What is a reader group and why should an author want one? A reader group is a beta reading team or a group of dedicated fans who are interested in reading your material before anyone else does.
This week, we’ll delve into why it’s crucial to have such a group and how you can form one. Today, we’ll tackle the question of what a reader group is and why it’s beneficial to have one.
A reader group, as I’ve mentioned, is a group of people dedicated to reading your content before you distribute it. This could be a group of friends or a mix of friends and family. However, the best kind of reader group is a blend of people who know you and those who don’t. You want people who can judge your writing objectively, so it’s essential to include strangers in the group.
That doesn’t mean you don’t want them to like your writing. In fact, anyone in your reader group should be excited about the content you’re producing. You could say this group is a cross-section of your core reader base. We’ll discuss how to find these people in a video on Wednesday.
For now, I want to talk about why it’s so beneficial for me, as a full-time author, to have a group like this. The first and most important thing is that if you’ve built your team correctly, these are people who know and like your writing. They’ve probably read just about everything you’ve published and can serve as a fantastic gauge for how well you’re doing as a writer.
This group will act as a litmus test to determine your progress before you take your book to the general market. This is crucial because authors can sometimes get stuck in a rut, repeating the same things and not growing their craft. This group will let you know if that’s the case.
Some people give their reader groups content every day, some in big chunks, and some wait until they’ve finished a manuscript. Regardless, you’ll have a good sense of how your audience will respond to something and how you’re doing as an author if you use a reader group.
The second thing they do is keep you honest. It’s hard to sneak something past a reader group that has read everything you’ve published. They’ll tell you very honestly whether you’re coming up with new and fresh ideas or just rehashing the same old ones.
Additionally, if you’ve been reading a book recently, it can be tempting to steal some of the ideas. Sometimes we do it unconsciously. That’s why I try not to read fiction while I’m writing fiction. I save all my fiction reading for my breaks between books. Your reader group will help you spot those instances where you might be lifting ideas wholesale.
If you’re a successful author, it can be hard to keep a level head. Your reader group will help you stay grounded. They’ll tell you when your writing is good and when it’s not, and they’ll help you avoid coasting, which is probably the number one killer of author careers.
Finally, the reader group is excellent for keeping you excited. Writing can be a lonely and draining process, and interacting with others about your writing is a supercharge. Getting immediate feedback on your work is fantastic. If you’re interested in mastering the skill of writing, it’s an absolutely necessary component.
For all these reasons and more, I definitely recommend building a reader group. Don’t forget to tune in on Wednesday when we’ll discuss where to find people for your reader group.
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/0XAjheb9Cbk
Thanks for reading and watching.
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