Monday, April 4, 2016

A to Z Blog: B-Beta readers

This is often a subject that comes up on panels and podcasts. So let’s start out with: What is a beta reader? Beta readers are often the people who read your manuscript after you initial self-edits, maybe your critique group, but before you hand it to an editor or submit it for publication. When I had a manuscript to my beta readers, what I’m looking for is honest feedback. Feedback that I can take an apply to my story to make it better, stronger…something that both I and my readers will be happy with. I have them look for plot holes, character issues, consistency. I do have some who tend to focus on grammar and typos, but they aren’t my editors. My betas are a team, I value their input and they help me grow as an author.

Do you have to use beta readers? Well…no, but if you don’t I suggest you invest in a good content editor who will help you catch those errors. Do beta readers get paid? No, they do this on a volunteer basis because they love to read and they love the development process. Their perk is getting extra time with the author and getting an advance peek at the book. This is better than an ARC, this is getting their hands on a more raw version of the book.

Where do you find beta readers? All over, mine found me really. I started with a couple close friends that I could trust and from there people offered, normally after giving me feedback on already published piece. Make sure they are people you can trust and will give you honest feedback and not just kiss your ass. You’ll have plenty of people to stroke your ego later. ;) 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Audience and an Introduction to the A to Z blog

I’ve decided to join the A to Z blog hop! I’m using it as a way to jump start my blog to get it back to flowing, because I know I’ve been slacking with posting things. I’ll get better, promise. So I chose to keep everything writing related in some way for this blog, so sit back and enjoy an entire month of me blogging and rambling!

      A-      Audience
As an author, it’s important to keep in mind who your audience is when it comes to writing. I used to think that this meant having a very specific idea. Was it the single mom looking or something to read? Was it the college student who needed a break from studying? Or the man who had an hour commute to work and back on a bus? Those are great ideas and aren’t bad for a starting place, but really. Depending on the book, I started with a much broader idea…
Adult or young?
Yes, starting out was that simple. My answer was adult, for Dark War Chronicles, because it had sex. Now though, the lines are blurred a little bit thanks to some panels I’ve been on. At a recent con, I learned how to adapt my pitch to the person in front of me. So really my audience at the moment is the person who is standing in front of me. When writing, who do I have in mind?
Why? Because first and foremost, I write for me. I write the stuff that I want to read. So yes, audience is important, but don’t stress yourself out about it. Okay? Good, go write!