Beta Readers

So Frozen Fire has passed my Beta Reader (Thank you, Barb) with flying colors! WooHoo! One final read-through by me and it’s off to publishers.

I’ve posted about this before, but I think it need to be posted again. Beta Readers are essential for every writer. They’re the first taste you get of what your public will think of your book. If they’re properly instructed, they’ll tell you where the story is rough, where it sags, and where it doesn’t make sense. They’ll give you the emotional impact of your story. That’s their only job. But it’s important. Perhaps more important than line editing (cringe, don’t hate me for that one – I’ll explain).

How do we sell books? By people liking it. If no one likes it, no one will buy it. Simple arithmetic, actually. If your reader gets confused or bored, they’ll put the book down. Your story that you slaved away on, will be doomed.

Hence the necessity of a Beta Reader.

Qualifications for a Beta Reader: Try to pick someone who loves to read. Someone who’s familiar with your genre(s). Someone who has an understanding of a good story from bad. And, most importantly, someone who’s kind, but bluntly honest.

Don’t make the mistake of using another writer as a Beta Reader. It won’t work. They’ll concentrate on editing, and will often miss the big emotional impact of the story. Not that the editing isn’t necessary, of course it is. Before you send it to your Beta Reader, you should have it edited as much as possible. It should be ready to go to publisher, minus the one last reading you’ll do.

So, here’s to Beta Readers: You’re an important part of the writing process. Thank you!

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About Wendy L. Koenig

I was born in Colorado, but raised on a small homestead in Illinois. I served in the USAF right out of high school. After my stint in the military was finished, I returned home and had a horse stable. My first piece to be printed was a short children’s fiction, Jet’s Stormy Adventure, serialized in The Illinois Horse Network. It was a natural fit, given my business. Later, I attended University of Iowa's famed summer workshops and writing programs. Since that time, I have authored and co-authored numerous books. Several of my novels and short stories have won international awards and have appeared in multiple venues.
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