This week, our theme has been fast and easy Kindle publishing. Before you hit the Publish button, your need readers. Today, let’s look at your first readers – your beta readers.
Your beta readers are people who read your stories before they’re published, and give you their honest opinions. They tell you how your short story, novel, or nonfiction ebook affected them.
If you’re writing a short story, you want their opinion on your STORY — where are the dull bits? What didn’t make sense? What didn’t they understand? What was off about the pacing? Was there sufficient conflict?
You can find beta readers everywhere. You simply have to ask for them.
Friends: do you have friends who read your genre, and whom you trust? You don’t want anyone to tell you “that’s wonderful!” and leave it at that.
Social media — Twitter, Google+, Facebook. I’ve found beta readers on these networking sites. Send out a tweet, or join a writer’s community on Google+, describe your story, and ask for a couple of beta readers.
Reciprocation: your best beta readers will be other writers
Although anyone can be a beta reader for you, your “best” beta readers are other writers. This is simply because writers understand the need for speed. They know that you want to get this story done and published, so they’ll read the story, and will give you feedback quickly. Non-writers don’t understand the urgency. They have no understanding of deadlines, even if your deadlines are those you set yourself.
The saying “the best way to get a friend is to be one” applies to early readers for your work too — the best way to get great beta readers is to be willing to read others’ work, and to give then your feedback on their writing projects quickly.
When you read for someone, they’ll be moved to reciprocate when you have material for which you want readers.
If you find a reader or two who give you great feedback —- they understand your writing, and enjoy it, you’re lucky. You’re even more lucky if these people are writers too.
Your beta readers help you to write
Your beta readers help you in two ways:
They’ll end your procrastination. When you know that your betas are waiting for the next chapter of your novel, or nonfiction ebook, you’re eager to get it done.
Feedback always helps. Others’ input will spark your enthusiasm, and your own ideas. You’ll write more, because you’re interacting with readers.
Working with beta readers is fun. You’ll get responses to your writing, so you’re spurred to write.
Action tip: ask for beta readers today
If you’re writing a Kindle ebook, send out a tweet asking for beta readers. It’s the best thing you can do for your Kindle publishing career.
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