Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Importance of Having a Second Set of Eyes

We've all heard it before; two heads are better than one. I recently put the "final" touches on my novel, Multiples of Six, in order to get it to my final beta readers. Even after having read through it thoroughly, I still found that my early readers had caught things I still missed! The trick is, when you're so close to something like a novel, you can miss the simplest of plot issues.

If you plan on self-publishing a novel, it's imperative that you have beta readers who can be objective. It may also help if they have an eye towards editing as well. The fact is, we can't all afford to pay a professional editor to review our work. But, we all know at least one person who incessantly corrects our speech and/or emails/texts/tweets. Seek those people out as your readers and you won't be sorry. As you're finalizing your novel, the last thing you want to do is avoid objective reviews. If you really don't know anyone who fits this criteria, seek them out! Consider joining a local writing group or make connections through Twitter or Facebook. There are plenty of other writers out there and some are more than willing to help out if the favor is returned.

The important thing to remember is to not go it alone. There are just too many variables that exist in the course of a full length novel. And, you only get one shot at a first impression as a novelist. Though self-publishing does allow for the opportunity to fix your mistakes, you don't want those first readers to be put off by sloppy writing.

Luckily for me, the majority of my final beta read team also happen to be talented editors. I'm looking forward to hearing their comments and getting Multiples of Six published by the end off this month (or early July)!