Can Free Beta Readers Beat Book Editors at Their Own Game? What You Need to Know

It’s probably a given that the majority of authors can only go so far editing their own work. It’s partly a question of being too close to the page and the story but even if you put the MS away in a darkened room for a period and return to it you may still find it difficult to pick up every misspelling; every typo and grammatical error.

One reason might be that since you know every wrinkle, nuance and minor event in the story your eyes and your brain tend to skip over the words. You know what’s coming and you can anticipate events.

A good editor picks up everything, line by line, mistake by mistake.

I have experimented with using beta readers that offer their services via sites such as Goodreads.

My experience so far is mixed. One beta reader gave me as tough an edit as a professional editor (maybe she was one). No names no pack drill but I was impressed that she’d even gone so far as to check on Google Earth for locations mentioned in the MS and whether a good claret is ever served by the glass.

She was superb. I doubt if she missed anything.

On the other hand, one beta reader just gave me a single page email opinion picking up one or two minor points.

I am expecting a couple of other beta reads in the near future. I will then combine them with the first and go through the book again. I expect there will be a lot of duplication but every tiny error that is picked up is like gold dust to the author.

So, the jury out as to whether a beta reader can do as good a job as a paid for editor and I suspect some beta readers are professionals offering services by the back door.

Some sound advice if you are operating on a budget would be to experiment with a number of volunteer beta readers. Perhaps the most important piece of advice is the really explain your precise requirements. For example, ask the reader to comment upon (a work of fiction):

• plot inconsistencies eg something happens or is said in chapter four that is contradicted in chapter twenty.

• pacing: does the pace drop anywhere?

• are the characters fully fleshed out?

• too much/too little back story?

• are you telling and not showing anywhere in the MS?

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Smart Experts Level the Playing Field With Their Competition by Writing a Book

As an expert, you likely experience lots of competition. You may be the best. You may have been in your industry the longest. You might have the most expensive education.

On some level, none of that matters. What matters is the market’s perception of who you are.

Are you the “go to” expert?
Are you the expert that can help them solve their problems?
Are you the expert who is the “real deal?”

These are all valid questions a potential client is likely to ask themselves about you. The question you need to answer is, “How do I minimize their concerns to let them know, yes, in fact, I am a bona fide expert?”

One way is to write a book. Better yet, several books. Books give you credibility. Books are great lead generators. Books represent you 24/7.

You have a few choices of what types of books to take to market.


All three formats have their advantages as well as their challenges.

Physical books are great for a leave behind with a potential client. Sending a copy of your latest book to your current clients is always a hit. Making sure a radio or podcast show host has a copy before they interview you is powerful. These are just a few of the many advantages of a physical book.

The downside is the amount of work that can go into the creation of a physical book. In addition, there is the cost per unit.

With P.O.D. (print on demand) these costs are minimal compared to the past. Yet, there is still the cost.

Audio books are an excellent choice for book buyers who love to pop on their head phones while on a long distance plane ride, driving or just relaxing at home on the weekend.

The challenge with audio books is the recording and editing that goes into the final product. Yet, if marketed correctly, they can generate a tidy sum.

eBooks are becoming a favorite of many readers for the simple reason we are so wired these days, having access to our favorite books on one of the many devices we use throughout our day is a plus.

Although not the only one, but definitely the most popular format, is Kindle version books. The beauty of Kindle books is the built-in market on Amazon. With millions upon millions of searches a day on Amazon, an expert would be wise to have their information turned into one or more books on Kindle.

Not only are you able to position your expertise, you can have active links inside your book to drive traffic to an offer and you can have another revenue stream that is as simple as it gets.

The major downside with Kindle is getting lost in the shuffle. But if you know what to do to increase search results, your likelihood of being found it much greater.

Three areas of focus on Amazon are your book description, categories and reviews. Put effort into all three of these and you will have a greater chance for success with your books.

Regardless of what format you choose, get your book in the hands of your readers. As an expert, you need to have as many advantages as possible to stand out from the competition. The best way to level the playing field is to write books. From there, simply decide which format is best for your audience. In some cases, it may be all three. But to start, Kindle is a GREAT choice.

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Shocking! The Vast Majority of Books Make Less Than $100 a Year

“The vast majority of books make less than $100 a year,” according to John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books.

Another book marketer says, “50% of the books published don’t make even that much. In my experience, at least 90% of books will fail, maybe even 95-99%. Fail means the books earn less than $100 a year.”

