Writing a Book? Get Beta Readers

Writing a Book? Get Beta Readers

When I posted a notice in my ezine asking for volunteers to be beta readers for my new book, How to Write Your Book in a Flash: The Paint-by-Numbers System for Writing the Book of Your Dreams FAST! I was thrilled to have 10 people respond!

Upon further reflection, I was surprised that 10 people actually knew what a beta reader is!

If you are writing a book, or plan to write a book, you’ll want to read this brief introduction to beta readers.

Beta readers are volunteers who read a draft of a book and give their honest feedback on what works, what doesn’t work and what is missing. They are not copy editors and they aren’t looking for typos.

When I wrote books for Wiley, my editors suggested I send the books to experts for “peer review.” Instead of peers, I’m sending my book to people who are my target readers – people who want to write books.

Beta readers provide an invaluable service to authors because they offer unique perspectives the author doesn’t have.

The author, after all, isn’t the target reader. The author knows it all – or seeks to find it.

The reader, on the other hand, wants to learn and have their questions answered. If they don’t understand something, they will highlight that flaw in your manuscript.

For example, the author might assume that everyone knows terms like plagiarism, call-outs and forewords. I realized that I needed to define every term because people might not know the most rudimentary terms.

In the process, I learned too.

For example, a foreword (not forward) is written by an outside expert while a preface is written by the author.

While the majority of my book shows how to write a book quickly, editing and revising a book is part of the writing process. Therefore, my book includes a section on how authors can find beta readers and how to work with them. After all, readers need to know what info you want from them.

My book also provides sample letters and forms covering the care and feeding of beta readers.

I hope this information helps you write better books!

BTW, I’m humbled and relieved that the feedback I’m getting from my beta readers is VERY positive.

They love the book – and they are finding items that they love – and items that need work.

They saved my neck!

They found dozens of typos.

I’m back to editing and writing.

2018-04-17T20:40:14+00:00 By |2 Comments

About the Author:

Dan Janal has written 13 landmark books, including 6 for John Wiley & Sons, that have been translated into 6 languages. He is a serial entrepreneur and inspiring business keynote speaker who helps entrepreneurs realize their dreams of creating a successful business, leading a balanced life, and achieving financial freedom. You will also find him frequently on webinars, podcasts, and radio shows. He's probably the only person who created 8 different businesses that make $100,000 a year by using 8 different business models. He has spoken on marketing topics and futurism in six countries and four continents and has taught at Berkeley and Stanford. He's one of the most creative, problem-solving persons you’ve ever encountered. And now, he has created the paint-by-numbers system for writing the book of your dreams, available through live support or on-demand training.

2 Comments

  1. Kelly Vriezen January 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I was honored to be one of your beta readers, Dan! Your content is fabulous.

    As a speaker, trainer, and blogger, I am no stranger to writing, but writing a book that people will want to read has a lot of moving parts. Your approach builds confidence (and reduces the fear!) by tackling the process in a humorous, informative, and relatable way. Aspiring authors will achieve a finished product they can be proud of if they use your approach. I can’t wait to get this book in its final form.

    Beta reading your manuscript was a great experience for me and has encouraged me to tackle a manuscript of my own!

    Thanks, Dan!

    • Dan Janal May 26, 2018 at 12:09 am - Reply

      Kelly,

      Thank you for being part of what we are doing and for your friendship and support!

      All the best,

      Dan

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