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Thursday, June 9, 2011

CM Smith & Beta readers

CM Smith asked how do you know if the Beta reader is any good. (It's pretty bad when Blogger won't allow me to post a comment to my own blog, but yes, it has happened, so I'll answer it as a post.)

That's a good question, one I never thought about. I guess I assumed the person would be good. But you know what assume means. My quick answer is that the intermediary would know good people to ask to read your work. But, I suppose that's no guarantee the Beta reader would be good.

A further elucidation of a Beta reader is that the best Beta readers are not writers. They are just people who love to read books. They are not critiquing your work. They're just answering the question as to whether they liked your book and what they liked about it, or vice versa. In other words, they are representative of the general reading public that does not write books. It's certainly not science. It's subjective feedback that attempts to be objective.
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