Morning y’all! Okay, so yesterday I went over copyright laws for aspiring authors like myself and added links with additional helpful information. Today I want to focus on beta readers. A beta reader is someone who offers to review and critique a writer’s work, and trust me, it’s great to have an extra pair of eyes looking over your work to catch mistakes in grammar, awkward sentences, plot holes, etc. Now here is the complaint that a lot of writers have, and that I have experienced myself…the disappearing beta! Unfortunately, this happens a lot. Not only is this frustrating for a writer, it is down right discouraging. To get a message from someone saying, “This sounds like something I would be very interested in reading, and I would love to be your beta,” is exciting. Yay! Awesome! So you send out your work, and you wait. And wait. But nothing, not a single word. Writers and artists, too, are a sensitive breed, so we beat ourselves up wondering, “Was it that bad? Was it so terrible that they couldn’t get past the first page?”
A science fiction writer in a Goodreads group commented, “For me beta readers are mostly used to find plot holes. One thing that helps me is when someone says they’ll read it and then disappears, I tell them: I don’t care if they finish. I care where it was they gave up on the book and why.”
Now I have sent my manuscript out numerous times to would be betas to never hear anything back, but I have also found two outstanding readers that have taken the time to pour over my book, correcting mistakes that I missed. They keep in contact with me as they read, so I can be patient on my end and they have the time they need to edit my book. A good beta reader is offering to read your work, because they have the same passion for writing and they want to help out their fellow authors. It can be time consuming. Remember, they have a life, too. I received a comment from a beta who shared her side of offering to read for authors. She started a project for an author, and she got a quarter of the way into it when she found out she was sick. She contacted the author to say that she was sorry, but couldn’t continue and the reason why. She never received a response back from the author. Not a thank you, hope you get well soon, nothing.
If you offer to be a beta reader for a writer, you should follow through with your commitment, of course, unless something unforeseeable happens. If you are an author working with a beta, tell them thank you! Let them know you appreciate there time and efforts on helping you make your work the best it can be. I would love to hear more feedback and points of views about this. Let me know what you think!