What is a beta reader?
A beta reader is a
volunteer who agrees to read edited draft copies of ebooks pending
publication by Dove Christian Publishers and provide feedback, critique or
clarification on the content. It is important for feedback to be honest and
direct; we are not looking for minced words or sugarcoating. Beta readers
are not copy editors; you are not expected to examine the manuscript line by
line and find errors. However, in the course of normal reading, if there are
obvious grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors, we’d
appreciate knowing about them. Upon reading a manuscript, beta readers
should keep in mind and answer the following questions:Nonfiction
Did you understand the authors reason for writing the book? Did you feel
her/his pain or excitement?
2. Did the topic seem exciting if you had no
prior knowledge of it?
3. Where did the book get boring? What parts could
be cut out?
4. Did any of the research seem far-fetched?
5. Were any
details repeated or redundant?
6. Could some of the stories and ideas be
more punchy? If so, how so?
7. Was there too much information, research,
or not enough? Was the information helpful or did it drag?
8. Was the
narrative interesting and did it move along? Why or why not?
9. Did the
book provide helpful next steps?
10. Did you notice any obvious,
repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors?
1. Did the story hold your interest from the very
beginning? If not, why not?
2. Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the
beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? If
not, why not?
3. Could you relate to the main character? Did you feel
her/his pain or excitement?
4. Did the setting interest you, and did the
descriptions seem vivid and real to you?
5. Was there a point at which
you felt the story started to lag or you became less than excited about
finding out what was going to happen next? Where, exactly?
6. Were there
any parts that confused you? Or even frustrated or annoyed you? Which parts,
7. Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time
sequences, places, character details, or other details?
8. Were the
characters believable? Are there any characters you think could be made more
interesting or more likeable?
9. Did you get confused about who’s who in
the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few?
Are any of the names or characters too similar?
10. Did the dialogue keep
your interest and sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think
sounded artificial or not like that person would speak?
11. Did you feel
there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Maybe too much
dialogue in parts?
12. Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue
to keep your interest?
13. Was the ending satisfying? Believable?
Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or
capitalization errors? Examples?
15. Do you think the writing style suits
the genre? If not, why not?
And if beta readers want to go the extra
mile, there are more specific optional questions below for both nonfiction
1. Which scenes/paragraphs/lines did you really like?
Which parts did you dislike or not like as much, and why?
3. Are there
parts where you wanted to skip ahead or put the book down?
4. Which parts
resonated with you and/or moved you emotionally?
5. Which parts should be
condensed or even deleted?
6. Which parts should be elaborated on or
brought more to life?
7. Are there any confusing parts? What confused
8. Which characters did you really connect to?
characters need more development or focus?Qualities we are looking for
in beta readers:
Beta readers should be avid readers of books in
Christian genres, either fiction or nonfiction. You should be able to read a
book of 350 words or less in about two weeks. Readers should be able to give honest yet
constructive feedback, critique, or clarification on the books they are
reading. They should be able to receive materials via email and/or
downloading from the Internet. You should be willing to check emails at
least once a day for information from us. While beta readers are rewarded
with free books to read, this is not a program for those who simply want
free books. Readers must provide constructive feedback in order to be
eligible to receive further books from us. Readers must keep the books they
are issued confidential and not share the books with anyone outside of Dove
Christian Publishers.How are books delivered?
We deliver electronic
copies of our books in PDF or Word format. Paperback versions are not
available under the beta readers program; however, a reader who has
successfully submitted feedback for a book can request a free final
published paperback copy of the book.
Go to the below web
page to submit your application for our beta reader program. We will review
your application within 3-4 business days and let you know whether or not
your application has been approved. Upon approval, readers will receive
books that are closely aligned with your interests as expressed in the
Dove Christian Publishers Beta Reader Application
Further questions? Contact us at publishing at dovechristianpublishers.com