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Posts Tagged ‘planning’

Beta readers

My last blog was on Finished writing first draft. What next? And today I want to talk about beta readers and to answer some questions I am sometimes asked.

What is a beta reader?

‘An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption.[1] Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.

Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.2]’  

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_reader  (June2015)

I have a few beta readers, some for my fiction and some for my non-fiction. It is important to get the right beta readers for the job. I say ‘job’, but it’s not paid and I don’t give them a contract. Although I do give them a list of open-ended questions to answer. If I didn’t they could come back and say, ‘I enjoyed reading it’ or ‘It’s fine’. But how does that help me, the writer? It doesn’t.

Do I need one?

It is a good idea to have more than one. I have four beta readers for each genre I write. For some of my writing I have a first beta read and a final beta read.

Have you got people who can give you objective and constructive feedback? Some people think that their partner or friend can be a beta reader and some can, but be aware that some may fall into the category of the ‘I enjoyed reading it’ brigade.

How do I get one?

As a writer you will have a platform whether it be a Blog, Facebook or Twitter account, or all three. (And if you haven’t got any of these you may consider having at least one.) Once you have one or more of these you can give a call out for some beta readers.

What skills do I want in a beta reader?

A reader who normally reads the genre you are writing

Someone who can give helpful objective criticism

Someone who says they can meet your deadline, and does (I usually give a two week deadline)

If you are writing about a different country try and get a beta reader from that country

Someone who has the knowledge required e.g. when I write my non-fiction this is usually workbooks for staff who work in social care so my Beta readers are staff and Managers who work in this field.

When I write fiction e.g. My Chatty Cat series my beta readers are cat lovers and when I write romance my beta readers are readers of romance. Along with choosing beta readers with the knowledge you also want them to have a good degree of skills in grammar, plotting etc.

What do I give to my Beta Readers?

Be up front about what you want the beta reader to do/to look for

How will the beta readers receive your work email, hard copy? Can they write on the hard copy? Do you have a preference on the pen colour they should use? If it’s on email do you want them to use ‘track changes’?

When you want the work returned.

What do I do when they give me their feedback and comments?  

The feedback they give you will be constructive advice and you should not see it as criticism but see it as they are helping you with your writing If they didn’t give you this type of feedback then they are not doing their job right.

Plan some time to sit and relax and read through their comments and feedback.

Don’t forget to make contact with your Beta Readers and thank them.

Should I acknowledge Beta readers in my book?

Some authors do and some don’t. Beta readers play an important part in a writer’s life and I name them and thank them in my book for their support. I also send them a personalised signed copy of the book.

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The Waveney Author Group

All working to write and publish individual books by 10th July.

All working to write and publish individual books by 10th July.

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We [Just Write It!] held our first writing workshop this Autumn and were delighted to see so many people, all enthusiastic and wanting to write. 

  20141122_105639                                                                                                     20141123_125122

 

 

 

 

 

The workshops included: Getting started, Planning, Researching, Editing,  Publishing and Marketing. I joined authors/tutors: Ann Bowyer, Glynis Smy, Jayne-Marie Barker, Jo Wilde and Rosy Thornton.

Jayne Marie Barker 

Rosy Thornton Jo and Denise

Feedback …

“I had a great time with some great people. Thank you for inspiring me to ‘Just Write It!”

“Thank you for the uplifting weekend. I take away renewed interest. These workshops have geed me up to move on with my work.”

“A lovely and inspirational weekend. It has been great to get to know more like-minded people and share time and ideas.”

“Thank you so much – I feel more alive than I have felt in months.”

“I absolutely loved this experience.”

“Thank you for a great weekend. I have enjoyed meeting other would-be authors and I feel truly empowered to write my book/s.”

Watching the fox and ducks

Watching the fox and the ducks tease each other.

20141122_110537                                                                                   Ann Bowyer and writersGlynis and Jo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the group have made a commitment to write and self publish a book [small, medium or large] by July 10th 2015. This group call themselves ‘Waveney Author Group’ [WAG] and will hold monthly meetings to support each other with their writing projects. I have agreed to be part of this WAG group and look forward to meeting up with the group in January 2015.

