My First #Betareader report

Getting your work critiqued is probably the scariest thing ever, but I couldn’t wait to get that sort of a feedback. It was so insightful! And the fact that my reader liked it and wants to read the second book is just gravy! For those of you who wonder where I got the reader, I posted a message here, on Facebook and Twitter. These particular reviewers (husband and wife) volunteered from Facebook. I keep an open public FB profile, and I ‘friended’ them because of the Sci fi franchises that they were into. Waiting for a few more reviews and back to write the final draft! Sometimes I can’t believe this is actually happening. 

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13 Comments

      1. It’s going ok.
        When I took the plunge and started to post up half-chapters as a ‘series’ I didn’t expect as much positive feedback as I’m getting.
        So now I’m having much fun, writing and re-writing at the same time.
        Proceeding with the plot in general, while dashing back to earlier chapters and polishing them up for the blog.

  1. I’ve been updating some of the earlier chapters for a proposed novel (my first) and am wondering what the difference is between a beta reader and an editor. I’ve worked with plenty of editors on my published textbooks and self-study books (long story), but I’ve never published fiction before (my agent and the one editor I’ve had an ongoing relationship with don’t know what do to with science fiction so sadly, they haven’t been much help).

    I’m aware of my own limitations at being able to shake out the flaws in my own writing and could use another pair of eyes, but hiring professional editors can get pricey. Is a beta reader an alternative to an editor or merely a step before using an editor.

    Congratulations on your success. Positive feedback feels so good. Hope to hear more good news about your work soon.

    1. What I understand, beta readers are different. They can almost do what editors do, but the conventional situation is that the beta reader is either free, wants a similar favor from you, or is rather inexpensive. When I wrote my story, I became too familiar with it to be able to make another good revision. My editor already saw it too. So I needed someone completely out of the loop to tell me the first impression. It’s scary, but it would be worse to see all the feedback in the reviews and think that I could avoid it. Ok, now you need to tell me where to find an agent 🙂

      1. Actually she found me, but she doesn’t do fiction. About 15 years ago, I’d been doing some work with an independent acquisitions editor (AE), basically a person who matches a publisher’s needs, let’s say updating a chapter in a technical book, to available subject matter experts (SMEs) who can write.

        An agent from Waterside Productions, who works with this AE and her associated group, was looking for new talent, and the AE and her other people recommended me.

        I almost fell out of my chair when I got a call from the agent asking if she could represent me. I had to call my AE friend to make sure it was legit.

        I can give you the URL to Waterside Productions, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find an agent through them: http://www.waterside.com/.

        I asked my agent about getting my science fiction published but she doesn’t do that. She wanted to steer me in another direction, but it’s one I didn’t want to go in.

        I’m going to hone my novel (or novels since I have a second one in the works as well) until I get to the point where it (they) need a beta reader and/or editor, and see if my AE friend knows someone (I may tap your services or your suggestions in this area when the time comes). I’m not sure an agent is always necessary anymore with the advent of self-publishing and indie publishing. I am aware of authors, even in the technical/textbook realm, who are so well-known and respected, that they cut their own deals with publishers.

        The advantage of using an agent, especially a really experienced one, is that they know all the publishers, usually on a personal basis, know the industry, and can advise you on how to get the best deal (and keep you from being ripped off by dodgy publishing houses).

        I recently read a couple of articles about the advantages of indie publishing and how it compares to other publishing paths. The first is Writing Tip: Indie Publishing—Beginning Baby Steps and the second is Author Earnings: Amazon a Majority of the Print Market; Indie Publishing Vindicated.

        I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m trying to put together a collection of resources I can draw on, not only to help improve my writing, but to clue me in on the best publishing and marketing options as well.

        I consider your journey and site a resources as well.

        1. I am learning too! This is a complicated world indeed. Let me know if and when I can help you. Sometimes help came to me when someone I know there retweeted my message, that simple. Other things are not that simple… Anyway, indie / Sci fi authors united!

  2. P.s. I formulated a list of questions for my beta readers. This time I did not ask to fix grammar or anything like that. I just wanted the reader’s first impression. I do have some things to fix, but overall I was not slammed, and these were strangers, so I consider it a success.

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