Sunday, December 12, 2010

Revision and Beta readers

I'm pronouncing this round of Helen COMPLETE. Now I just have to wait for the betas to read it.

This is the worst part. The waiting for readers to read. It's funny, because the general reader complains about how long it takes authors to write books, but I have a hard time finding people who can keep up with me--reading as quickly as I write. It isn't even that I'm all THAT prolific, but reading is something people do in their spare time, and writing is something I do with the majority of my time. Plus, I need fresh eyes for rereads and altered drafts.

I wonder how many readers it takes to produce one book, on average? How many betas do you need to make it from start to finish for your novels?

I have never felt as though I had too many readers, even when I end up with a glut. I'm always eager for just one more, to look at the latest revisions I've made. What about you?


  1. I hear you. And I fear wearing out my most trusted peeps. I had five people read my NaNo as I wrote it. Yeah. I am so boned. *facepalmheaddesk*

  2. Ahaha. Yeah, I try to keep the "as-I-write-it" alpha crew to one, TWO at the most. I just need someone who I can bounce ideas off of while I work through things and ask "is this working?" at that point, and I don't really need more than one person for that.

  3. I don't have any alpha readers for my current WIP- we'll see how that works out.

    And I know what you mean about waiting- it's hard! And as an update, I hope to have something your way by the end of the week. The last three weeks of the semester are always crazy, compliments of finals and National History Day. And this year I'm taking kids to Washington D.C.- there's been a lot of stuff the last couple weeks for that too.

    Hurray for Winter Break! I soooo need it!

    Oh, and to answer the question, I think the more the merrier for betas. Within reason, of course. :)

  4. It's good to have a lot of readers, because different readers have different writing strengths. How can that not be an advantage?

    Also, if you have one or two CPs who read your work over and over in its varying edited incarnations, after awhile, they're no longer a "fresh" set of eyes.

  5. Totally understood, Stephanie! I hope the end of the semester goes off without a hitch for you! And good luck with your trip to DC!

  6. Too True, VR! But they are good for idea bouncing, no matter how many times they read.

  7. Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.

  8. I've never HAD beta readers before. I plan to for the next Immortal book, and I plan to have a lot of other things to do while waiting for them...

  9. Gene: Wow! You didn't have anyone read over the book after you finished and tell you what they thought before you started pitching it? I can't imagine how much more difficult that must have made your edits!!

    I have stuff I should be working on-- a short story about Romulus and Remus, another novel I'm 15K into, but I'm always a mixture of excited/anxious while I wait for my betas to get back to me, no matter how much other stuff I have going on.

  10. The more readers the merrier I think!

    Except for me I have a relatively low number because they have to be people who understand how odd my writing can be. Hehe.

    But for Beta readers I'm sure more is better. I believe in the wisdom of the crowd, to a certain extent.

  11. I will totally increase sample size in the hope of getting the majority vote in favor of what I want to keep/change, so I think wisdom of the crowd is a lifesaver ;)

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  14. Oh man, I was super slow on readings, too. Sorry! haha But I finished it eventually :)


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