Editing

What About Beta Readers, Endorsements, and More?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series

__________

Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions! I’m curious about the timeline or order of events from writing to publishing.

We write and rewrite and edit and polish our manuscript while working on our platform. I’ve read that we should send our work to an editor before submitting it to a publisher. Does that come before or after sending it to beta readers? Do we need to have endorsements before submitting or after? Should we have any extras, like a dedication page, foreword, and/or afterword on hand before submitting? Any help along these lines is much appreciated.

 

Even though I wrote books for publication for many years, I never engaged beta readers per se. My husband read every book I wrote before it went to the editor. He was a great help to me! However, I understand that not everyone has friends and family who enjoy reading, or they might not be helpful beta readers for whatever reason. Perhaps they don’t enjoy the type of book you write or don’t understand your distinct audience or market, for instance.

I’d say that your beta readers should be people you have connected with in the industry, who are interested in you and what you are writing. You can also ask people who care about you but aren’t necessarily writers themselves, to act as readers. I think this list of readers is quite personal, and you can be flexible in choosing the people who are most helpful to you.

If you are paying for a professional edit, I recommend giving that editor your best manuscript to work with, so I’d run it by beta readers first.

As for endorsements, agents always like to see that you have friends in the industry who might vouch for your book. A list of your published author friends who write similar books to yours is excellent. You don’t need to have them read the book and write the endorsement until the publisher is ready. Also, the list is simply that – a list. The list in a proposal does not obligate the writer to endorse your book.

As for front-matter copy, save that for later.

 Your turn:

Do you have beta readers? How did you make contact with them?

How did you meet the writers who might endorse your book?

For the entire series, click here: “Your Questions Answered.”

 

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