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49ers, Musings

Beta readers are fabulous


I even designed a badge for my Beta Company

I even designed a badge for my Beta Company

I’ve started following the advice of authors that have been deemed to be ‘super authors’, according to the adverts at least, and I have to say that some of the things they say do actually work!

One of their ideas was to build a newsletter. I’d tried that before and had no success. The only person subscribing to the list being me, so that I could test it. Sad, I know. But then I took a different tack. I looked at the genres I was writing in over time, looked at the latest genre I was writing at that moment, and then went to all the Facebook groups I could, and asked if anyone wanted to be a Beta Reader and get to see my books as they were being written.

I now have nearly 90 members on my Beta list, and they all get copies of the books that they have said they’re interested in reading. There are, of course, caveats. The main one is that bar spelling, there has been no editing done. Why? Because wasn’t going to pay for editing to then have to possibly rewrite whole sections.

What I was looking for could be boiled down to;

Is the continuity good?
Is it, within the context of the book world, believable?
Did you like it?
What did you not like?
What would you score it on Amazon in its current state?

That sort of thing.

The feedback on 49ers – Desperate Times has been very helpful indeed and feedback has seen it scoring a steady 4/5 rating on Amazon in its current state.

The other benefit of having this list is that there are people who might never have come across my writing had the list not existed. Granted they’ve only seen my writing as work in progress, but they’ve all enjoyed the stories. It also means that once this book is ready to go, I hopefully have a number of people on the list who will be buying the finished copy and giving it a good review on Amazon on day of release.

TL:DR? Get beta readers for your writing. They’re fabulous.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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