How important is it to have beta readers for our books before sending them off to the editor?
I can say from my own experience that I’ve never put out a book without at least another few pair of eyes on it to gain feedback from someone who’s opinion I highly value as a reader, be it a fellow author or an avid book reader. It’s nice to receive some objectivity, which we as writers often tend to lose after reading our own work many times over. This helps to prepare our manuscripts, ready for editing. But Jo Robinson’s article below that she wrote for LitWorldInterviews will explain the value of beta readers in greater detail.
“Not all writers use beta readers, and not all writers offer their services as beta readers, but both of these things can serve as a huge help in our writing. Looking at it from the writer’s side first, it’s important to know what it is that you’d like your beta reader to do for your story, if there is anything in particular that you do want. Don’t be shy to ask if you suspect a weakness in any area.
In general, as well as glaring plot holes and so on, your beta reader will spot things like continuity problems, or hair that started out blonde and suddenly changed to auburn half way through the story. These are big deal issues for your future readers and often things that we miss because of our closeness to the story. . . Continue Reading