Jacqui Jacoby on the web:
Over to Jacqui...
For me a beta reader is the step between when I type ‘the end’ on the final first draft and the draft I send to the editor, after I entered in the beta’s comments. And for me, they are really just readers who might enjoy the story and can tell me that “this is where we need more explanation” or “I don’t like what the heroine said here.” For them, it’s a ride through a story no one else has seen and a dedication in the published version.
Where I find them? I ask friends, people I trust. I get recommendations from people in the industry who might know someone. I use social media—Twitter, Facebook--an old high school alumni site is great.
No. I have to agree with what they said. In a recent read a favorite beta of mine had four points she didn’t like. I took them apart in my mind, from my point of view, and I simply didn’t agree with three of them. I found a third reader and I am waiting to see what they said. I am not so stubborn to say "She's wrong." I will listen, but I do want one more point of view before I make changes.
I usually just use two and I will simply read their comments, see what I agree with, see what I do not. If there is one point that is really standing out, I will examine that in detail. In the above case, I did get a third reader as the points were so severe.
I have no problem with criticism. Tell me you don’t like it and that’s fine. My books are not for everyone and that is not a personal insult. You’re not required to like what I type. If you're beta-ing, please explain why and I will tell you what I think.
I can critique. No problem. I don’t usually beta, though, due to my production schedule through 2017.
I will make a list of points that I was concerned of things I would like them to look for. Did I capitalize “dad” right, was the heroine too bitchy in that one scene? Too much sex? Not enough?
Beta’s are a new addition to my repertoire of people I work with and I find them invaluable. I try to reward each one with something that might make them smile: a bottle of wine for one, an Amazon card for another. It’s what they like, though it generally isn’t enough to really reward their effort. I have one girl I am working with right now, all she wants is a bowl of popcorn and a Cary Grant movie with me.
And they get their name in the book so I can say thank you to getting the next book onto the shelf.
Jacqui Jacoby's latest release: Bystander
Bystander is the story of Beth Hardwick, reader on the Snap Shots set in Hollywood, California. Just out of a bad relationship with Miles Criswell, she thought he would disappear and she could move on. Miles had serious other plans. It took the involvement of her boss, former spot light hot shot and current Snap Shot producer to step in and rescue her. Sean, world famous for his dating as well as his movies has two passions in his life: his son and his cats. And the way the cats boss him around, you would think they ruled the world.