Beta readers are an invaluable resource, especially for all of us indie writers. I have come across some comments from my fellow writers who have had some really terrible experiences with beta readers. I feel bad because over all, my experiences have been positive and I’ve gotten really good at not taking things too personally. I try to remember that in the end, it’s my vision of what my story is about that counts.
That being said, how do you handle a beta reader who thinks you have brought them aboard to be the end all, be all authority on your novel? How do you handle comments like “This book was terrible!” or “Your plot sucks!” (I have not seen this but I know at least three indie authors whose betas used these exact phrases.)
I dove into the internet and came up with this article which lays out a specific code of etiquette for beta readers. I think it’s extremely helpful. It also has guidelines for how you, the author, can respond to your beta readers in a way that promotes clarity and creativity.
The main thing I took away from this is that you have to be clear about what you expect from your beta readers. Understand that they are doing you a huge service by reading your book cover to cover. Show gratitude, but be prepared to grow a thick skin and roll with the punches.
I am currently building a small group of beta readers, preferably 5-10 individuals who love YA fiction and who would like to look over my next novel which I expect will be ready by the end of the year possibly a little later, January 2016. If you are interested, I’d love to chat with you! Head over to my website lala.bayron.wix.com/kalynnbayron and shoot me an email or sign up for my newsletter which goes out once a month and will have more info on beta readers as the time draws a little closer.
My series The Zero Antigen Theorem has new cover art! Yay! I loved the original cover but because it’s a series I wanted some continuity between the covers. Book 1 is available on Amazon & Smashwords, Book 2 will be out in mid August! I’m excited!
When I wrote Book 1 it was an experiment. I’m a vampire fan (don’t judge me) and I have always wanted to write a vampire series. So I wrote the short and put it up and the response has been wonderful! I didn’t think I would sell a single copy but I have, many times over and I’m thrilled. So, thinking that I may be in this series for the long haul I revamped the covers and interior files and have outlines for the series up to Book 4. The process is what I enjoy most. Learning what works and what doesn’t can be frustrating, but it’s worth it in the end.
Cheers to all my fellow indie authors, keep up the amazing work!
My first attempt a serial fiction was The Zero Antigen Theorem. It’s about 10,000 words and I wrote it in an attempt to write short “weekend read” that one would enjoy like a TV series, with each short book in the series representing an “episode”. I was really happy with the response to The Zero Antigen Theorem. As experimental as it was, I enjoyed writing it and I’m working on book two in the series.
My latest title is another work that will run in a series. I wrote it a while ago but only recently dusted it off and cleaned it up a bit. I really enjoy this style of writing and I don’t understand why people are so against short fiction. Granted, at 10,000 to 11,000 words I don’t think it technically qualifies as “short fiction” it’s probably more “novelette” length.
Any-who, I’m loving this way of writing right now and I think I’ll finish up these two series before I dive back into the world of Captain James Hook for part two of my “real” novel, Six Points of Light.
Princess Erelia Starsinger is heir to the throne and her father, King Aasulf Starsinger, is fading fast. Erelia is a warrior, she is strong willed and confident, but her father’s advisors would see her married off and control of her kingdom handed over to someone with more experience.
While riding her midnight black mare, Zepher, in he woods surrounding Castle Drasal, she happens upon a withered and stooped old man who seems to have lost his way. She accompanies him home only to find out that he is the soothsayer, Ozemis, and he has a secret to share with her. Erelia’s life and kingdom are both in grave danger and she must decide who she can trust and who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
With the help of her childhood friend, Sharian Waterarrow, Princess Erelia must deal with the impending death of her beloved father while keeping watch for the mysterious sorceress from Ozemis’ vision.
Can Princess Erelia change the future that seems so bleak? Can she reconcile her feelings for Sharian while staying true to who she is? Will the mysterious Sorceress get to Erelia before she has a chance to stop her?
In the fantasy land of Drasal, there is magic, there are beasts, and there are secrets. Join Princess Erelia on her quest for the truth in Drasal Lands:The Ozemis Prophecy, Book 1.
(Approx 11,400 words)
St. Catherine’s is a place for misfits, for the forgotten, and it is also the only home James Cook has ever known. Abandoned on the front steps as an infant, James is raised by Sister Maddie who loves him like the mother he never knew. Growing up at St. Catherine’s, James battles one illness after another, and spends most of his time in the infirmary.
One night, a young boy is delivered to St. Catherine’s in the arms of his distraught mother. The boy, Peter, is mischievous and James tries his hardest to stay as far away from him, and his band of merry followers, as possible. The younger boys at St. Catherine’s are drawn to the charismatic Peter, but James, being older and in his humble opinion, wiser, is not recruited so easily.
As the two become more closely acquainted, Peter reveals to James that he has a secret. This secret will turn James’ life upside down and set he and Peter on a collision course with destiny in that far of place known to children and dreamers…Neverland.
Before he was Captain Hook, he was simply James Cook, and as it turns out, he was not such a dastardly villain after all.
Join some of the most beloved characters in literature as their roots are laid bare and the truth of their humble beginnings is revealed.
Only $.99 (eBook edition) on Amazon for a limited time http://amzn.to/1TNsLM6
Copyright 2015 Kalynn Bayron All right reserved.