Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A way to be a beta reader

Lately - I have been having a lot of conversations and experiences with editing. So folks - you are going to be witnessing a lot of editing posts.

I recently made a great friend (Autumn Houghton-Stanton) and had the opportunity to be one of her beta readers. When I edit, I am someone who wants to take the opportunity to really benefit the author. I want to know exactly what they want from me, what they want me to fix, what to look for, etc. So I asked Autumn and she requested that I read each chapter and give her feedback - one or two sentences. I had never done editing this way. I normally go through a story with a fine tooth comb - teacher in me - so this was different.

It worked really good. I would read, give Autumn my reactions and notes, and move on. It moved fast. I didn't get caught up in the grammar aspect (not that she had an issue).

Autumn and I also emailed frequently in the 24 hours it took me to read her book - YEAH IT WAS THAT GOOD! During the emails I could ask if I was giving her what she wanted, if I was being helpful. I think this important. An editor shouldn't just take a manuscript and lock herself in a closet. The dialogue with the author is super important. Again, editing is about getting the maximum results for the author.

What about you? How do you edit? What's the best (or most beneficial) way? LMK.


  1. I like the idea of breaking the text into chapters. When I read (for pleasure or reviews) I tend to forget some minor details that may have made me smile or wrinkle my nose along the way if I wait until the end of the book to write out my thoughts.

  2. That's exactly what I do, or did rather. I am going to ask my beta readers to do it this way from now on.