I have only beta read for one person, but it was a great experience. I’m an avid reader and love being a part of a community of other readers and authors. Being asked to beta read is a huge honor. It is an author saying that he trusts me, and values my opinion on something that is very important to them. I can’t think of a greater honor in the reading community.
I recently had a birthday and was 12 when I beta read a book that will be published in April, 2015. It was one of the greatest reading experiences I have ever had. Not because the book was perfect, mistake free, or a good read, but because what I had to say mattered. The author didn’t change things because I said to, but what he did do is listen. He looked at every comment I made and then went back and checked those spots in the book. Then he would talk to me about what would make that part better for me or why he felt it should stay the way it was. I felt like what I thought was important to him. That is a great feeling. My reading experience was important to him.
I also felt I was in the target audience for the book, so I really appreciate the time the author took to consider my comments. I am an opinionated person, but I must feel safe to say what I feel without fear of upsetting anyone. I never feared talking to the author and I never felt that I offended him even when I was saying I didn’t like something in his book. Though I am close to this author, I never felt that I had to candy coat the truth. He asked my opinion and, as I do with my reviews, I gave it to him straight.
It was due to my experience beta reading that inspired me to give writing a chance. The thought of writing a novel is daunting and a bit scary, but to know I won’t have to do it alone makes it more exciting than scary. I also think writing and beta reading helps me to know and appreciate all the work that an author goes through to write a book.
It’s a great job to have and was a confidence builder for me. ~Timmy