Forum: Being a Beta Reader

Discussing: Care and feeding of beta readers

Care and feeding of beta readers

What is the usual form or wording for acknowledging help from beta readers?

And where should such acknowledgement go?

Perhaps Miss Manners covers this.

I'm thinking of either the very beginning or the very end of the tale. It should also go in author's notes if there are any, but I don't think it should go there only, as no one ever reads that part.



So how is this:

And they lived happily ever after.

The End

***

Massive kudos to beta reader Mr. Smiley who prevented me from jumping off a cliff while finishing this story.




 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

e: What is the usual form or wording for acknowledging help from beta readers?

And where should such acknowledgement go?

Perhaps Miss Manners covers this.


Unfortunately we have no Miss Manners, so I can only give my opinion as someone who both betas and thanks betas for their help.

It should also go in author's notes if there are any, but I don't think it should go there only, as no one ever reads that part.

I often do read the author's notes, but I can't speak to what others do. My preference would be at the end, either in or out of the author's notes, but a brief mention at the beginning instead should be fine also. From the side of the person betaing, I'm happy with a mention after the story, but I'll be content with a forum comment or an email thank you if the author prefers.

As for the wording - I think that's very individual. As long as it includes some form of thanks or acknowledgement for the beta's efforts it should be fine.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

I agree, the author's notes are the proper place. Such notes need not be a separate chapter unless they are lengthy; they can go at the end of the final chapter quite easily.

Generally I do glance at author's notes, myself. I also read acknowledgments in published books! That's where I expect to find the thanks to those who helped the author in some way. There's certainly no absolute standard format - just say thanks in whatever way seems appropriate.

Celandine

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

If someone ofers some specific help just for one chapter, is it better to thank him in the author's notes at the end of the piece, or at the end of the chapter. For example let's just say Mr. X suggested I use the phrase "Mae govannen" as a greeting among Elves. So I have, for example,

~*~
Chapter Three - Boromir meets his first elf

[...]
"Mae govannen*, Boromir," Elladan said, bowing slightly.
[...]

Notes [at the end of the chapter]:
* "Mae govannen": "Well met," a typical greeting among the Elves. Thanks to Mr. X for the translation.

~*~

This is the only help Mr. X gave me, so it seemed fitting to acknowledge at the end of the chapter rather than at the end of the piece. Is this correct, or is it preferrable to do all thank you's in one place?

Marta

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

This is the only help Mr. X gave me, so it seemed fitting to acknowledge at the end of the chapter rather than at the end of the piece. Is this correct, or is it preferrable to do all thank you's in one place?

I don't think there is a standard, just personal preferences. I prefer my author's notes altogether at the end. OTOH now that FF.net prohibits a separate Author's Notes chapter, I may have to break them up by chapter only for ff.net. For translating Sindarin words I do put those notes at the bottom of the chapter.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

Personally, I like all translation notes at the end of a chapter, just because I can scroll down while reading if I'm curious to learn more. I think what you did works well.

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

It should also go in author's notes if there are any, but I don't think it should go there only, as no one ever reads that part.

Well, call me weird but I always read the author's notes - even if I don't read the rest of the story ;-) Have to admit though that when I started postring stories at storiesofarda where (a) I almost invarably have my author's notes in a separate chapter and (b) there are viewing stats I was amazed to realise how many people don't read author's notes.

Avon

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

I always read them, too. I suspect perhaps one out of ten readers reads the authors notes. Hmmm. Maybe we should ask for a poll.

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

I always read the author's notes - sometimes they're the most interesting bit! And, whether they're at the beginning or the end, they can give you an idea of what the story/chapter is about and therefore tell you whether you want to read it.


Nic

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

I suspect perhaps one out of ten readers reads the authors notes. Hmmm. Maybe we should ask for a poll.

Count me as one of those who does read author's notes. Call me weird, but I also read acknowledgements, the copyright info on the title page, indicies...of course, this is from someone who also reads the dictionary for fun.

~Nessime

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

Maybe we should ask for a poll.

No need to ask - you can go set one up yourself! They're easy to do, just follow the instructions on the screens. It would be a worthwhile one to make.

Cel

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

OTOH now that FF.net prohibits a separate Author's Notes chapter, I may have to break them up by chapter only for ff.net.

I had my author's notes in a separate chapter on ff.net even after they started to ban them. All I did was change the title from 'Author's Notes' to something else, and made sure that it didn't really look like notes.

Arquen

 

 

Re: Care and feeding of beta readers

Ditto for me, Nessime! I was twitted in school for this very reason:-)
I read the front matter and back matter of a work prior to beginning the main text.

 

 

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