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Submissions Week: Beta Readers

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Hey all,

Welcome to our first submissions week – were we’ll talk about all things submissions. This is a great opportunity for our newer authors to learn things from our veterans – how to prepare your story (whether it’s a short story, a novella, a novel, poem etc) for submission to a publisher.

shocked-readerToday we’ll tackle something many self-publishing authors neglect – having someone else proof your stuff before you publish it. They’re called “beta readers”, and they may or may not be professional editors.

We’re all too close to our own work – we often can’t see the flaws, especially when the work is fresh.

So if you plan to go the self-publishing route, you really need to have a beta reader or two to catch the things you will miss.

But even submissions to publishers can benefit from a beta read.

And (shameless plug coming) if your work is in progress, or a shorter story, you can join QSF’s own critique group! Just ask J. Scott Coatsworth for details.

So who out there has used beta readers? How do you find them? How do you know if someone is a good fit? And what are some of the potential pitfalls (and how to avoid them) of having someone beta your work?

1 thought on “Submissions Week: Beta Readers”

  1. I’ve been a beta reader for several fanfic authors and I absolutely love the feeling of satisfaction I get from making something I love even better! Usually, it’s just correcting grammar, punctuation, or spelling, but sometimes I’ve noticed plot holes or inconsistencies that the author didn’t notice. Sometimes I’ll suggest different wording if a sentence seems awkward or unclear to me. There’s nothing I hate more than noticing these kinds of problems with an otherwise good story because they throw me right out of the story. So I urge all authors to use at least one beta if not more for your writing!

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