The Value Of “Bad” Beta Readers And How To Get “Better” Ones

Photo By Joel Muniz

I. I read 400–500 books (etc) a year. You do not have to “like a book” to finish it. Honestly, I love about 5% of the books/excerpts/writing I get.

II. If you’ve been hit by a bad beta reader, you’ll know it. All feedback is valuable, but you should understand who is giving you that. You can lose confidence in your book and writing ability.

The experience happens to writers much more than you might think.

III. The most common bad beta reader is the beta reader who doesn’t like a particular character (or characters). Don’t rewrite your character (or characters) to satisfy ONE beta reader.

If ten people tell you the same thing(s), then it might be time to rethink some stuff.

IV. Don’t try to talk your beta reader out of their reaction(s). I get that often. Trust me, you will NEVER change my opinion of your writing.

If you have to “defend” or “explain” your book, it’s not very good.

V. Don’t let self-doubt force you into halting work on your novel. If one negative opinion stops you from writing your story, you should not be a writer.

VI. Every writer gets a bad beta reader now and again, it happens. But it’s not the end of the world, and it doesn’t mean something is wrong with your book (or your characters).

VII. Let everyone have their reaction(s). No book is going to make everybody happy. Just be you…

Writing Tip O’ The Day- Do you want more beta readers? (Of course.)

Put the names of people, places, and events you know in your stories, and shout them out on your Facebook. (You might even post the scene they (or it) are in…)

Once people know they are IN your story, they read, and they comment, and more people read and comment…(you see a pattern).

It works. Use ego to your advantage in 2020. I put “local” Easter eggs into every work I write. My pals search hard for references to our long gone youth…lol

(They read the book.)

People read just to see if they are “IN” the book somewhere…

It’s magic. Trust me…




Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

15 Tips for Writing Awesome High Converting Sales Copy

2021 — A Year of Writing

9 Tips to Writing Arguments in Fiction

Borderless: Love Knows No Borders — Table of Contents

7 Ways to Cut Through the Noise on Medium


The author, wearing glasses and a blue button up shirt, with a mustache and goatee.

An Experiment in Creating a Writing Income Stream on Amazon

I left books for my career. Here’s what happened.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Craig Hoffman

Craig Hoffman

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”

More from Medium

100 Foot Waves

Day 54- Daily Haiku Challenge

On Judging Others

My Battle With Epilepsy