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Can someone clue me up on beta readings? (1 Viewer)

Hello,

I understand the principles of beta readers, its like a critic right? Often people will donate their time to read and review writers stories and give constructive/ or not so feedback?
but having never heard of them before the forum I have a number of questions?

When can you start looking for betas? Should they be from total strangers that fit your target market or should they be a mixure of people I know and strangers?

Does my book need to be finished? Or can I give sample areas. Bearing in mind, I would only ask the basics of questions if someone read the whole story, as most of my books are between 85-100k words.

Would an questionnaire be beneficial if I asked the beta about specific areas I want reviewing with an extra section for any additional comments?

Where do I find these people? I have friends who would be happy to help. Do I use a forum, social media ect?

and lastly, do betas view work before or after an editor?

Thanks a bunch
 

Terry D

Retired Supervisor
Hello,

I understand the principles of beta readers, its like a critic right? Often people will donate their time to read and review writers stories and give constructive/ or not so feedback?
but having never heard of them before the forum I have a number of questions?

When can you start looking for betas? Should they be from total strangers that fit your target market or should they be a mixure of people I know and strangers?

A beta should be someone whose opinion you trust. My first beta reader is always my wife, she's a skillful reader and I know she's not going to blow smoke when she gives her opinion. I wouldn't use a total stranger as a beta because I would have no idea how valuable their opinion would be.

Does my book need to be finished? Or can I give sample areas. Bearing in mind, I would only ask the basics of questions if someone read the whole story, as most of my books are between 85-100k words.

This, I think is a highly personal decision. No one sees my work until it is complete and revised at least once, but that's just me.

Would an questionnaire be beneficial if I asked the beta about specific areas I want reviewing with an extra section for any additional comments?

This is an interesting idea. I've never considered it, but I can see the value.

Where do I find these people? I have friends who would be happy to help. Do I use a forum, social media ect?

If you have family you trust, and whose opinion on writing you value, that would be a good place to start. The same goes for your circle of friends -- just be sure your beta isn't just telling you what they think you want to hear. The forum on which you posted this question is set-up specifically to hook writes up with folks willing to beta read their books, so that's a good place to start too.

and lastly, do betas view work before or after an editor?

Thanks a bunch 

Definitely before. Your beta(s) should be the first reader after you've gotten the book to a shape you are happy with.
 

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