Why Beta Readers Rock

I met with one of my beta readers yesterday to discuss my book. He helped me see a couple holes I could fill. I knew he was right because he addressed spaces I had seen myself but not known how to fix. By having someone else see them, I could then push myself to do the hard work of figuring it out.

Last night I sat down and tied together these loose ends. Maybe it is not 100% fixed, but it’s better, and that’s the point. I am so grateful to my readers for their honesty. So far, they have spotted typos, cheered me on, and even explained why they could not keep reading.

While the majority finished with a smile, it helps to know exactly why it’s not a story for everyone, something that sounds difficult to bear but was actually quite reassuring. We all know every book has an audience. Getting to ask a reader why they did not finish is a real gift.

And, last but not least, sharing my writing with more people, including acquaintances instead of just close friends/family, is building my confidence. It is no longer such a scary feeling to imagine unfamiliar eyes on my work. Some will like it and some won’t, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s really liberating!

So, thank you, thank you, thank you to my beta readers. If you’re still reading, take your time, I’m still working. And, if you’ve written a book without a beta audience, I suggest giving it a shot. By no means do you have to listen to everyone, but you may be surprised by what you learn and how it changes your confidence in your work. I definitely feel a lot stronger and braver for it.

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4 thoughts on “Why Beta Readers Rock

  1. I am glad this process is working for you. I took a few screenwriting classes in college, and we shared our work all the time, which at first was scary, but also — like you say — liberating; There is something about sharing your work with someone, it is personal but also most of the time the themes are universal.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      It’s so true. I think there is also something in the realization that it’s not the end of the world if someone doesn’t like it. Just makes our work more real.

      How fun to take a screenwriting class! Are you still working on any? 🙂

  2. kingmidget says:

    Sounds like a great lunch!!!

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