February is a good month to get working on next steps, apparently. I notice a lot of people are posting asking for assistance with their complete work. In order to help everyone get the help they need, I have this handy list here I thought I would share.
Editors-people with good grammar who are going to catch your spelling, punctuation, and editing mistakes. They will need a print copy and a pen (or a google doc with editing turned on). They’re awesome, you need them. Don’t expect these people to talk to you about who they loved or what they read. They were too busy fixing your overuse of the comma and the extra cliche phrases you glue to everything.
Beta Readers-people who read in your genre who are going to just read your story. They need the story to be as accessible to them as a “regular” book, so print it and bind it or save it in a pdf so they can access it on a device. They are essential, you need them. Don’t expect them to replace or duplicate the work of your editor. The good ones will honestly and openly discuss your characters, your plot lines, and your twists. They will constantly tell you what they are thinking, feeling, and questioning. This allows you to check off your ideas of what the reader should have been doing in that spot and make necessary adjustments. Get a few of these, just in case.
Critics-people “in the business” who can provide you with feedback about the publishing readiness of your book. They are not looking to help you make any changes to your work, merely to tell you if it is ready or where its shortcomings lie. They are rare, brutal, and therefore valuable. Take it if you can find it.
The lesson? Everyone needs someone to handle the work after they finish. Choose your someone(s) wisely. Happy writing!
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