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What are beta readers?

You may have heard the term ‘beta reader’. But what are beta readers? And how can they help your writing?

A beta reader will look at your early work and give you early feedback on your work. You probably already have someone who you send early drafts to like your other half, family members or friends. However, beta readers go a little further than that.

Rather than someone who feels a vested interest in your work, a beta is a someone who you don’t know outside of  your writing. You might have met them on a writing forum, or in a local writing group. It might even be someone at work that you’ve talked about writing to.

The idea is to find someone who knows about writing and will be honest with you when reading your work. Although  family members are great sounding boards, most of them won’t want to hurt your feelings, so will censor their advice accordingly. I know some family members won’t have this problem – but most will!

You will not give all of your work to all of your beta readers. Some will have certain areas of expertise. Some might not like the genre that you’ve written. Some might have other things on that week. The important thing to do is to build up a group that you can go to when you feel your work needs external input.

Do you have somewhere that you go to for your betas? Let me know in the comments.

I’m currently looking for beta readers for my new sci-fi novel. Drop me an email if you’re interested.

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