I wonder if I scared my friends.
Last June I approached several people to read my manuscript. I listed what I wanted them to check for as they read.
Grammar wasn’t on the list for most of them. I have one faithful beta whose grammar skills outpace most everyone else currently walking the Earth. Her instructions included “read it with a red pen.”
Mostly I wanted the readers to tell me if the manuscript made sense. Was it interesting? Engaging?
Did I contradict myself anywhere?
If you’d spent money to read this, would you demand it back?
I’ve discussed books with these people. I know they have opinions, strong ones, about what they read and that’s what I wanted.
I get that it’s difficult for most people to blurt out the brutal truth, but that’s what I was after. If I don’t know there’s a problem, how can I fix it?
I tried to get a good cross-section of readers. Some were new agey and aware of meditation and hypnosis, others not so much.
Red pen reader was happy to do it and, though kind, told me the truth. Most everyone else seemed reluctant. Many still did it, although one who initially agreed later said she didn’t have time to do it. Was it really a time issue, or did the manuscript bore her silly? I didn’t ask. Maybe I didn’t want to know.
If you read books, then you have an opinion on them. That’s my idea when I look for betas.
When I’m asked my opinion, I give it. I’ve occasionally tried to be kind about it, though I can’t really pull that off.
I’d rather hear the truth as it is than have anything sugar-coated. It’s what I’d like to get back, especially from betas.