Thursday Thoughts: Beta Readers

I use the website StoryOrigin to connect with other authors to promote books with each other’s readerships, distributing my free books to newsletter subscribers, managing review copies, and recently, to allow access to my new book thought the beta copy feature.

If you are an author and have never used a beta reader, you are missing out of a powerful tool. This is the third time I have used a beta reader but only the first time on this platform.

Here’s how it works. I invite a reader to sign up (no cost). I then upload a chapter or more that they can access and leave comments similar to how it works in a word document. I can then review the highlighted areas and comments, and make changes and upload a new version if needed. Once the reader has rated the chapter and left an overall impression, they can unlock the next chapter.

Since this is the fist time I have used this feature, I put out a call to my newsletter subscribers to help me beta the beta, so to speak.

My grammar program, my knowledge of the English language, and my editor are responsible for creating the least painful reading experience when it comes to form and grammar. My beta reader catches all my story errors, like:

  • Continuity. “They had left the packs behind, but now they have them?” Oh yeah.
  • Timing. “It would be dark now, wouldn’t it?” Not if I go back and make them run faster.
  • Characters. “I don’t like that guy/girl.” You aren’t supposed to. “Oh.”
  • Dialogue. “They/he/her doesn’t talk naturally.” Got it. More contractions.
  • General confusion. “I don’t get this part.” I don’t like being confused when I’m reading a story, so this bothers me when my story is.

No matter how much a writer plans, there are always errors. You forget that you wrote a part, missed an important description, or put the characters in an unbelievable position. We forget that we know what we mean, but it may not always be clear to other

I appreciate what my reader does for my story—makes it a better story.

-Leon

Are you an author? You can check out StoryOrigin here.* I also use BookFunnel for promotions as well. Both platforms have their pros and cons.

*It is an affiliate link.


Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.

Oh, pick me! (only available here and on KOBO)

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One thought on “Thursday Thoughts: Beta Readers

  1. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-up May 7: Shoulda stayed in bed. | Lines by Leon

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