Alright, so you’ve finished and polished your Grand Novel Manuscript, and as the pro you are, you are getting ready for the next phase: THE BETA READERS*.
I have another post coming on how to find and cultivate a nice beta reader following, but in the meantime, if that’s what you came here for, a good place to start is our Facebook group BetaReader Connect.
For now, let’s assume that you have your beta readers lined up and ready to read. What should you ask them? How do you make sure that you (and they!) get the most value out of the time spent? If you just ask if they liked it, you won’t get much wiser. No, you need to be much more specific than that.
But you knew that already, didn’t you? That’s why you’re here 🙂 Well, to get you started, we have asked around and compiled a list of the 11 most common beta questions asked by authors.
#1 Did you lose interest, even only a little, at some point? Where and why?
#2 Which character did you enjoy the most? The least? Why?
#3 Did the dialogue feel natural?
#4 If you could change anything to make the story better, what would you change?
#5 Did anything in the text confuse you? What? Why?
#6 Were there any points throughout that you found unbelievable or illogical? If so, why?
#7 Were any parts of the plot predictable?
#8 What’s your favorite part about the book?
#9 How was the pacing between narrative and dialogue?
#10 What enticed you the most if anything? What grabbed your attention the most?
#11 Lastly, did the climax feel climactic, was the payoff in the end worth reading the whole book?
That’s it for now, folks! Watch this space for more thoughts on how you get the most value out of your beta.
PS. If you need a tool to collect the answers, look no further! BetaReader.io enables simple and secure sharing of your manuscript, and it allows you to inject surveys throughout the story. Create your free account today.
* A beta reader is someone who will read your unfinished (but polished!) manuscript and give you honest feedback on how the story, characters and plot hold up. Typically, this is someone who loves to read, ideally – of course – in the genre(s) of your writing.