Donna Everhart

New Editor Feedback and Beta Readers Too

My ride on Cloud Nine just pit stopped by the house so I could post this blog.  As I wrote in February, I was about to send my “dream” off to the new editor where I would finally get professional feedback to see if it would be established with a word in front = pipe.   I sent it off with very little fanfare, “here it is, I look forward to hearing from you…”  I waited less than the previously estimated two weeks – which was great.  When I saw that email from her, with an aforementioned attachment (read EDITORIAL LETTER!) my hands got sweaty, and then I said, oh, what the he–, this is what I was waiting for.  So I opened it and read, “Dear Donna, please find enclosed my editorial letter on <title> andmy view of < name> who is a very special protaganist!”   Well, I wasn’t sure how to interpret “special” but it didn’t seem so bad, maybe she liked it a bit.   What I loved about her feedback – she’s very direct, and she used the “sandwich” method.  Loved/Needs Work/Loved.

Her very first sentence was, “I loved this — or rather, I loved <name> and the fact that you managed to make her funny despite all of her appalling experiences.”  Her letter was three pages and all of her words were extremely encouraging – even the recommendations and suggestions on changes.  We are now into editing it page by page.   She indicated “I do believe you might well be published one day…”, and I have to say, I have read that sentence over and over, I hope she’s right.

In the meantime while I waited for her review, I sent the ms along to some “beta” readers.  I know what everyone (publishers, agents, editors) say about the feedback you get from folks you know…they say, “well of course they are going to TELL you they love it – even if they HATED it.    STILL!  I mean really!!   Sometimes they DO love it!  And they CAN give you honest feedback!!  And, who else are you going to send the ms to when you are working on it?   And besides, all writers do it, and guess what?  Not all ms are bad, and not all readers are lying when they say it is good.  So there!  :>)   Anyway, despite all the hoopla about what family, friends may say, I trusted my beta readers and I felt good about their feedback.  (actually one of them I didn’t know – she was the wife of a co-worker, and I’d never met her)  It made me feel like I wasn’t wasting my time when they said “they couldn’t put it down” or “it IS really good”.   If they enjoyed it, and I didn’t torture them by asking them to read it, then that’s all that matters to me…

So, I’ve been busy working on what Ms Editor has suggested needs fixing, and I hope to have the first three chapters (which have morphed into five) to send to her shortly.  I hope she will like the changes and I guess what I’ve come to realize is I better get used to that heart pounding feeling each time I send something.

So back to re-writing.  In the next post, I will share how I get past that notorious writer’s block and believe me, I’m not sure I’ve ever read of anyone who has used this particular method.

Scroll to Top