Using beta readers in revision

Using beta readers in revision

The process of revising long-form fiction or journalism is a lonely one filled with self-doubt and frustration. Beta readers (the people that read your piece prior to pursuit of publication) ease the process and can motivate the author to take the piece to new heights. As with all parts of the writing process, choosing and utilizing beta readers needs to be done carefully. Their comments hold great power over the piece that you may have spent months or years developing.

On her Write & Publish like a Pro blog, Belinda Pollard writes that she considers beta readers the

superheroes of self-publishing as well as great for people pursuing traditional publishing. They’re superheroes because they can truly “save the day” on mistakes that an author might not see.

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Conquering the Phone Interview: 7 tips for journalists

Conquering the Phone Interview: 7 tips for journalists

Long before I hunted for interviews as a journalist, phone calls created anxiety and sometimes near panic. Whether I was mustering up the courage to call a girl in my high school class or spilling the beans to my parents about a bad grade on a college exam, the telephone felt like it only created awkward moments and shame. But as a budding journalist, I see the need to abandon my hang-ups about phone interviews and pick up some essentials from experts in the field.

What challenges arise with a phone call? As an interviewer, it’s harder to make the interviewee comfortable over the phone. Chit chat with a stranger isn’t as natural without eye contact and hand gestures. The small talk we use in person (“Do you come to this coffee shop often?” “Isn’t that a neat painting!”) doesn’t work; there’s no common ground when a ringing phone is picked up. But that doesn’t mean the conversation has to be uncomfortable. In his article “The Phone Interview Lives, and Why That’s a Good Thing,” public relations blogger Clay Zeigler wrote, “The telephone allows for a level of detail, clarification and nuance not possible with other electronic methods.” Though an in person interview might be ideal, the phone is a close second.

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