Waiting on Beta Readers is Hard…
My novel is still out for review with 2 out of 3 of my beta readers (not counting my husband). I’ve gotta say it… this is NOT easy! Waiting is awful!
At least once a day I wonder if they’ve started it, liked/hated it, and if I should text them about it. I also don’t want to be that annoying person that is constantly bombarding them with messages. (So of course I’m passively aggressively blog posting about it, LOL. Just kidding! I’m writing this because I feel it is an important part of the process. Plus I’ve learned additional lessons, which I’ll share below).
This week I did let myself text each beta reader to just check-in (I’m pretty proud I waited this long). I didn’t hear back from either person. Enter the self-doubt. Some part of be is definitely afraid that they simply hate it and don’t know how to tell me. The more logical side of me knows that my beta readers are VERY busy people and that their silence likely has nothing to do with me.
Still, the waiting game is a tough one.
So what am I doing in the meantime? School. School is back with a vengeance and I’m totally drowning in work. So the good news is that I’m too busy to dwell obsessively over the silence.
I also did start going through another edit of my book. This is the first edit where I broke the bank to print out the entire manuscript. Why did I not do this before?!?!?! Especially since I know that I’m way better with physical paper than digital! I mean how many times have I written about that on my blog??? A lot.
So why did I wait? Mostly because of the money. That being said, I’LL NEVER WAIT AGAIN!!!!
Editing the hardcopy made a massive difference. I was able to streamline my chapter down in a way that I couldn’t achieve on the digital format.
Excited and horrified by my editing success, I almost decided to keep going and edit the entire manuscript. I stopped myself though. I want to wait until I receive the rest of my beta reader feedback. I don’t want to start editing and making changes so that suddenly my manuscript version is way different than the version my beta readers have.
Truth be told, I’ve come to realize that I should I have printed the hardcopy to read/edit before sending it to my beta readers. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely read the entire thing and edited it to the best of my ability on the computer. After editing the first chapter of the hardcopy though, I’ve learned a valuable lesson… ALWAYS EDIT THE HARDCOPY NO MATTER WHAT!
Now this might not apply to everyone, but for me it is huge. This experience has been a reminder of that!
So What Have I Learned?
1. Hardcopy, hardcopy, hardcopy!
2. In the future I’m going to work out an approximate deadline with each beta reader. This way they don’t get annoying check-in texts and I have an idea of when I’m going to get feedback.