The Nano to Publish workshop happened in April even though I was busy posting for the A to Z Challenge. We talked mostly about how to find beta readers and what kind of readers we should be looking for.
First thing to consider, writers will give you write it better feedback. They might even give you feedback that focuses on how they would have written the novel. This is marginally beneficial. Another set of eyes is always good but don’t get all writer feedback on your beta, that’s what your critique partner is for.
Get readers for your beta. Ie, People who READ. In a perfect world you’d have two who read your genre and at least one who doesn’t. Readers tell you how they as a reader experienced your novel and that’s ultimately your focus.
You also need at least one eagle eyed, anal retentive line editor to catch every oops. Every double space, wrong punctuation, misspelling, incorrect word choice, etc.
I also spent a bit of time talking about your mom. Your Spouse. Your best friend.
They all love you. Ergo their feedback is less useful. Why? Because they will like your book because you wrote it. And even if they honestly think its the best thing ever, will you believe them, give the whole love thing? And if they do hate it, and they’re honest, how will that effect the relationship long term? Think carefully before using this avenue.
So where to find these bastions of honest virtue? Well if you have a blog, you can try asking for readers there. Your followers already like your style. At least a couple of them might like to read something longer from you.
How much beta do you like as a writer? Do you use the same readers every time? Where do you find them? Inquiring minds want to know.