The Difference Between Alpha, Beta, and ARC Readers

arc-beta-alpha-reader-book-1836380_960_720We’ve had articles about each of these three kinds of readers, the purpose of each, and where they fit in the overall book creation process. But we’ve seen some confusion among our readers and some thought a discussion comparing and contrasting all three in one place might be useful. Continue reading “The Difference Between Alpha, Beta, and ARC Readers”

LynneQuisition: BookHive

Interviews by Lynne CantwellFinding beta readers isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. Friends and family are the obvious choice, but Mom probably isn’t going to give you an unbiased opinion.

Enter BookHive, a service that will provide your book with its very own focus group. BookHive Queen Bee Jennifer Bowen agreed to sit in the comfy chair and tell us about it. Continue reading “LynneQuisition: BookHive”

A Sticky Situation

checklist-310092_150Sometimes, as fellow writers, we are asked to participate in groups and events that have the potential to result in hard feelings or damaged relationships.  We authors can be a sensitive bunch, for all that we are told to develop thick skins.  I ought to know. Yet, without the feedback from our fellows how are we to know when we are missing the grade?

There are two conflicting urges we must deal with concurrently when offering our opinions on the work of others. This is especially so when we are in personal contact (as opposed to writing a review where we are not known to the author). Our first impulse is to be helpful, supportive and encouraging. But if we are to meet that goal it is imperative that we also be honest. If our honest feedback has to be less than glowing it puts us in a bind. This is even more so if the situation involves more people than yourself and the author on the hot seat. Continue reading “A Sticky Situation”

Open Letter to Beta-Readers

editingDear Beta-Reader:

Okay, I’ve written my magnum opus. I’ve elicited friends, family and beta-readers to read it, and I’m waiting on pins and needles for the feedback. I’m sitting with fingers and toes crossed, holding my breath, checking e-mail every five seconds, hoping against hope that the readers will like it. Then I get the first response: “I liked it. It’s good.”

Helpful? Yeah, no. Of course I would love to have my first readers ooh and ahh over the book, but this very non-specific comment is not constructive. Nice as it is, it tells me nothing.

The purpose of beta-readers is not to stroke my writer’s ego. That job belongs to my mother. The purpose of beta-readers is to find all the shortcomings in my writing before I push the publish button. They need to take that puppy out for a rigorous shake-down cruise and find every bug, every glitch, every typo, misplaced comma, and inconsistent tense. It’s painful to get feedback with a laundry list of problems, but would I rather see that list now, in a private e-mail before publication, or see it pasted up in a lambasting Amazon review for all the world to read? Continue reading “Open Letter to Beta-Readers”