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The Importance of Betas

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The Importance of Betas

I’ve been asked before if I thought it really is important to have beta readers for novels.  My answer to this will always be a huge ‘Hell, Yes!’  Sorry for the language there, but I feel that strongly about the need to have betas read my novels before I ever even consider hitting that publish button.  I feel just as strongly, and completely blessed, about the group of betas who read my novels before they go live.  They truly are some of the best betas a girl could ever have.  I can’t be objective about my characters or stories…I’ve tried, but I just can’t.  I don’t know of anyone who can be honestly objective about their work; a person is just too close to what he/she created to be able to look at it in the constructive way in which it needs to be critiqued.  I will be forever grateful to the amazing betas who spend their time reading and providing honest, constructive feedback to help me make the best novel I’m capable of writing.  Today, a few of the betas who read my novels are featured with a Q&A on how they got started being a beta and how they feel what they do is important to authors and readers.   I hope you join me in my appreciation for all they, and all the other betas out there, do :).

Please welcome, Chantelle Cunningham, Honey Warren, Karla Crescioni, Diane Maxwell, and Shannon Ropp!

Chantelle 

1.  To be a beta reader you must have a love for reading.  When did your reading addiction first begin?

I have always read, but the addiction started when my daughter started school. I became friends with a teacher and one of her friends said if you guys liked Twilight, you’ll love Black Dagger Brotherhood. And I was OBSESSED. 

2.  What book is your absolute childhood favorite?

I got The Classic Volland Edition Mother Goose book from my great uncle when I was 3 years old.  I loved it, memorized it, and can still tell you most of them from  just the first couple words. It really drives my daughter crazy. It is still in my collection, broken binding, well loved and all. 

3.  How did you get involved in being a beta reader?

I got involved through Goodreads. I have always been a stickler on details, so when asked I was like sure, I’ll give it a try, and loved it.  

4.  I can’t express nearly enough how much I appreciate all of the beta’s who read my novels and give honest feedback before they go live.  In my opinion, having betas for novels is absolutely essential for authors.  What’s your opinion about the need/importance of betas?

I think Betas are absolutely essential.   Nothing drives me crazier than reading a book riddled with plot mishaps, editing issues, whatever. Those are simple fixes that a good set of betas can help with.

5.  What is one piece of advice you would give an author?

Find yourself a good set of Betas that will enhance your writing. We are not there to write it, that is your own, but let us help you. Constructive criticism may hurt your feelings, but can make your story stronger. When looking for a Beta don’t shy away from opinionated ones, they will tell you the most straight forward answers. Sure it’s nice to have someone always says, “It’s great, I love it, you’re the best author ever,”  but really any one can say that. Betas are there to help, not just stroke an authors ego, which sadly happens all to often. 

Honey

1.  To be a beta reader you must have a love for reading.  When did your reading addiction first begin?

I have loved reading since I was little. Pretty much as soon as I learned to read it started=) My parents always had TONS of books, my mom is an avid reader also, and I would love just holding them and smelling them! I love books for more than just reading=)

2.  What book is your absolute childhood favorite?

The book that really changed reading for me was “Flowers in the Attic” by VC Andrews. I was forever changed after reading that. 

3.  How did you get involved in being a beta reader?

I totally flipped out when I read Saving Raine, I mean flipped! My friend (and also a beta reader) suggested the book to me, which in a round about way got me in touch with KAS for an ARC of the last book of the series and that sparked the whole beta reader thing for Ash to Steele and Feel.  Thank god because it is such a cool thing to be part of!!!

4.  I can’t express nearly enough how much I appreciate all of the beta’s who read my novels and give honest feedback before they go live.  In my opinion, having betas for novels is absolutely essential for authors.  What’s your opinion about the need/importance of betas?

DEFINITELY important! I think an outside person can see things that an author might not see.  A detail that may not be consistent, something that may just not “Feel Right” and even grammar errors! I just think it helps make the book all it can possibly be! 

