Aug. 18, 2018

Beta Reading

Beta reading.  While there are so many of us who do it, there are many more who don’t even know that it exists.  I am blessed enough to beta read for some fabulous authors.

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with someone else as well as being asked to read the third book in my friend’s series while working on others.

A few weeks ago, a “friend” on Facebook contacted me, telling me she wanted to give me the chance to safely vent about not being in the acknowledgements in a book that I beta read for an author friend.  Let’s just say that I was livid about this conversation, and it wasn’t because my name wasn’t mentioned in that book’s acknowledgements.  This “friend” felt that there are a lot of authors who do not value or appreciate their beta readers because they do not publicly thank them in any way.  She told me that she beta read for an author and all she got was a “thank you” via email.  This “friend” was not satisfied and feels that she deserves more.  Here are my personal thoughts and opinions:

©       Let’s get one thing straight: beta reading is not simply getting to read an author’s work before it’s released to the public.  There is a lot of work involved, depending on what the individual author needs and the beta reader’s life. 

 ∞      It is not a game or joke.  It’s serious work, but for many of us, it’s full of utter joy.  Do not ask or agree to do this if you are not up to or capable of doing the work.

 ∞      Being honest and respectful in feedback is imperative.  Our authors deserve nothing less.

 ∞      I put my heart and soul into providing what my authors need from me in addition what they ask me to do.  There can’t be any lackluster or half-assed attempts.  Our authors deserve the best we can give them.

 ∞      If you do not have the time or are not able to beta read a manuscript, be honest.  Give your author the chance to find someone who can.

©       Being asked to beta read a manuscript from an author is an HONOR.  These authors are taking a chance and trusting us with their work, their hearts, souls, blood, sweat, tears, hopes, and joys.

©       All the authors I know are immensely grateful for the work we do for them.  They show us in many different ways and they may not be made public. 

 ∞      If they email you or message you and say, “thank you,” that should be enough if there are no other set parameters for compensation.

 ∞      I have personal friendships with several of the authors I beta read for.  Their love and friendship are MY “compensation” and I have no need for them to acknowledge what I do for them publicly.

©       When being asked to beta read, ensure that there are no misunderstandings about what you’re being asked to do and if there is any kind of compensation for your time and work.  I say this because there are authors who pay beta readers in one way or another.

©       Releasing a book into the world is nerve-wracking and terrifying, and yet, is full of joy.  Authors stress out.  Do not add to an author’s shoulders by being ungrateful for being asked to be a part of their work.

©       Expecting public acknowledgement is foolish and disrespectful to the relationship between an author and beta reader.

©       As for being named in the acknowledgements of a book, please remember that it’s controlled by the publisher.  The author may have no say in what can go in it.  Don’t assume anything bad if you don’t see your name.

©       Be grateful that you were allowed to be part of something wonderful.

 

One more thing, love on your authors.  And I don’t mean that in a dirty way (I know how some of you think LOL).  Show them YOUR appreciation for being asked to work with them.  They deserve that, too.

 

To MY authors, you are incomparable, amazing, enchanting, rockin, wonderful, and all the good things!  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of your life and work.  I am honored and blessed.

 

Until laters, beautifuls…be safe and be kind to one another.