I’ve Written A Book. Now What? – Beta Readers

I’m a happy wannabe author today, having received final feedback from two of my loyal beta readers, Katie and Shae. To say I was pleased with their e-mails is probably the understatement of the decade. I would have jumped in the air and clicked my heels together, but I’m just back from a 7 1/2 mile run so thought better of it. I’ve ended up on my backside once already this week, thanks to an unfortunate encounter with a banana skin.

Both Katie and Shae have waded through all 88 chapters of ‘The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles – Skelly’s Square.’ They both deserve a medal or, at the very least, a round of applause. I really appreciate the time they have given up to read the book, and the care and detail they have taken in providing constructive and honest feedback. I intend to use it to fine tune KSC even more, before I begin querying literary agents in the New Year.

I was filled with trepidation when I first became aware of the beta reading process. The thought of giving up my labour of love to other people was deeply worrying. What if they hated it? What if my dream of becoming a published author was shot down in flames before it even got off the ground? Thankfully, that wasn’t to be and I can now blow a hearty sigh of relief and look ahead.

I struggle with self-belief, and the beta process has proven to me that the last year has been worthwhile. That KSC is not a heap of garbage, and my crazy tale of supernatural beings battling it out on the back streets of Belfast has some merit to it. My heroes are credible, especially Meredith Starc who quickly became the darling of my beta reading community.

I have also stumbled across a villain who drips evil, in the shape of the malignant Augustus Skelly. I have loved writing Skelly probably more than any other character in the book. I’ve only scratched the surface of what happened in the Square on that muddy, bloody afternoon over 200 years ago. There is much more to come and Skelly has plenty more tricks up his sleeve for Kirkwood and Co.

Then there’s Harley Davison, the youngest and bravest of my heroes. She may have the most unfortunate name of all time, but the ‘Rainbow Girl’ means so much to me, being based on my own teenage daughter, Hannah. Hannah has more courage and fight in her little finger than I have in my entire body. I only hope an iota of that comes across in the character of Harley.

The unsung hero is the city of Belfast, where the majority of the book is set. I walk it’s streets every week day and it is the sights and sounds of this beautiful, tragic city that I yearn to convey to you all via the pages of KSC. It’s murky bars and murkier alleys, the humour and resilience of its people. It is a city emerging from a very troubled past into a brighter future. But it still bears the scars.

KSC is currently with my editor, Laura. Another wrench for me, but I need her skilful eye to polish this rough gem into the finished article. I cannot stress enough to those of you setting out on the adventure of writing a book, the value of having it go through the beta process, and then be professionally edited. It’s frightening, but so worthwhile. Dreams do come true. Just ask Kirkwood, Meredith and Harley.

All comments regarding the above post are most welcome. Thank you.

27 thoughts on “I’ve Written A Book. Now What? – Beta Readers

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  1. First and foremost, congratulations! You wrote a book! Writing is a calling, publishing is a business, and no matter what happens, you have answered the call.

    I’ve been known to thank my beta readers by naming minor characters after them. I owe a lot to them, and they haven’t sued me yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just gave a shout out to you in todays blog. I also said I wish he’d self publish so I can read. Haha. All my wordpress blogs went to spam for three weeks so I am currently reading in reverse order starting with this one!

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  3. Well done for those test readers!!!!! That’s so exciting! I actually just sent you feedback for 15-20. Feedback is so important and helpful! Sometimes feedback can be a little coarse but we can always glean something from it. I’m glad your fears have been washed away by the process!

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  4. Steven, I admire your courage and perseverance! I truly look forward to owning my own copy of the finished product.
    Please know that though I have no leanings toward writing a book of any kind, my humble blogging efforts have also been encouraged by your example.
    Continued blessings on all you do,
    Chuck

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  5. I finally got a computer to use a little while ago but by then in your posts you were saying you had handed the book over to an editor so I assumed you had finished with the beta readers so I didn’t bother continuing with it.

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  6. It sounds more interesting with every fragment.
    And your process is enlightening, should I ever complete anything longer than a short story (I started with a ‘practice novel’ but then realised I had an apprenticeship to serve first.)

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