Editing Tip: Make use of beta readers

Among the most frustrating aspects of writing is to go through several drafts only to find after a year or more of work that an editor or publisher wants you to rewrite entire chapters or even swaths of the novel or nonfiction book. This often occurs because the writer, being so close to the work, overlooks an important element of the book…and keeps overlooking it with each draft.

Instead, with each draft you write, have beta readers comment on your manuscript. They need not proofread it (though that’s always nice) but should comment on structure, organization, flow and writing style. If you write fiction, they might focus on plot holes, the motivations of any inconsistencies in character, point of view issues, and so on.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.