7 Secrets To Getting Your Novel Beta Reader Ready

Wow… that was a mouth full. Try saying that 7 times fast… Beta Reader Ready… Beta Reader Ready… Beta Reader Readdddeerryyyy…. Okay, that’s enough!

IMG_1500After going through intense editing and sending my book to my lovely critique partner, I dove into another few edits.

But what do you do once you’ve passed those mile markers?

Get Your Book Beta Reader Ready, that’s what! (I am still having problems saying that only once). 

1. Get A Pre Beta Book Printed

I use different formats to help me see my story clearer. Sometimes I print the entire novel out. Other times I’ve uploaded it on my iPad. It really helps.

This time, though… I got it printed with the print on demand company, lulu. There are other companies you can probably look into as well.

Besides it being super helpful, it is also rewarding, because you get to see the result of your sitting down at the desk and slaving away to the keyboard.

2. Take Time to Read Through it & Make Notes

beta reader, editing, writing, Devin Berglund

3. Characters, Setting & History

Make sure to type up a Characters, Setting, and History page. Write a sentence or two describing that person or place or the history. This will help your reader immensely.

4. The questionnaire

I once chatted with a writer who said she always sends out a question list with her book to her beta readers.

She said she didn’t want to just get, “Oh, I liked it, but there was this one spot that could be fixed, only thing is I don’t remember where it is.”

Beta readers are useful, because they read your story as a reader and tell you what works or what doesn’t. Get the questionnaire that I use, HERE for FREE!!

Cover and my hand5. Choose Your Format

What format book will you send their way?

A real book?



6. Number

I chose to keep the list for my beta readers smaller this time. But, you can choose whatever number youd like.

7. Show Your Appreciation

Are you going to write them a thank you card? Or send them a gift card for books or food?

Make sure you do this step. Showing your appreciation is important.

Here are some more tips on finding your beta readers!

Do you have beta readers? If so what do you do to prepare your novel for beta readers? 


Are you a creative who wants to get in shape? If so, join in the fun by joining my Virtual 5K Run. Sign up for my blog newsletter and you will get my 6-week 5K training plan along with a print out on how to tie your tennis shoes in different ways to help your feet stay comfortable. Be sure to share this with your friends.

16 thoughts on “7 Secrets To Getting Your Novel Beta Reader Ready

    1. Hey Kella,

      So happy you found the post helpful! Well, for The Mason of Hearts I decided to have 6. Some writers go with fewer, while others go with a lot. But, I think it all comes down to how many you might want? I would say, pick a number you feel comfortable with and then ask around or… hold a Beta Reader Application like I did here: http://lifewritingwanderlust.com/the-mason-of-hearts-beta-reader-application/

      That is actually how I found my beta readers. And then you can think up questions that will help you pick out the best beta readers for your book. It was really helpful.

    1. Welcome to my site, Joan! I am so happy to have you here. Hope to have you again and again. Look forward to getting to know you better. 🙂

      What genre book are you writing? How exciting! I hope you find the questionnaire helpful! Thanks again!

      1. Devin, my WIP is a suspense novel. I’ve always been drawn to the mystery and suspense genre. Thanks again for the resource and I also look forward to getting to know you better.

  1. (I think I had an internet issue, so I don’t think my first comment posted.)

    Devin, thanks for this helpful list and the beta questonnaire! I have a way to go yet with my first novel, but I want to be prepared when I’m ready for beta readers 🙂

    1. Hello Catherine, thanks for reading and commenting. How exciting to hear about your novel. It’s definitely a journey. And you are so right! It is definitely always good to be prepared – so I hope the beta reader questionnaire helps you out a ton when you send it to beta readers. What kind of book are you writing? 🙂

  2. So glad to have found this post. My first novel (a steampunk murder mystery!) is beta reader ready and your tips are fantastic. That questionnaire is pure gold!

    1. Hello Jenn,

      So glad you found this post helpful!! Oooh a steampunk murder mystery – that sounds really exciting! 🙂 Thank you for reading and also for commenting! Look forward to getting to know you better. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Happy New Years!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *