As part of the Behind the Book series, Aven Ellis, author of Connectivity and Waiting for Prince Harry tells us about how she uses Beta readers when writing.
A year has now passed since I published my debut novel, Connectivity. I’ve learned so much about the industry in these past 12 months, and this is the most important thing I have learned: the importance of having a good beta team behind me as I write.
My Beta Team (affectionately called my Beta Baes) is made up of avid readers and book bloggers. I was blessed to find women of all ages, from around the globe, who are willing to take on the challenge of reading my work in progress. They’ll offer feedback if a scene doesn’t seem quite right, tell me when I’m headed in the right direction, and will re-read scenes a couple of times if I’m struggling with something in the manuscript. They see things I don’t. And they’re always willing to stop down and answer a poll question if I’m not sure which direction I’m going in.
I have used the team for my next two releases, Surviving The Rachel (February 2015) and The Definition of Icing (Dallas Demons #2, May 2015) and I can only say that they made the process of writing both of these books more FUN. I loved sharing my work as I wrote. With my team, they get each chapter as I write it, so we really are writing the book together in that respect. But to get feedback and encouragement through the whole process made all the difference in the world, as I was able to correct things as I went along rather than finding something that didn’t work and have to rewrite the whole manuscript.
But my team is more than beta readers to me. My Beta Baes are my family. They inspire me daily to keep writing. They encourage me with emails and tweets and I look forward to my daily interactions with my friends. These are friends I didn’t know a year ago, but now can’t get through the day without talking to them.
And now I’ll never write a book without them. That’s how important they are to the process, and I’m grateful to have such amazing women be a part of my writing journey.