Beta-readers are key to finessing a superior novel. Think of them like the cherry on top the most amazing ice cream sundae.
This is always my favorite step in the process of publishing a book. In fact, I wish I could go back in time to tell myself earlier on how vital this is. However my first book, Finding Kylie, landed with a traditional publisher, and I'm not quite sure they utilize a beta community like Indie authors do.
Beta-readers are vital to helping Indie authors understand what works and more importantly ... what doesn't. If they see plot holes, character flaws or words that are overused - they'll point them out and pass on their input for what might work better. That is ... if you've got the right beta team surrounding you.
This week, I've had a few of my beta-readers finalize their feedback and pass it back. It has been truly the most humbling and energizing experience as it is with each book. I've strategically built my team so that I have a variety of personalities, reading styles, and thinkers.
In other words, I have a sprinkle of analytical critical thinkers and avid readers (male and female), who will point out anything they feel is completely off the mark, thrown in the mix with more heartfelt readers, who love a good story and will give unbiased constructive feedback on how it made them feel.
I even have a couple beta-readers that don't like reading at all! However, they have agreed to be a beta reader as they consider it a task or an objective they'd like to complete. For them, it is a new experience or a fun challenge to tackle.
These non-reader beta-readers are the true test of a good book, because if they can complete a book on a positive note and surprise ... they liked it, then, I know I'm on to something spectacular.
Dangerous Visions is officially at the beta-reading phase. I'm taking my time on this one as it's got a male lead, Anderson Evans, a spy with a paranormal gift. Although, this storyline has been completely outside my wheelhouse - his character speaks to me like none other. As I research his world, I have become spell-bound with it. I hope you will too.
Look for this book to release either at the end of 2018 or next year. I'll keep you posted.