6 Key Questions to Ask Your Beta Readers

As any good writer knows, feedback is essential to the magic that will be your finished product. As the first group of readers exposed to your work before publication, it’s a beta reader's job to give you an honest opinion and reaction to your writing, while identifying areas for improvement. Yet, with so much to consider, even experienced beta readers may need a little direction.

Create a questionnaire

To focus their evaluative skills, many authors find it helpful to furnish beta readers with a questionnaire. The questionnaire can be very specific or more general, depending on how detailed you want the feedback. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 6 key questions that can help your beta readers zero in on critical areas of your book:

1. Do the first 10 pages make you want to keep reading? If not, what is the problem?Getting feedback is an important part of the book editing process.

2. Do you find yourself skipping pages?

3. Are you confused at any point in the story?

4. How do you relate to the characters?

5. Do you know what genre you’re reading?

6. Do you find satisfaction in the ending?

Choosing your beta readers

Working with beta readers is a valuable step in the book editing process. It can aid with self-editing and prepare your book for professional editing. As such, it isn’t something to be rushed. Take care in how you choose your beta readers, and be sure to give them plenty of time to read your manuscript. Check in with them during the process and don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions – remember, you’re looking for ways to improve before releasing your book to the world, so don’t be shy. 

Be mindful that you don’t have to use all the feedback you receive. Implement what resonates and bypass the rest, or use it to develop additional dialogues with the rest of your beta readers. Most importantly? Keep an open mind and enjoy the journey! Your work is being polished into a beautiful, well-written book.

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  • The list of questions is great!  I find it helpful. I had asked some of the questions already.  Now I have more to let them know the main ways they can benefit from their suggestions.