The beta reader I use for the “Haunted Series” is local and handy. He drops whatever he is reading at the time and picks up my manuscript. He sits there with colorful Post-It flags and a blue pen. Does he catch everything? No, but since I’m the queen of typos and the empress of homophones, he has an enormous task ahead of him.
The job of a beta reader is to look for flow. Do you agree?
“As I start reading a good book, the words transition from the page into a movie that plays in my head. I’m totally engrossed in this movie. Anything that drops me out of the flow of the film I flag. It could be an error in grammar or a simple typo. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint. If the movie stops, I have to look at it to see why I dropped out of reading.”
Why do you like to beta read?
“I like to be part of the process. I’m the first person that has the happy job of reading for enjoyment.”
“I’m not the editor; I’m not the author; I’m just a person who loves to read. When I’m finished, I sit down with the editor and the author with my notes. Sometimes I’m right, and sometimes I’m not. But I enjoy being part of the process.”
Why do you feel you make a good beta reader?
“In my day job, I did a lot of traveling. I spent days in hotel rooms. I chose to read to fill the hours away from my family. It was cheaper and kept me out of hot water. In the days before eReaders, I would lug my suitcase full of paperbacks and hardcovers from airport to hotel and back again. When I moved my family, 70% of our boxes were filled with books. And that’s after we spent hours determining what we could not live without.”
Is there any particular genre you like to read?
“I love all genres. I’m happiest when I find a series where the author has ten or more books already written.”
What is your favorite book or series besides the Haunted Series?
“The Dresden Series by Jim Butcher and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter.”
Whatever time of day it is, you can catch the Beta reader, well, reading. I’m glad he’s there to help us out and wouldn’t trade him for the world.