Beta Reader Group discussion

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Writing Advice & Discussion > betas and editing for a series

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message 1: by Alica (new)

Alica Walker | 6 comments I was just wondering since my book actually turned out to be books, when one is getting them to beta readers and in for editing should you use the same people for the subsequent volumes? Thanks for the insights.


message 2: by T.A. (new)

T.A. (tahernandez) | 42 comments It's really up to you. It might be helpful to use the same people, if the second book relies heavily on plot elements drawn from the first book. Also, this is assuming the same people who read the first book are willing to read the next books in the series.
If that doesn't work out, you could always just type up a synopsis of the earlier books to give to new beta readers. Make sure to include any information that becomes relevant in the second (or third or whatever) book, including characters and places.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been worrying over the same problem since one beta'd book had comments such as 'seems part of a series' and 'needs a prequel' so I wrote them. Now I'm fervently hoping the betas for the first (when I get some) will want to read the others as its a four-book spread.
Tanni's idea of a synopsis of the earlier book(s) is brilliant. Thank you.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

The most important thing is to work with people who provide useful feedback and are responsible. Ideally you will be using the same editor and some of the same betas as you move forward, perhaps adding a few readers on your later installments if you want a more varied opinion. Sometimes the partnership doesn't work for one or both parties but feedback from someone who's been working with you from the beginning can be invaluable.


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom (tom_shutt) | 34 comments One argument I've read against using the same beta readers over time is that they may get complacent or too accustomed to how the author writes, so their eyes pass over mistakes that a fresh reader might catch.

A way to combat that is to invite readers who left unsolicited reviews on the first book to come be early readers for the sequel. Then repeat the process and invite new beta readers for the third, and fourth, and so on. Keep rotating in readers who are familiar with the past books without losing their fresh perspective in reading the new work.

You should definitely keep past beta readers in the loop, and maybe they CAN consistently return valuable feedback over a long period of time. But they may also be more useful simply as early reviewers, since they're knowledgeable of the series and likely have good things to say (so it's a safe bet on your part to approach them). Then you have a solid base of support ready for launch day.


message 6: by Nevada (new)

Nevada (vadatastic) | 54 comments Tom wrote: "One argument I've read against using the same beta readers over time is that they may get complacent or too accustomed to how the author writes, so their eyes pass over mistakes that a fresh reader..."

This is a great response. Useful.


message 7: by Alica (new)

Alica Walker | 6 comments Thanks for the feedback so far everyone. It's been most useful. I'm going to have a synopsis ready for future readers. I should probably practice writing those anyway. I only hope someday I have enough beta's to rotate through. I'm just blessed to have enough for book one right now. Hopefully one or two will hang in there with me.


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