Beta / Proof Readers discussion

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message 1: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Milos Find out the differences between Beta and Alpha readers, the whys, the hows on my new blog here:

What confuses you about Beta Reading?

message 2: by Sunshine (new)

Sunshine (sunnyetalhotmailcom) | 19 comments When I beta read, I find myself proofreading (trying to fix grammatical, spelling, etc. errors). Can't seem to stop myself. How do you keep your eye on the forest rather than the trees?

message 3: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Milos Proof reading is always good.It holds immense value, but the work lies in critical thinking and putting how the work touched you. Keeping track of how many times you pause reading because of the story and answering focused questions about the work keep you out of the weeds. Really, self-discipline and finding a balance. I wouldn't stop, just spend more time on reader experience.

message 4: by Sunshine (new)

Sunshine (sunnyetalhotmailcom) | 19 comments OK. I have been a writing teacher and a proofreader of law books, among other things, so I have experience with both kinds of feedback, but when there are many grammatical, etc. errors, I have a hard time reading through to the content.

message 5: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Milos Ah, in that case, a recommendation to the author that an editorial read through is needed would be best. You can offer to read a manuscript once it has been edited, but a Beta's job is not editing. If you can't see the story past its structural issues, the author needs to know.

Roughseasinthemed | 27 comments I think the problem is for many authors, they ask for a beta read before it is ready, both in terms of publication and editing. But, if beta readers suggest major changes, why pay to have something edited, that needs to be changed, and re-edited?

Like Sunshine, I'm not a fan of reading error-ridden MSS and totally appreciate the distraction with grammar and spelling problems.

Trouble is, too many people see a free or cheap beta as an edit. It ain't.

message 7: by Catherine (last edited Feb 09, 2017 09:41AM) (new)

Catherine Milos I totally agree with you. The focus of a Beta is to test if readers will like the manuscript and identify barriers, distractions, issues with manuscripts. If you can't see past the editing errors, you can't do a good job of that. It is 100% the responsibility of the author to ensure the work is properly edited. Don't be afraid to go back to the author and let them know there are too many errors to offer a solid read.

That being said, as an editor, I value those works I find as a Beta that need, well, work. My specialty lies in developmental editing (but I do all sorts of editing). I love helping authors, guiding them and their work to instill a bit of magic into the manuscript to highlight industry and creative perspective needs - in other words, supporting the author to create the very best manuscript possible.

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