"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, June 29, 2014

To Beta or Not to Beta. . .

That's my question.

I'm not a big user of beta readers when I write. My editor is the toughest critic of my work, next to me, so when I'm soliciting feedback, the most important opinion is his.

That said, if I send out a beta copy of my own work, I'm not usually looking for editing advice; I'm simply asking for a review.

But most of the writers for whom I edit are quite different from me. One doesn't use betas at all. He puts out a "call to arms" on twitter if he needs reviews, so he doesn't always get the same readers. One uses betas solely for review purposes and generally ignores any other suggestions. But one. . .sigh. . .seems to be afraid to make any sort of move without approval from a few excellent beta readers with whom she's worked for several years.

It works for her. She is by far the most successful author I've edited. But at what cost?

The others are so free, creatively. However, she worries herself sick over some of the tiniest little details.

I do that as well sometimes, but that's my job. If a book sucks, many readers these days blame the editor.

Perhaps I'm overthinking as my latest editing project sits in the hands of beta readers.

Writers: I'd love your opinion on this one.

Happy Reading!

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