Getting Beta Reader Feedback – The Right Way

While I’m waiting for my betas’ comments on The Darkening, I figured I should share some of the information I found online regarding beta reading. If you are about to finish your manuscript or have already completed it, and are looking for betas and ways to structure your thoughts, take a look at the following post. I found a lot of interesting questions, and a nice way to divide them in my head into categories. It’s a very helpful post, especially if you are worried how to structure a questionnaire for your betas. Shape it according to the needs of your story first though. I ended up sending 81 questions in an excel sheet, AND a critique sheet that covers the same topics (characterisation, grammar, plot, pacing, point of view, etc), but expecting a thorougher analysis.

In case anyone is interested, my questionnaire looked like this:

NOVEL QUESTIONNAIRE

S.D. McPhail

Last year, I searched for and read lots of blog posts about beta readers. I took their advice to heart and read some more. I understood how important beta readers are to a writer. I discovered the kinds of feedback I should seek from beta readers. Then I asked some close friends to beta read my manuscript.

Not all of them were fans of my genre, but I only needed high-level, big-picture comments, I thought, so that didn’t matter. Not all of them were writers, but that didn’t matter either, I thought, because I wanted feedback from a reader’s perspective. They would understand that the manuscript I gave them was an early draft, and they wouldn’t get sidetracked with editing issues, I thought. They each eagerly accepted the challenge and promised to read right away and give me the feedback I craved.

Cat No QuizAt that point, I realized that waiting for…

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