There are many free resources for beta readers and I’ve discussed them before. For my first beta reader experience, I decided to find someone who has been doing it for a while and came highly recommended. I also wanted to be able to eventually contrast using a paid vs unpaid beta reader.
Although I have had several friends read portions of my manuscript and have gotten excellent feedback, it was a bit stressful sending it off to a stranger. This story has been alive in my mind for so long, the characters are like family. So many questions. Will they like the story? Will they fall in love with the characters? Will the story hold their interest? and on and on. Eventually you just have to let go and trust the person you’ve chosen to read your work and trust the work stands up to the scrutiny of other eyes. It’s a huge exercise in trust and patience.
I chose my beta reader because she offered competitive pricing, a discount for first time reviews, and also offered two levels of review. She also came highly recommended from an another writer. I am excited about hearing what she has to say about my work but also in taking a big step towards finding out if I really do have a unique voice and stories to offer the world. I know that sounds like a lot to ask from a beta reader but I think it asks just as much of me. In reviewing her comments and her suggested changes, I have to be willing to put aside ego and choose what is best for the story. Not so easy to separate our egos from our art. We all are human after all.
I can’t wait to share my walk through this process with you. I’m also excited about the next steps in pushing my work forward in hopes of securing a publisher or agent (or both). The initial email I received from my beta reader was very encouraging but I walk the line between hope and dread until I receive her final report.
More editing tonight on a second story I’m preparing for beta read. Tomorrow work on synopsis and fine tune queries. So much too do but I’m having a blast! Who knew writing could be so adventurous! B