a little over two weeks ago, I sent my precious baby off to some strangers and a few friends to get some ugly, honest feedback on my manuscript. For those of you who don’t know what this is…it’s called beta reading. It’s their job to basically poke as many holes in your story, find the inconsistencies, call you out on shitty writing, tell you what they love, what they hate, and basically give input on how to make everything better. It is, quite possibly, one of the most nerve wrecking things I’ve ever done.

Since early June I have been living in a perpetual state of self doubt. What if I just spent the last seven months writing a big steaming pile o’ shit? What if the story is just horrible? Or worse…predictable? What if no one understands my characters who I’ve put ever fiber of my heart and soul into? What is people hate me? Because really…



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