Beta Reader Feedback

I finished the second draft revisions of Song yesterday. Once I had my revision plan, it took me almost exactly a month to work through it. Well, there were a lot of things to fix.

Next up for this manuscript is to solicit feedback from trusted readers.

I’ve mentioned before how I like to approach this stage, but to summarise:

  1. set expectations
  2. provide guidance questions
  3. give a time frame

Expectations

Feedback expectations for Song are pretty basic: is it a good story?

Definitely not looking for detailed copy edits at this stage.

Guidance

I like to provide guidance on feedback with questions about the book. The questions I used for the Livia feedback team were:

  1. Was this a story you enjoyed?
  2. How did you feel about the characters?
  3. Is there anything you particularly liked?
  4. Is there anything that you especially disliked, or that pulled you out of the story?
  5. If you could change three things, what would they be?

I’ll probably use something very close to that for Song because although the book is in some ways further along than Livia was at this stage, I still worry that I have written something uninteresting*.

Timeframe

I have a timeline in mind and I will be communicating that to my readers. My feeling is that anything less than two weeks is unreasonably short, but the time should also not be open-ended – I don’t know about anyone else, but I tend to prioritise tasks with an actual deadline!

Review Materials

Readers need something to read.

I don’t do paper review copies at this stage because they’re hard to transport and relatively expensive to make. My writing IDE (Scrivener) can make several electronic formats, though, so since I don’t especially care about layout at this point I will offer all of those to my readers so they can make a choice that fits their reading style best.

And with that, I should get back to doing a cover for the electronic version of the book.

[*] I think it’s interesting, obviously.

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