Wag

Just Write It offers a variety of writing workshops-

Getting Started and Planning Fridays

Editing and Different Styles of Publishing Saturdays

Pitching to Publishers/Agent and Marketing Sundays

If you would like more information on our writing workshops please click www.justwriteitworkshops.com

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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We held our first writing shop this Autumn and was delighted to see so many people, all enthusiastic and wanting to write.                                      20141122_105639     Writers in the sunshine

Our workshops included: Getting started . Planning . Researching . Editing . Publishing and Marketing. We would like to give a big thank you to our tutors who helped make this such a success: Ann Bowyer, Glynis Smy, Jayne-Marie Barker, Jo Wilde, Rosy Thornton and Suzan Collins.

Jayne Marie Barker      Rosy Thornton Jo and Denise

Feedback …

“I had a great time with some great people. Thank you for inspiring me to ‘Just Write It!”

“Thank you for the uplifting weekend. I take away renewed interest. These workshops have geed me up to move on with my work.”

“A lovely and inspirational weekend. It has been great to get to know more like-minded people and share time and ideas.”

“Thank you so much – I feel more alive than I have felt in months.”

“I absolutely loved this experience.”

“Thank you for a great weekend. I have enjoyed meeting other would-be authors and I feel truly empowered to write my book/s.”

Watching the fox and ducks

                                      Watching the fox and the ducks tease each other.

20141122_110537       Ann Bowyer and writersGlynis and Jo

Some of the group have made a commitment to write and self publish a book [small, medium or large] by July 10th 2015. This group call themselves ‘Waveney Author Group’ [WAG] and will hold monthly meetings to support each other with their writing projects. We look forward to catching up with them in January 2015.

Wag

Just Write It offers a variety of writing workshops-

Getting Started and Planning Fridays

Editing and Different Styles of Publishing Saturdays

Pitching to Publishers/Agent and Marketing Sundays

If you would like more information on our writing workshops please click www.justwriteitworkshops.com

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Just Write It! offers writing workshops in beautiful Suffolk surroundings.

The workshops will be taking place in the beautiful surroundings of Gunton Hall Coastal Village, where participants will enjoy the 50 acres of gardens and secluded woodland, and will be able to draw inspiration from walks around the fresh water lake or in the walled garden.Walled Garden 1

The workshops are facilitated by published authors who are experienced and successful, and who are delighted to be passing on their skills and knowledge. The whole writing journey from idea to printed page is covered, and will include getting started, planning, researching, persevering, editing, finishing, publishing and marketing.

The workshops run from Friday 21st November to Monday 24th November.  It’s possible to book a single day, or sign up for all four.  Prices start from as little as £12 for a day, and there’s a discount for anyone signing up for the four days.  But… there are only a few places left!

The atmosphere at Gunton Hall Coastal Village is ideal for new writers who want support and have questions, or more experienced authors who would like time free from distractions to finish that novel or biography. Participants are free to join in any of the writing workshops, and/or join other writers for meal times and optional readings.  There will also be the entertainment in the evenings for those who would like to stay. There will be time in between workshops to write, think, walk or swim.

About the featured authors:

Ann Bowyer

Ann Bowyer – completed her first novel at fifteen, and now lives and writes in Norfolk.

 

 

Glynis

 

Glynis Smy – shortlisted for The Festival of Romance New Talent Award 2014.

 

Jayne~Marie Barker 1

Jayne-Marie Barker – author of the DCI Allen series of crime novels.

 

Rosy Thornton

 

Rosy Thornton – winner of the fiction prize at the 2012 East Anglian Book Awards.

 

4a57a4e7334c0a20e32f77.L._V388702702_SY470_

Suzan Collins – shortlisted for The People’s Book Prize 2014.

 

Yvonne Newbold

 

Yvonne Newbold – author of “The Special Parent’s Handbook”.

 

Please see website for further details www.justwriteitworkshops.com

For accommodation:

http://www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk/hotels/gunton-hall-holiday-village/overview/

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We bring people together in beautiful surroundings to write, think, discuss, listen and gain knowledge.

We have had an amazing response to our November writing workshops and now only have a handful of spaces left, so book your place today!  www.justwriteitworkshops.com

Flyer for Nov workshop~FINAL

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Interesting writing workshops coming up this month. For anyone looking for tips on #Planning  #Researching #Editing  #Publishing #Marketing. With 6 published and successful authors. FEW PLACES LEFT, BOOK NOW! http://justwriteit1.wordpress.com/

Flyer for Nov workshop~FINAL

 

 

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