If you don’t have a beta reader or two or three or four, get one today! Get several. They’re awesome. I have a baker’s dozen. So far, eight have read The Last MacKlenna and sent pages of notes.
I received an email today that questioned a paragraph toward the end of the story, saying it didn’t make sense. After reading the page, I saw the problem. I had edited out information in one paragraph, yet referred to it in the next.
Having this many pairs of eyes go over the story is an incredible help in tightening and finding loose threads. Snip. Snip. Snip. I’m still waiting to hear from three readers. After all the comments are addressed, I have two final readers who claim they can spot every mistake in a book.
Another thing that’s so great about beta readers is that you’ve got readers ready to post reviews as soon as the story goes live. What could be better than that?
You might be wondering where I found them. On Twitter. After folks read The Ruby Brooch they sent tweets telling me how much they enjoyed the story. We became Twitter friends and one thing lead to another.
You can find readers in your writers’ groups, or heck, even at church. Give it a try. I highly recommend you have a handful of readers before you put your story out there.
Here are a few comments I picked out:
- The main reason I loved this was the characters. In The Ruby Brooch Elliott was an affectionate godfather and a bit stubborn, but only a minor piece of the puzzle that is the history behind these stories. In this novel we get to see the whole man in all his glory and folly. Sometimes I wanted to kill him :) Other times take him in my arms to comfort him. I could hear his voice as he raged or comforted Meredith. I could hear the way her name rolled off his tongue.
- Also great is the way you did the accents.
- You have written a very engaging story with really great and realistic characters. Nobody is too much of a drama queen and nobody is too flat - both pet hates of mine in the genre. I think this is very well written.
- Your opening chapter hooked me immediately. You are a tight writer who is easy to read.
- At the end of Chapter 6 and I find I am enamored of your characters. I like Elliott as much as I like Meredith. They are both engaging and full of depth.
- This was a very emotional read, but a satisfying one in its story development.
- Well done! Part mystery, part romance. Filled with the broken characters that become endearing.
- Considering the book as a whole, I think it really "felt" like what I expect when I read an adult contemporary that I really get drawn into. This used to be the genre I read almost exclusively, and The Last MacKlenna exceeded every expectation I had of a book in the adult contemporary category. Meredith had a real sense of "authenticity". Despite being rich and powerful, she was down to earth and lovable. Truly a heroine I could identify with and root for. And I've already told you that I enjoyed Elliott IMMENSELY! Hero to die for, for sure. His imperfections were endearing, which is a real accomplishment because sometimes those can be off-putting and get on my nerves!
Happy writing & running, Kathy
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- The 10 Types of Writers' Block (and How to Overcome Them) http://ow.ly/nU8X7
- How Do Daily Ebooks Sold Figure into Amazon and Barnes and Noble Sales Rankings? Theresa Ragan Has The Scoop! http://ow.ly/nUeqd
- The Other Side of the Story: How Much Do You Need to Describe Your Characters? http://ow.ly/nUNAi
- Michael Connelly on the No. 1 Key to Writing a Series | WritersDigest.com http://ow.ly/nUND6
- Top 10 Storytelling Cliches Writers Need To Stop Using | LitReactor http://ow.ly/nUNOy
- Release Activities for the Reluctant Promoter | Mystery Writing is Murder http://ow.ly/nUNW5
- The end of the independent bookstore (and a new golden age for books) | The Passive Voice | http://ow.ly/nUOdX
- Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing: #2 | http://ow.ly/nUOzD
- Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins — The Book Designer http://ow.ly/nUOBN
- The Business of Editing: The Demand for Perfection | An American Editor http://ow.ly/
- The Kill Zone: How to Write a Novel Readers Won't Put Down http://ow.ly/nVXW7
- 4 low-cost ways to get writing tuition if you can’t afford an editor | Nail Your Novel http://ow.ly/nVY5w
- The Other Side of the Story: First Vs. Third: Point of View and Character Development http://ow.ly/nVY8I
- Using Twitter as a writer and how I’ve grown my Twitter network | Megaphone Society http://ow.ly/nVYaZ
- More Marketing Resources for Authors | Evelyn Puerto, Author http://ow.ly/nVYpQ
- As wonderful as self-publishing is, it does have its limits | The Passive Voice | http://ow.ly/nVYVz
- On Writing, Editing, and Momentum: Just Get Going! http://ow.ly/nVZbc
- Best-Selling Ebook Prices Average Above $8.00 | Digital Book World http://ow.ly/nVZpJ
Check out these links to writing & marketing blog posts. Click to Tweet.