Being a writer is similar to bring a comedian. It doesn’t matter if a comedian thinks he/she is funny, it matters if the audience laughs. The same goes for a writer. You can write what you believe is the best book known to man, but if nobody wants to read it then it truly isn’t the greatest book. Since authors exist for readers, it is important to have others read your work before releasing it to the general public. Seek out beta readers to get suggestions on how to improve your book to make sure people will actually want to read it.
- Ask friends and family: Your family and friends always support you, so they will probably be more than willing to read your book and provide their opinions. Don’t be shy when reaching out to friends or family members; the more people who read your book the better. Pick family members or friends who will give you honest advice. Sugarcoated advice will not be beneficial in improving your book.
- Offer to be a beta reader for someone else in exchange: Sometimes to get something you have to give a little. If you know another author who is looking for a beta reader, offer to read their book in exchange for them returning the favor. Goodreads is a wonderful forum for finding other writers looking for beta readers to critique their work.
- Join a writing group: As we discussed in last week’s blog, writing groups can offer critiques on your work. The great thing about criticism from members of a writing group is that they have the perspective from a writer and a reader.
When hearing criticism from beta readers, it is up to you which advice to take and which to dismiss. It may hurt to change the book you worked so hard on, but not all changes are bad. This is an opportunity to make your book even better and get you closer to becoming a successful author.
Good luck on your quest to find beta readers!