The Importance of Beta Readers

Writers already have to do so much, you know?

Writers have to come up with fully formed characters, a plot, a setting…forming letters and words into a neat and orderly assembly of sentences, paragraphs and scenes. As you may already know, I strive for quality when I write. I take writing seriously, and I want to make a story that would score a 9/10 or 10/10.

So guess my shock when I started sharing my writing with beta readers last month.

I discovered beta readers on goodreads.com. It’s a site where lots of readers hang out, and some authors. I thought the idea was cool and helpful, since I hardly had any idea how readers would perceive my book. Also, I wanted the readers to enjoy my book, so what better way to know about that then ask some readers what they thought about my work?

I make the beta readers sound kind of awful, but that’s really not the case. I found a few via Facebook writer groups and one on Goodreads. I guess I was just appalled when all of them provided 70% negative feedback and 30% positive feedback. I thought to myself: Man! I try so hard already for quality and this isn’t good enough!?!

I am of course very happy to know now than knee deep in my story, but I thought that my focus on quality would have carried me through, y’know?

The point to my story on beta readers is that, despite my best efforts and best intentions, I have realized now that I still have a lot to learn about writing well and forming a good story. If I hadn’t swallowed my fear or pride, I never would have discovered the flaws of my writing via the beta readers. Now I will admit that I have sunk about 20-40% of my weekly writing time into beta readers and implementing their feedback, but I recognize that ultimately a good book involves the author’s perspective and the reader’s perspective. To me, what’s the point of writing and distributing the book if readers hate it or don’t want to read it? Would have been a lot easier to keep the story in my brain…hahaha.

On a side note, I’m gonna do weekly Wednesday posts on my blog from now on, mainly about writing advice, as I work on Splattering Yet Endearing. I hope this post has been helpful. Cheers!

4 thoughts on “The Importance of Beta Readers

  1. Great post! I am a reader and not a writer but I can totally see how a beta reader would be important if you want to be your very best! x

    Like

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