This week was an extreme learning experience. I’m getting my book together for my September release and I just went through edits. Still doing some, but I’m in the final stages. Biggest lesson learned? You can never have too many beta/proofreaders. They are a window into your reader’s eyes. They represent your audience, so listening to them is essential. So is knowing what to incorporate and what to ignore.
The biggest surprise? While each beta found mostly the same typos, each one also found a typo or missing word that none of the others did! This is why I say you can never have enough proofreaders. I have read over this manuscript something like a billion times and I was amazed at how many things my eyes missed.
The human brain has a tendency to try and fill in the blanks. So if you keep looking at something over and over again, your mind is going to hide stuff from you. This is also true for your betas. One beta’s eyes may fill in a word or miss a misspelled word that another beta will zero in on. I had six people reading at the same time and each one found different stuff.
As long as you know your voice (and what needs to stay or go in your WIP), there is no harm in having a cadre of people to proof/beta read for you. It can only help.
One last thing. Know the difference between a CP, a Beta Reader, an Editor and a Proofreader.
You need them all.