How to Give Your Beta Readers Clear Guidance
|Mailing out a round of books to beta readers|
When I needed Beta Readers for my graphic novel, And Yet We Rise, I had no problem getting volunteers from personal contacts and friends on social media. I soon had a dozen names and books to give them. What I didn't have was guidance. I searched the internet for a straight forward bullet list of tasks for readers. The closest I came to finding anything of the sort was at http://thewritelife.com/ultimate-guide-to-beta-readers/ . The letter below is adapted from this source material because I thought it was so good.
Guidance to Beta Readers for And Yet We Rise:
|book cover: And Yet We Rise|
- Comment with your thoughts as you read, even if it’s to say, “Ooh, I like this” or to make predictions about what will happen next. This shows me how people read the book.
- Things I’d like you to look for:
- Areas you felt were missing something or weren’t developed enough
- Sections or scenes superfluous to the story
- Any part of the story, dialogue, or narrative you didn’t understand or found confusing
- The flow and pace of the chapters
- Mark places that made you felt emotion (and note that emotion and why)
- Write “whys,” not “shoulds.” For example, you write “I’m confused here because…” or “I don’t like this because…” will be more helpful than “You should do…” statements.
Please return to me by October 21. You can give it to me personally or send by mail.
If you have a good list of guidance for beta readers, leave a comment, or send me an email. You can also find me on Twitter @dsborden.
Rediscover the joy of letters when my new website https://www.scribblefire.com/ launches on October 19, 2016. I enjoy receiving old-school correspondence by snail mail. If you are similarly inclined, drop me a line at:
PO BOX 200512
Austin, TX 78720
There is a high probability I'll write you back...
#writing #betareader #editing #publishing #book #graphicnovel