Story time boys and girls….
A few weeks ago, I agreed to beta read a manuscript written by a very nice lady – let’s call her Betty.
Betty’s manuscript was pretty good. The story was interesting and I didn’t find too many grammatical errors in her work! (Way to go Betty!)
I redlined the changes I thought she should make (minor grammar issues), as well as added comments where the story could be improved (thoughts and suggestions on her storyline).
Pleased with the result, I sent it back to Betty. (Three days before our agreed-upon deadline!)
I received an email from Betty that she was very unhappy with my work.
Apparently, she had her mother read her novel before hiring me and her mother felt it was perfect. There was no need to change anything!
She felt she had hired me to simply approve her work and agree with her mother that no further changes were needed before querying an agent.
That’s not what I do at all.
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So, I just want to pass on a word of warning:
Feel free to get feedback from your family or spouse or friends….but remember that they are going to be overly kind regarding your work because they love you.
Their natural reaction is to make you happy and congratulate you on finishing your novel (which they SHOULD!)
HOWEVER: If you don’t get an unbiased, honest opinion you could easily submit sub-par work to an already overloaded agent.
When I beta read I love to tell clients what works in their novel, but I’m also honest about what doesn’t work.
They aren’t paying me to be nice – they’re paying me to help get their story published.
I’m going to tell you in a nice way, but I’ve got to be honest and tell you.
If you need help with your manuscript feel free to reach out to me. (Seriously, this is what I love to do!)
Some submission requirements only request the first page or first chapter of your manuscript with your query letter, so I’d be happy to beta read just those portions (instead of the whole novel).