I knew there had to be an easier way to get feedback on my book than the semi-public humiliation of writers’ festivals and disjointed conversations with my youngest sister whilst she struggled to negotiate a 120,000 word PDF on her smartphone. Thanks to Jane Friedman’s Electric Speed email, I found it.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that joining BetaBooks was a game-changer in my embryonic career; the moment when I came out as a writer and actually let people read my story, when embarrassment gave way to pride in my readers’ enjoyment, and shyness became professional curiosity as to what works and what wobbles in my writing.
BetaBooks is practically perfect. It’s good to look at and intuitive to use, with incredible attention to detail and a real understanding of the needs of authors and the enjoyment of readers. It works as well for me with my newbie novel and my handful of readers as it appears to work for established authors juggling multiple books and a fan base of thousands. I love the pioneering spirit of the authors (themselves writers, I believe), their engagement with users of the software, and the sense of constant review and improvement.
I plan to write a couple of posts about working with beta readers so I won’t describe the process right now. I’d far rather you used the time to hop over to BetaBooks and watch the walk-through video.