Test your book with experts after you’ve finished the first draft

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Your book has been written, you have given it a no-nonsense proofing, and it’s just about ready to go to your paid (final) proofreader so it will be properly and correctly written before you submit it for printing.

Letting others read your book at this stage is controversial, but probably wise if it’s your first book (or even your fifth), at least until your editing eyes get toughened up.

Those you ask to read your book must be told that this is the final first draft and that the book has not been professionally proofread. Nor are you asking them to proofread it (unless there are factual or procedural errors), but rather to tell you if it’s working at this stage. if there are any factual errors they see, and how in any case it might be improved or clearer.

Also, this is when you let your mate (or gal friend or buddy) read it—finally. I’d also send it somebody who knows what you are writing about and can zero in on the technical flaws. For example, another cook will have better literary taste for your cookbook than, probably, your grandfather.

Professionals often let their colleagues read one chapter, for advice and flaw-finding. They might also ask, if the reader finds the book worthy, would they send a short testimonial, right then or after they’ve read the full book?

Sometimes I send three samples of the kinds of testimonials that might be used on my cover or primary selling flyer. Often enough they will say, “I like testimonial #2. Why not just add this (their name and title or book they wrote) to it?”

Note that anybody who reads the final draft gets a free copy later. You needn’t mention it but decide if they also get recognition in the acknowledgements.

Final thoughts. Busy people are just that, and some (maybe many) will decline your singular offer to read your book. Don’t be offended. The day will come when you will do the same.

Probably worse are those who agree, then respond with at best tepid praise, often blended with numerous suggestions and quixotic question marks. They are almost as maddening as the kin whose entire response is “wow!” or “you wrote a book!” Or nothing, as they slip the book back on your stoop or desk. The problem is that you don’t know if the book really stinks, sort of stinks, or they stink because you proved that you can not only read, you can write!

I hope that helps.

Keep your eyes on this blog if this kind of information is useful. Check the past 20-30 blogs, plus those coming in the near future for more how-to write and publish your book.

I describe the entire prcess in my How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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