The importance of alpha and beta readers

If I ever get Shelved “finished” (kidding…), there are still many more steps to get through. The next step is the one I’m the most excited about!

Beta readers!

Amanda-Shofner

So, what is a beta reader? Or an alpha reader? They are the unsung heroes. They are the ones who read through the unpublished draft and provide invaluable feedback from the consumer’s point of view. Does the plot need help? Are your characters likable? Are people able to relate to your story? Are there boring places, or orphaned characters that were introduced and just left hanging out there?

I am lucky to have some awesome beta readers who have volunteered to help me identify these things. I am grateful for them. I am asking for some extra TLC to be given to the first ten pages, because that is what will be sent out with my query letter to the literary agents who shall remain nameless at this time. Once I get to the point of querying, I’ll blog about them in detail, including what I hope will be a request for a complete manuscript. I’ve targeted my dream agents. Please don’t crush my dream, agents!

In addition to the amazing people who have offered to beta read, I am also extremely lucky to have a fantastic alpha reader who has been reading along as each I finish editing/re-writing each chapter from beginning to end. I consider her a subject matter expert in YA books, and she has provided invaluable live feedback which has improved the plot and writing, even before the beta reading stage.

Now, back to editing.

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5 thoughts on “The importance of alpha and beta readers

  1. Beta readers are SO important. I didn’t realize it until it was too late, so I went to the next best: Reviewers. Where do you find your beta readers? I’ve found that it’s a bit difficult to find some

    Like

    1. Thanks for the comment, Anthony! The concept of beta readers is new to me (but standard for many). I started a Facebook page for my book, and I’ve only solicited “likes” from my family and closest friends at this time. I am hoping to build positivity on the page first before recruiting more people or strangers to like the page (although if people stumble upon the page and stay, that’s great!).

      I posted that I needed beta readers to provide feedback that would ultimately help shape the final draft, and I mentioned that I would put the beta readers into the book’s acknowledgements, and it worked out really well. Of course, I know all of them, so I am hoping to get them comfortable enough to really be honest with me. After the first round I might recruit people I don’t know.

      How did you recruit reviewers?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very good idea . . . Offering to put their name in the ackn. In exchange. I’m definitely gonna try that out. I found reviewers though WordPress here and Goodreads. I emailed some I discovered on an indie book reviewer site but not heard back yet.

        Good luck with everything! What’s the Facebook page? I’d like to take a look if you don’t care

        Liked by 1 person

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