Ship It Out To The Betas

If you have methodically worked through your manuscript during the last month, and have reached the page where you typed 'The End', it is time to ship it out to your beta readers. 

Beta readers are a very important step in the process of writing. They review your work as it nears completion. You should believe that every, single, word in your manuscript can withstand the test of a professional editor. 

But be wary, you inner editor and critic can be paralyzing. You might not feel like you have the best work. You might not feel like your work is ready to go out. How to tell if you are.

The sad truth of the matter is you can't. My best advice is, if you have manuscript more than three passes send it out. If you still aren't sure, dig up a critique partner. You should be utilizing critique partners after you have done one round of editing anyway. They come before beta readers, and help you fix your mistakes. So if you have sent of the a CP, done another round of editing, then ship it out to beta readers. 

What you should be looking for in critique partners and beta readers are the exact same things. They should be able to be honest with you. They should respect your work. They should encourage you to grow. They should disagree without being disagreeable.

What you need to do with your beta readers and critique partners. Listen attentively. Don't be defensive back to them. Understand that just because they have a critique of a particular section, doesn't mean that they know how to fix it. Sometimes they have the right spot, and the wrong solution. Sometimes they do know how to fix it. You should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

That's it. Suck up all of your courage and send it out to three beta reader. Don't use more than three. Studies have shown that the human brain chooses best between three choices. And if studies don't show that, it is definitely a rumor going around the internet that it's true. So go ahead. Book an appointment with your therapist, and ship it out. You wrote it, you edited it, and now start sharing it. And as soon as your done either release it or pitch it agents and publishing houses.


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