Quick order of business: I have 4 beta reader slots left for Farisa’s Crossing, which I intend to be publishing some time after Oct. 1, 2018. I’ll be offering between 1 and 15 Signed First Editions (expect 2) for everyone who completes the program, and (if allowed per publishing contract, and affordable) I will try to order these in a special print run (at my expense) in order to increase their long-term value.
The Beta Reader Guidelines explain this in more detail.
I’ve had a couple people ask me about beta reader questionnaires. This may not be the right one for every book, but here’s what I’m using. It seems to work pretty well, so long as people understand that they don’t have to answer each question (there are 21 of them). It takes 5 to 10 minutes for the typical person to complete, and it sets a good start for a future phone or video interview.
This questionnaire should take about 5 minutes.
Therefore, you don’t have to answer every question. If nothing comes to mind within 15 seconds, leave it blank. If nothing bored you, leave Q5 blank; if nothing inspired strong emotions, leave Q8 blank. If you don’t recall a sentence or line that struck you as especially good/bad, leave Q17/Q18 blank.
- How long did you spend reading the chapter(s)?
- Did you finish?
- If not, why not?
- I loved…
- I was bored by…
- I was confused by…
- I hated…
- I had a strong emotional reaction (please specify emotion) to…
- I’m not sure why you decided to…
- I want to know more about…
- What do you think will happen in the next chapter?
- What do you hope will happen in the next chapter?
- Thematically speaking, what do you think this chapter(s) “is about”?
- What was your favorite scene?
- What was your least favorite scene?
- Who is your favorite character?
- Did any sentences strike you as memorably well written?
- Did any sentences strike you as memorably badly written or awkward?
- Ignoring minor errors, rate the material from 0 to 100 on the following scale:
- 0: Unreadable.
- 30: Serious issues. Boring, bad characters, plot holes, etc. (Please specify.)
- 40: Mediocre. You felt like you read this as a favor.
- 50: Average among (traditionally) published work. You wouldn’t be surprised to see this in a bookstore, and wouldn’t want a refund if you bought it.
- 60: Above-average. You’d probably buy the next book, if you remembered.
- 70: Strong. Top 10% of books you’ve read, you’d recommend to a reader of the genre.
- 80: Excellent. Top 2% of books you’ve read, you’d recommend to a reader of any genre.
- 90: Masterpiece. One of the best 3-5 books you’ve ever read.
- 100: Flawless. The best writing you’ve ever read.
- Using the rating scale above, what would suggest I do to make it 15 points better?
- Has your opinion of previous chapters or scenes changed, based on what you’ve read? If so, how?