Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gratitude, pass it on

I'm getting to the end of my betas. The last ones are trickling in, bit by bit and agonizingly slow. Don't get me wrong, that's not a complaint. That's just a fact of writing life. Beta readers are volunteers, they aren't obligated to read anything I write.

Sometimes, as writers, we forget the positive. We get lost marking up a WIP in red, in pointing out flaws and when we receive our own back, we get caught up going through all the red. We forget to say thank you. Which is kind of odd because on twitter, I see a lot of thank yous going on. Thanks for RTing this. Thanks for mentioning me.

But what sort of thank you is adequate? How do I thank a beta reader I've never met and probably never meet? My book when it's released is one idea. I kind of cringe at that. They're going to see what suggestions I took and the ones I ignored. Yes, I know that is not a big deal but still, I have a paranoid streak and that streak worries about insignificant things like that. A gift card to amazon? Could work but what's the appropriate amount? Another idea is simply a shout out. Spread the word on twitter and my blog that my beta readers are awesome people with awesome skills. Or put it in my book as part of the thank yous or dedication.

All this isn't necessary but I want to do something, show my gratitude for ripping into my baby, making me want to scream and cry, for the sake of making my story better. I had to cut parts I loved and rewrite others. All at the suggestions of my beta readers. And my story is better for all this, my story shines brighter and hopefully when I release it into the world, others will love it as much as I do. So thanks to all my beta readers. Erin, CJ, MaryBeth, Marni, Dan, Brad and Cynthia. You guys rock.

22 comments:

  1. :) I think a verbal thank you is sufficient. I think as most (if not all) of us are aspiring writers, it's something we do to help one another since we know what it's like to have to go through that. Not to mention we get something out of it too. We get to read good stories, see how other people work, etc.

    If you really feel you need to "do" something other than a verbal thanks, you can always offer to return the favor some day :)

    I thank my betas and I will add another thank you in the acknowledgments as well, that way everyone who reads the book knows all those involved to help make it to publication :) Then they can show it off to other friends and brag :D

    Also, don't worry about not taking suggestions. That's why they're suggestions and we're not editors paid by your agent :P You're the author, it's your baby, you get final say. Period :D

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  2. Well, I could think of several ways... but I'm sure you can guess what I'm thinking without me having to type them :P

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  3. 0.o would she need a smoke after?! :D


    /and omg the captcha word is seducte! I think it's a sign! (well minus the t! heh)

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  4. MB, please don't encourage him. -.-

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  5. HAHH! but it's sooooo fun! :D

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  6. But you have no idea what he demands of me! My innocence has been stripped away thanks to him!

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  7. ...I find that hard to believe :D

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  8. Lol, the implication was that I'd be the one needing a smoke. So when are you gonna be writing up your new short story idea? ^^

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  9. Don't listen to her... she never had any innocence :P

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  10. You two are mean. I had tons of innocence at one point in my life! *cries*

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  11. Maybe when she was born... but that quickly went down the drain ;p

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  12. Oh shut up, you know you're to blame and you're totally proud of that fact.

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  13. Isn't that a contradiction? If I knew and was proud of it, wouldn't I be bragging about it? :P

    I guess I could take /some/ of the credit though.

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  14. Some? How about all. Man up and own up buddy.

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  15. This is so sweet. I think betas are awesome for being such a help to our process.

    This is something I think about too. :-)

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  16. I imagine your beta readers are going to be buying your book anyway, so I think giving them a copy of something they helped you to push forward with, whether you took all or parts of their advice, is a perfect gift.

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  17. I should be thanking you. I got to read a novel for free, after all ;p

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  18. You got to read a draft for free. You might be shocked at some of the changes that were made after. I cut like 40K words!

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  19. Wow :o

    It'll be quite fresh when I read the final product then ^-^

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  20. o.o I want to hide from that comment too. I'm going to be doing a lot of hiding in the next few months, methinks. lol

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