I’m on a panel today at Balticon 2023 called “Better Beta Reading.” It is my earnest opinion that just asking someone for a Beta Review is, in most cases, a recipe for disaster, producing a general result of “I liked it” without much in the way of detail.
For me, one of the key elements of getting good results has been using a Beta Review Questionnaire. I give it to the participants in electronic form, then ask the reviewers to fill it out after they’ve read the story. The questions help them analyze how they felt about the story and end up giving me much more detailed information about the elements of the story that worked…and the ones that didn’t.
In support of this panel, I’ve uploaded one of my Beta Review Questionnaires as an example of what I’m talking about.
This was the questionnaire for my recently published story, Bitter Days. Feel free to liberate any elements of this questionnaire for your own use.
Naturally, you’ll have to buy the book to get the biggest benefit from perusing the associated Beta Review Questionnaire. (There’s always room for a shameless marketing plug).