So, you wrote a book.
Or at least you wrote a story, or a body of text, and you want it to become a book.
What comes next?
Well, you know, from my previous post here, about things getting too much that it’s not just about writing. There is rereading, and rewriting and editing involved that can take a while.
After all that work, have you finally got something worth reading?
I mean, that’s why I write. To be read. You know that. I mentioned it here.
And the only way I know it will be something worthy of a reader’s attention, is by sending it out to a few readers.
Those in the know call these test pilots Beta Readers. Or you can strip it down further and say your first readers, those who will feedback with information as to whether your story is viable, are your Alpha Readers.
Then after rounds of edits and rewrites, come your Beta Readers. They are the ones who will give you the feedback that can take your book from good to great.
Some Beta Readers are there to give you general feedback.
- Does the story engage the reader?
- Does it make sense?
- Any major plot holes?
- They will give a great general piece of feedback for you to mull over
Some go that bit further:
- Give more specific feedback about style of writing
- Point out spelling or grammar errors, or those missed full stops and unneccesary spaces
- Give detailed notes on every page
All this feedback is great. But what do you do with it all?
Well, having sent my manuscript to five trusted Beta Readers, I am awaiting the full feedback from a couple but I have already had some. Here are a couple of pointers to remember.
- Wait for all your feedback to come in before making any major changes
- Check to see whether there are any similarities in the feedback that may highlight an issue that you need to tackle
- Remember there’s no such thing as bad feedback. If you sent it to the right people, all will be constructive
- Don’t forget it is one persons opinion
- Pick and choose what you decide to alter. It is your book, after all
- Keep positive comments handy to cheer yourself up when things are tough, but don’t forget any negative words. They are there to help you better your work.
These are the comments I have kept to make me feel these last 19 years have been worth it!
I was so down last week, having let editing get to me, so I had a total break from everything for a few days. It helped immensely. I woke up one day feeling so positive about the whole situation that I ended up submitting my manuscript to a publisher. Just like that!
I don’t have my head in the clouds, but if you don’t try, you won’t know, will you?
Now I just have to wait… wait for the rest of the Beta Reader feedback… wait to hear back from the publisher…