So, in my last blog post, I talked about my own experiences as a beta-reader and today, I’m gonna give you a few reasons why you should be a beta-reader too! (Whether your a writer or not).
We’re just gonna jump straight in to it!
- You get free books!
Now, this might not be one of the best reasons – it sounds kind of selfish actually, but essentially, you could be reading the foundations of a best-seller and you might not even know! You might even find your next favourite read – and, you can call yourself the starter of the original fandom!
- You don’t feel so alone!
When I first started beta-reading, I was worried that the manuscripts I would read would be absolutely flawless. I felt like my writing wasn’t going to compare – at all. I essentially expected books that could be put on the shelves tomorrow, and sell-out within days – and I think those were just my own insecurities and self-doubt getting the better of me – because, they weren’t flawless, they weren’t perfect. They had potential, they had everything they need to be a good, even great book, but they still needed help, and it just reminds you that absolutely everyone is in the same boat as you at one point or another!
- You get better at critiquing stuff (including your own)!
This is an obvious one (and sort of carries on from the last)! The more you beta-read, the easier it gets. You start to understand what your role is, what your looking out for, and if your able to analyse and critique someone else’s writing, it becomes all the easier to critique and analyse your own! It’s surprising how many things you will notice that just seem so obvious to you, but, you’ve done the exact same in yours too!
- You can explore different genres!
Beta-reading doesn’t always come in the way or genre you might prefer, but, it gives you the opportunity to try new things, to read and explore genres that perhaps you don’t feel like picking up at the book store. There’s some that I never would have picked up. I would look at the blurb and think ‘No, that’s not for me – it’s not the typical genre that I like’, but with beta-reading, it’s can be about looking at things that are different to what you like, to sort of give your two-cents on whether it might even convert you. I know a lot of mine have now.
- You become a part of the ‘journey’!
Beta-readers can be invaluable aspects of a books development. They can make a book great, or they can slam it in to the ground. Their usually the first people that the writer has shown their work too, and, that in itself is an honor, because, if your a writer, you know how hard it can be to let your baby go.
- You meet amazing people!
So, to follow on from the last one. The people you beta-read for can become a staple in your life. Whether it’s over the internet or in real-life, being a part of their journey means a lot to them – and it will to you too – and, they are people that perhaps you might not have got to know so well if you hadn’t!
A writers unspoken duty is to support other writers, so, get out there and help a fella out!
If you have any other reasons why you should try your hand at beta-reading, I’d love to hear from you!
Until then though,
Just Keep Writing,