A few days ago, I read a post about participating in a Barnes and Noble writing group. I was curious to find out if they had a group in my area, so I did some web searching. This is how I stumbled with the phrase “Beta Readers”.
I had no idea what it meant and how valuable this could be for someone like me or anyone else for that matter.
Beta Readers are people who read books with a critical eye and offer the author constructive criticism and honest feedback. At least this is what I hope. They might address issues like grammar, spelling or punctuation. They could aid on finding problems with timelines, characters or any other inconsistencies. Beta Reader might also point out what they love about the book and its strengths. At the end, I believe this process would improve ones writing and as a result the book itself.
After reading what Beta Readers are all about, I thought about my experience of sharing my work with others. I belong to a group in LinkedIn called Writers. There are several discussions going on at the same time and as a member, you may choose to take part on any of them. This time around, I submitted a short story, along with several other members, to a monthly contest created by Heather Marie Schuldt. This group is now voting on the stories written based on a set theme. Furthermore, Heather placed us in a small group, where we share our thoughts, give a review, suggest new titles and comment about writing styles and story line. This is a great way to get feedback in a safe environment.
I hope to write soon about my experience Beta Readers and with this LinkedIn group, which so far has been pure joy.
Oh! I almost forgot. I found an amazing website. It is all about sharing, participating and Beta Readers. They have very strict rules, which I think serve us well to keep the conversations going. You have to become a member to comment. It is free to register. This website is Absolute Write.
Are you part of any writers group? I would love to read what has been your experience, if any, with Beta Readers.