5.  What is one piece of advice you would give an author?

Be original! I love a new story. I love being wow’d. It is hard to do!

Karla

1.  To be a beta reader you must have a love for reading.  When did your reading addiction first begin?

As an adult, The Twilight Series was actually the first set of books I read for leisure and really liked, but it wasn’t until 2012 when I read On Dublin Street (by Samantha Young) and discovered the new adult genre that my love for reading began. I had finally found a genre that I thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂
2.  What book is your absolute childhood favorite?

I remember reading a lot of Baby-Sitter: Little Sister books as a child. 
3.  How did you get involved in being a beta reader?

I actually became a beta reader through Karen-Anne Stewart. I had won a copy of Saving Rain (Rain Trilogy #1) in a raffle, read it and reviewed it and I guess Karen-Anne really liked the review because she contacted be about reading and reviewing the second book in the series and becoming one of her betas. 😉
4.  I can’t express nearly enough how much I appreciate all of the beta’s who read my novels and give honest feedback before they go live.  In my opinion, having betas for novels is absolutely essential for authors.  What’s your opinion about the need/importance of betas?

I truly believe it is important for an author to have beta readers. Especially for a self-publishing author. They give feedback on an authors finished manuscript before it is published.

5.  What is one piece of advice you would give an author?

One piece of advice I would give an author is to write what’s in your heart and mind, not someone else’s. 

Diane

1.  To be a beta reader you must have a love for reading.  When did your reading addiction first begin?

I think I owe my reading addiction to my brother, he dared me to read a huge book and to take notes and answer questionns while I was reading it.  And that really got me into it. 

2.  What book is your absolute childhood favorite?

Little Black Sambo.  I loved that book.  I know we read it 3 or  more times a day. 

3.  How did you get involved in being a beta reader?

One of my close friends asked me to proof her first book. 

4.  I can’t express nearly enough how much I appreciate all of the beta’s who read my novels and give honest feedback before they go live.  In my opinion, having betas for novels is absolutely essential for authors.  What’s your opinion about the need/importance of betas?

I think they are important, not only to give feedback but to offer support to the writer. 

5.  What is one piece of advice you would give an author?

Write what you LOVE….

Shannon

1.  To be a beta reader you must have a love for reading.  When did your reading addiction first begin?

I became a fan of reading much later in life, 30 to be clear! I know, how can someone hate to read then all I a sudden become a fan? Good authors! Although I am more of a teen book reader I love adventure and some romance.

2.  What book is your absolute childhood favorite?

To be honest I really don’t have one.

3.  How did you get involved in being a beta reader?

I know an author personally, and she asked me to check out her books, and give my honest feedback!

4.  I can’t express nearly enough how much I appreciate all of the beta’s who read my novels and give honest feedback before they go live.  In my opinion, having betas for novels is absolutely essential for authors.  What’s your opinion about the need/importance of betas?

Beta’a give real feedback. They let you know during the process what they like best, what they think might need to change. They also find mistakes that might have been missed by editing. My advice to beta’s would be, be honest. Use discretion in how you give your feedback, you were asked to read for a reason, and don’t be offended if the changes you suggest aren’t done. You didn’t write the book, you just took it out for a test drive before giving an approval for public eyes!

5.  What is one piece of advice you would give an author?

You need some serious thick skin! Because not everyone is going to enjoy why you have put onto paper. Have fun doing what you’re doing, not everyone has the talent for writing!

My new novel, Feel, is dedicated to the BEST betas a girl could have!  My sincere gratitude and love to Diane Maxwell, Chantelle Cunningham, Honey Warren, Karen Galloway, Pam Riddle, Tara Ansari, Heather Lindall, Shannon Ropp, Karla Crescioni, Sherry Long, Valeria Gardin, Vernon Gardin, Bret Stewart, and Tichelle Williams.  Your feedback, encouragement, and time are most appreciated and loved!

Readers, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing in my love for all betas – everywhere!

 

 

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