Why You Need A Beta Reader

Posted November 12, 2015 by Jamie in Author Advice // 0 Comments

Your Story Needs A Beta Reader

We’re sure you’re thinking “but my story is perfect, I don’t need someone else to read it over!” While no story is ever perfect, it is always helpful to have an unbiased, neutral third party read over your manuscript. Talking to a friend about your manuscript will not have the same impact as having a beta reader reading over your story. A loved one, or someone who cares about you, will not want to disappoint you by telling you they don’t like a certain element of your story. It is best to have a beta reader who has no personal connection to you read over your manuscript.

Beta Readers Are Your Target Audience

You need a beta reader who falls into your target reading audience to read your manuscript to ensure your future readers will enjoy the story. A beta reader in your target audience, or who has read a lot of books that are in your specific genre, will be able to give you feedback as to how readers will interpret your story, including what will be liked, disliked, and controversial. This type of audience feedback will allow you to see that your story is in the right genre and age range for your readers while ensuring the story is one they will want to read and recommend to their friends.

The Perfect Give and Take

Of course you want a beta reader who will read your manuscript and give you constructive criticism and feedback. It is not helpful for a beta reader to completely tear apart your manuscript but rather point out specific instances that could be changed to make it more accessible to your readers. Based on past reading experience and what readers are looking for in a story, beta readers can give you feedback to tighten up the story and give your future readers their next five-star read. A phrase or a piece of dialogue you think makes sense might seem out of place to the average reader. Much like with proofreading, as you read your story over and over again, you become accustomed to how things are rather than how things should be; a beta reader can help with that.

Let BAMF Help You

Here at Books Are My Fandom, we offer unbiased, third party opinions on your completed manuscript. As beta readers, we pride ourselves on being able to thoroughly examine novels for plot holes, stinted dialogue, and unrealistic character motivations while ensuring that the overall arc of the novel makes sense. We can look at specific characters to determine whether or not they feel “real”, have logical motivations and act accordingly. Upon completion of reading your novel, we will give you our overall impressions as well as where we think there could be room for improvements and a general idea of where the story could go next, if it is a series.

To see more about our beta reading services, visit our Author Services page.

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