Beta Reader Experience
I am currently in the middle of my second round of beta readers. A year ago, I didn't really know what a beta reader was. I did see the benefit of other people reading through my work though. Back in February of this year, I recruited four friends to read through my work for me. I had no clue what I was doing, so I gave them all 50,000+ words at once, and told them any feedback they could give me would be great. They all picked up on useful things which took me a few months to fix. But I knew that some of the issues, I needed fresh reader eyes to tell me if the issues were properly resolved.
In early July, I started recruiting for my next round of beta readers. At this point, I had better knowledge of how to run a beta round. I came up with some specific questions to ask after every chapter or two, and I decided to send it out in chunks. The recruiting didn't go so well. I didn't find that many people, and when I was finally ready to do the round, a few of them weren't able to read for me anymore.
Sucking up my disappointment, I did the round anyways, with the three wonderful people I found on social media. And life happened, and none of them got back to me by the deadline. I must admit that discouraged me. It made me wonder if my four friends were just being nice and my writing isn't that good. But I did run my whole story past a CP, and she didn't rip it to shreds, so I took that as a good sign.
As things are right now, I have the feedback from one reader, another reader should get me the feedback in a few days, and the third has yet to get back to me. But I will press on!