Beta Reader Superhero Writer's Handbook: How to Harness the Power of Feedback to Write a Better Book

Beta Reader Superhero Writer's Handbook: How to Harness the Power of Feedback to Write a Better Book

by Belinda Pollard


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780648267201
Publisher: Small Blue Dog Publishing Pty Ltd
Publication date: 01/22/2019
Series: Beta Reader Superhero , #1
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Belinda Pollard is an award-winning Australian author, accredited book editor, publishing consultant, writing coach, speaker and blogger. Her editing portfolio includes books that have won or been shortlisted for significant awards or become classics in their niche, while her own writing prizes include a Varuna Fellowship. Her advocacy for writers and editors brings publishing and speaking invitations from around the world.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The beauty of beta readers 1

Chapter 1. How I discovered beta readers 2

How my experiences shaped my beta reader strategy, and how my discoveries can help you.

How to get what you need from this book, as fast as possible.

The three pillars of my 3H Beta Reading strategy: Humility, Honesty and Heart.

What I think about rules.

Chapter 2. The basics 8

Definitions and descriptions.

Types of books beta readers can help with.

Do we need both beta readers and professional editors?

Chapter 3. The ideal beta reader 17

Demographics of the ideal beta reader.

Personality traits and relevant experience.

Reading and writing characteristics to look for.

How much publishing knowledge should a beta reader have?

Chapter 4. Where to find the right beta readers for you 29

How to network with other writers to find people who are a good match with your project and might enjoy helping you.

When to start looking.

Where to find the right people.

Part 2: Managing the beta reader process 41

Chapter 5. When to use beta readers 42

Where beta readers can add value in each phase of creating a book, compared with tasks a pro editor might do.

When to use or avoid beta readers, depending on your goals and level of experience.

Whether to engage your beta team all at once, or spread them out over the project timeline.

Chapter 6. How to approach potential beta readers 61

Attitudes that create an effective beta reading process, and ones that work against us.

Tips for making that initial request.

Chapter 7. How to brief your beta readers 69

Setting the tone.

Working out a schedule.

Formats to offer, and formats to ask for.

Asking for testimonials.

Chapter 8. Types of feedback to request 78

Common issues for fiction, memoir, and non-fiction.

How to ask questions in a way that helps your beta readers to give you what you need.

Chapter 9. How to respond to a beta report 90

Different reactions to beta reports, and attitudes that can help.

The importance of time and space.

Several techniques for weighing the results.

Part 3: How to become a better beta reader 105

Chapter 10. The mindset of an excellent beta reader 106

What is, and isn’t, included in the beta reading task.

Where to find writers you’d like to beta for.

3H Beta Reading—from the reader’s perspective.

Attitudes that help, and those that don’t.

Chapter 11. Making contact: what and how to ask 114

How to volunteer to be a beta reader, in a way that makes it easy for the writer to accept or decline your offer.

What to ask the writer so you can be as useful as possible in your feedback.

Chapter 12. Techniques for beta reading 122

Methods and techniques to help you read thoughtfully and record your responses.

What to look for.

The level of importance of different issues at various stages of the publishing process.

Chapter 13. Checklists and challenges 129

How to use checklists—and how not to use them.

Why fiction and memoir face similar issues.

Common challenges in fiction, memoir and non-fiction.

Chapter 14. Delivering your report 142

Tips for ways to structure a beta report so that it is most useful to the writer.

Ideas for how to present both positives and negatives so they are useful and encouraging.

Where to now? 153

Glossary 155

Index 156

About the Author 159

Also by Belinda Pollard 160

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