I find this shocking and totally unacceptable. Why? Well for one thing, why would an author spend so much time writing a book that never gets read?

Yet, there’s a reason why most books never make more than $100. Most authors do NOTHING to market their books.

To me that’s even more shocking. It’s like, “Really?!” Come on! The books are not going to miraculously make it into the hands of the reader. You, the author, must be proactive in your approach.

I’ve been involved in the game of book marketing for a long, long time. And… every book I’ve written has made money. In some cases, lots of it.

Admittedly, I have been incredibly proactive in my approach to making sure my books get a lot of visibility.

One way to increase your chances of success is with a proper foundation on Amazon. There are three primary things you MUST do to get the greatest traction on Amazon.

You must:

1. Have a solid book description with appropriate keywords and search terms

2. Select the best categories for your book

3. Have a well-constructed Author Central page

All three of these will contribute to greater results in your book sales efforts.

Once you get your book on, now comes the fun part of marketing your book. There are many great ways to do this. One of my favorites is with a blog tour.

A Virtual Book Blog Tour is much like a traditional book tour, except the stops are all virtual. Instead of going from bookstore to bookstore, the author goes from blog to blog.

A virtual blog tour is a tour of various blogs and websites. It is recommended to post on blogs that have a similar readership as those who would be interested in your book.
A blog tour is a great opportunity for an author to reach high numbers of potential book buyers and readers.
A blog tour contains blog posts, interviews, reviews and/or guest posts that are posted to a series of blogs during a specific period of time.
A blog tour can be done live where the author actually visits each blog and answers questions by the host. You can also do a tour where your information is submitted ahead of time in order that you have greater reach without be restricted by the clock.
Virtual blog tours are a wonderful alternative to a “live” bookstore tour. There’s no travel involved and costs are minimal.

Don’t be like up to 95% (or more) of authors who never, ever make money with their books. Be in the tiny percentage of authors who go the distance and proactively promote your books. Not only will you gain lots of satisfaction knowing there are people out there who are enjoying your work, you will also likely make real money.

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Offer Your Book The Easy Way – Offer a Proposition

You can get paid to compose a book. It’s effortlessly conceivable to make a quick $10,000, or even a six figure sum. You could even make seven figures – over a million dollars for twenty pages of content. It sounds mind blowing, however a quick seven figures is absolutely conceivable in the event that you have a HOT, hot thought or have had an affair that a huge number of individuals need to peruse about. In his 2001 book about composing true to life, Damn! Why Didn’t I Write That?, writer Marc McCutcheon says that it’s not hard to make a decent pay: “you can take in the exchange and start making a respectable salary much quicker than a great many people think conceivable”.

The great part is that you don’t have to compose your book before you get some cash. You compose a proposition, and a distributer will give you a development, which you can live on while you compose the book.

Composing a proposition is the brilliant approach to compose a book. It’s the way proficient scholars offer verifiable. Offering a book on a proposition is much less demanding than offering a book that you’ve effectively composed. A book proposition is a finished depiction of your book. It contains the title, a clarification of what the book’s around, a blueprint of sections, a business sector and rivalry study, and a specimen part.

A book proposition capacities similarly as any business proposition does: you’re making an offer to somebody you plan to work with. It will be dealt with by distributers similarly that any business treats a proposition. A distributer will read your proposition, evaluate its practicality, cost it, and in the event that it looks as though the distributer will profit, the distributer will pay you to compose the book. When you’ve sold your proposed book to a distributer, your part doesn’t end with composing your book. You’re in organization with your distributer to guarantee the book’s prosperity. In the event that you do your part, both you and your distributer will profit.

You and your distributer: an association

The distributer’s business is offering books. The organization gains books which it trusts will offer, and offer well. Your distributer is setting up the cash to distribute your book, so you have to approach the task from his perspective and in addition your own.

We lack space to broadly expound about the distributed business here, yet you have to think about “returns”, on the grounds that the test of profits makes distributed not quite the same as different organizations. Distributers offer books on relegation. Distributers ship books to bookshops, and if a book isn’t sold inside a specific day and age, it’s wrecked. The book retailer strips the spread from the book and sends the spread to the distributer for a full credit. This is the “arrival”. On the off chance that a title doesn’t offer, the distributer gets hammered. As you can envision, distributers are not any more quick to lose cash than you or I.

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