Indie Author Weekly

089: Call for beta readers! (Small Town Stilettos)

December 08, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 90
Indie Author Weekly
089: Call for beta readers! (Small Town Stilettos)
Chapters
Indie Author Weekly
089: Call for beta readers! (Small Town Stilettos)
Dec 08, 2020 Episode 90
Sagan Morrow

In this episode of Indie Author Weekly, let's talk about beta readers. In fact, I am officially putting the call out to invite YOU to become a beta reader for my upcoming romcom, Small Town Stilettos

Here’s a teaser about the book: 

Big city fashion designer Margaret "Peggy" Malcolm never dreamed that she'd be stuck back in her tiny hometown. But when her aunt dies, Peggy needs to handle everything with her estate... and it turns out to have a rather unusual stipulation: Peggy needs to marry her childhood sweetheart, Logan Finley, in order to access her inheritance. 

Things get even more complicated when another old flame of hers comes strolling into town. 

Small Town Stilettos is a friends to lovers, modern marriage of convenience, second chance romantic comedy—with the only one bed trope. It features a body positive, fat heroine, and it’s snarky and sassy. 

If that sounds like a story you can’t wait to read, then I strongly encourage you to apply to be a beta reader at SaganMorrow.com/beta

Now, this is my first time officially getting beta readers for one of my novels. I’m pretty excited about it! I have no idea if my method of going about it will be effective, but I figured I’d share behind the scenes for what I’m going to do with my beta readers. 

My hope is to find three beta readers for Small Town Stilettos. Three beta readers feels like a manageable amount, and I think having three perspectives will be helpful for tightening up the story as needed. The application form doesn’t take long to fill out, but it will be very helpful!

TUNE IN to this episode to learn more about my plan for beta readers... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Indie Author Weekly, let's talk about beta readers. In fact, I am officially putting the call out to invite YOU to become a beta reader for my upcoming romcom, Small Town Stilettos

Here’s a teaser about the book: 

Big city fashion designer Margaret "Peggy" Malcolm never dreamed that she'd be stuck back in her tiny hometown. But when her aunt dies, Peggy needs to handle everything with her estate... and it turns out to have a rather unusual stipulation: Peggy needs to marry her childhood sweetheart, Logan Finley, in order to access her inheritance. 

Things get even more complicated when another old flame of hers comes strolling into town. 

Small Town Stilettos is a friends to lovers, modern marriage of convenience, second chance romantic comedy—with the only one bed trope. It features a body positive, fat heroine, and it’s snarky and sassy. 

If that sounds like a story you can’t wait to read, then I strongly encourage you to apply to be a beta reader at SaganMorrow.com/beta

Now, this is my first time officially getting beta readers for one of my novels. I’m pretty excited about it! I have no idea if my method of going about it will be effective, but I figured I’d share behind the scenes for what I’m going to do with my beta readers. 

My hope is to find three beta readers for Small Town Stilettos. Three beta readers feels like a manageable amount, and I think having three perspectives will be helpful for tightening up the story as needed. The application form doesn’t take long to fill out, but it will be very helpful!

TUNE IN to this episode to learn more about my plan for beta readers... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing books, such as my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Get podcast episodes and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. In this episode, I want to talk about beta readers. In fact, I am officially putting the call out to invite YOU to become a beta reader for my upcoming romcom, Small Town Stilettos

Here’s a teaser about the book: 

Big city fashion designer Margaret "Peggy" Malcolm never dreamed that she'd be stuck back in her tiny hometown. But when her aunt dies, Peggy needs to handle everything with her estate... and it turns out to have a rather unusual stipulation: Peggy needs to marry her childhood sweetheart, Logan Finley, in order to access her inheritance. 

Things get even more complicated when another old flame of hers comes strolling into town.

Small Town Stilettos is a friends to lovers, modern marriage of convenience, second chance romantic comedy—with the only one bed trope. It features a body positive, fat heroine, and it’s snarky and sassy. 

If that sounds like a story you can’t wait to read, then I strongly encourage you to apply to be a beta reader at SaganMorrow.com/beta… link is in the show notes. 

Now, this is my first time officially getting beta readers for one of my novels. I’m pretty excited about it! I have no idea if my method of going about it will be effective, but I figured I’d share behind the scenes for what I’m going to do with my beta readers. 

My hope is to find three beta readers for Small Town Stilettos. Three beta readers feels like a manageable amount, and I think having three perspectives will be helpful for tightening up the story as needed. The application form doesn’t take long to fill out, but it will be very helpful! 

I’m asking my beta readers a few important questions in that survey such as: 

  1. Are you available during the specified timeline, yes or no?
  2. Why do you want to be a beta reader for Small Town Stilettos?
  3. What genres do you typically read?
  4. What country are you in?

Small Town Stilettos is set in Canada, and I certainly don’t think that you need to be Canadian to enjoy the story, but in case there are Canadian-specific nuances or phrases, it’s good for me to know whether a beta reader is Canadian or not, because there’s a chance that some elements of the story might not land the same way.  

Likewise, it isn’t necessary for a beta reader to be an avid reader of romantic comedies, but that can help me determine what elements of their feedback to pay more attention to than others, for example. And of course, it’s important that the beta readers can actually commit to reading and providing feedback on the story in a timely fashion! 

So, that’s the application process, which only takes a few minutes to complete. 

Then, once I choose beta readers and confirm that they’re still interested and available, I will be giving them about three weeks to read and provide feedback on the story. I’m also providing 1 - 3 questions at the end of each chapter to help direct their feedback, and to make it easier for them to jot down a couple sentences or a few bullet points as they’re reading, rather than them needing to answer all the questions at the end of the book. 

A few examples of the questions I’m asking in various chapters: 

  • Are you sympathetic toward a particular character?
  • Did this chapter keep you interested and engaged to want to keep reading?
  • How do you feel about the pacing of the story so far?
  • What would you like to see more or less of in this chapter?
  • ...and so on

The idea here isn’t to inundate my beta readers with a bunch of questions, but to make their life easier, so they know specifically what my concerns are with one scene versus another. I’m hoping that it works out well! And then there will be some general questions I’ll ask them at the end of the book, too. 

After the three-week time period, I’ll be collecting their feedback, reviewing their notes, and making changes and rewrites to Small Town Stilettos as needed. I’ll be paying special attention to whether my beta readers have similar feedback on any particular areas, because chances are, if two or all of my beta readers have the same impressions, then readers at large will probably also have that impression. This is why I don’t just want one beta reader—I think it will be more well-rounded to have a few different perspectives.

So, that’s my general process that I’m trying out with beta readers! I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope you are too. 

You can learn more about Small Town Stilettos on Goodreads, or you can apply right now to be a beta reader for this story at SaganMorrow.com/beta. Links are in the show notes.

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have experience as a beta reader, or working with beta readers? What did—or didn’t—you find helpful during that process?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it, or to let me know if you have requests for future episode topics. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support. 

And let’s stay in touch: Get podcast and book updates delivered directly to your inbox, plus unlock awesome bonuses such as free chapters of my books, at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.