Hello! Starting today, at Monday Microscope we will aim at answering your queries regarding writing and publishing. Do feel free to write to us and get our expert panel be your guide.
Today’s question is from our reader Krishna who wants to know – Why is manuscript assessment / beta reading important for an author?
Thank you for reaching out with a question that is always there in every writer’s mind after finishing their manuscript. Here, we will try to explain why it is an important step before considering publishing.
To begin with, we would like to clarify ‘Manuscript assessment doesn’t guarantee the acceptance of a submission, neither is it mandatory nor is it a sign of a book touted as the next best seller.‘
What does it guarantee then? You might ask. Well, it guarantees you a third person’s perspective to your manuscript. Could be a reader, an established writer of the same genre as yours or even a professional beta reader. Choose your target wisely basis on your chosen output to get desired results.
However before going ahead with a manuscript assessment, we would urge you to analyse your manuscript in the following aspects:
1.When should you consider a manuscript assessment?
Ideally a manuscript assessment should be considered when you are done re-writing your MS for the umpteenth time and are unable to find any loopholes in it!
Jokes apart, as a writer you should request for it when you thoroughly saturated with both the output and the input. There is nothing more that you can think of, to add to it and are now, curious to know what others think of it. You should not consider sending a half-written manuscript because the feedback might not be that helpful.
2. What are you expecting from the manuscript assessment?
As a writer, there could be many things that are a matter of concern for us in our manuscript. It could be a particular character, the over all voice, the language , setting or the marketability of the book. If you are specific with your requirements in terms of feedback then you can expect specific replies.
3. Do you want the whole MS to be analysed or only the blurb/synopsis along with sample 3 chapters?
This is important because if you opt for the latter you get a feel of how an agent or an editor might react to your queries and if the former, it could mean you might need to rework on your manuscript basis the detailed feedback that you will be given.
Always discuss your ideas, fears and expectations with your beta-reader / manuscript assessor before commencement of assessing to ensure you both are on the same page. This will help you get the feedback as desired by you.
Have any questions regarding manuscript assessment or any other aspect of publishing? Leave your queries in the comments and we will cover it in our next Monday Microscope.
Till then, Happy Writing!
This week’s Monday Microscope was answered by our in-house team expert. Having worked as an editor for a publishing house, where manuscript assessment was her core KPI , she is now a freelancing beta reader for Team KC.