The last couple of months have all been about edits, and preparing The Matching to be sent out to beta readers. It went out at the beginning of March, and I’ve been doing some big edits based on some of that feedback. Big changes. Changes that I knew needed to be made, but just wanted to have confirmed by outside eyes.
But that’s what’s so wonderful about beta readers, and a good one really is worth their weight in gold. Or platinum. Or plutonium.
Beta readers can offer you something you can never give yourself: a distanced opinion. An outside eye. A level of detachment you can’t achieve. But there’s something even more important than that, something that only a good beta reader can offer: honesty. That, that’s harder to find.
The most obvious beta readers available to you are friends and family. And while some of them can be good beta readers (I use family members), many will try to spare your feelings, try not to upset you or cause a falling out. This is no use to you, your writing, or your future readers. You need people that understand how important that honesty is, and people who aren’t afraid to give it to you.
So what is a beta reader worth? A good one? Everything. They’re worth your book, your readers’ enjoyment, your reviews, your sales, your confidence in your work, your future career. Everything.
So once you find a good beta reader, never let them go. (Please note: I mean this metaphorically. I do not advocate the kidnapping, imprisonment, or enforced servitude of beta readers. Even a good one.)