Unfortunately, circumstances have put my next Vocational Vivication on hold for the time being. In lieu of my own work, I invite you to read this interesting article about Beta Readers:
Survey Results: The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers
I conducted a survey via my mailing list asking about people’s experiences with beta readers. I received a rush of responses – 50 in the first two hours alone. Thank you all so much for your input! Clearly, many writers think it’s valuable to get manuscript feedback, but also sometimes struggle with the process.
Beta readers are the superheroes who give us feedback on our draft manuscripts. People use the term in various ways, which is absolutely fine, but when I use it, I’m referring to a volunteer rather than a paid professional. I call a paid professional an editor, proofreader or writing coach.
I’ve seen feedback, when it’s appropriate and used intelligently, transform not just books but writers, which is why I’ve written a whole book on the topic: Beta Reader Superhero Writer’s Handbook. (This informal, self-selected survey formed part of my research for the book.)
I’m the Number 1 fan of beta readers, but I’ve also encountered problems in the process myself, and spoken to lots of others about their frustrations. This survey was about diving deeper into the pros and cons to figure out how to make it work better.