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!
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 They are the ones who read through the unpublished draft and provide invaluable feedback from the consumer’s point of view.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.