interview · Pay It Forward · Tips · Writing

Interview with a Beta Reader

This interview is with my very own, awesome, beta reader Tracy, who has whipped up my Decadent series and my upcoming novel ‘The Cellist’ into kick-ass shape. So I figured it was about time that I shared with you, the process of beta reading, from her perspective.

Beta readers are vital to any author. Not only do you need a reader’s opinion on your work, but they’re new to the story and tend to notice plot gaps/spelling/grammar mistakes that you’ve missed. It doesn’t matter how many times you edit your work; you will always miss something, so having an extra pair of eyes – or six – is only going to make your work even better.




(Preferred) Name: Tracy Muth

Occupation: Assist Billing Director at a law firm

How many authors do you beta read for: 2


What made you interested in beta reading? (Free books, swag, helping the author, being the first to read a book) – helping the author


How did you start beta reader? (answered an ad, through a friend, recommendation) – An author who’s books I read (Rebecca Brooke), asked for Beta Readers


Have you ever read a ‘practically perfect’ book, that needed very few/no changes? – No

Thank God for that! I very much doubt there is a book out there, where the author still doesn’t think and wonder if they should have changed something, just before pressing ‘publish’.


How difficult do you find beta reader? – It’s not difficult. What’s difficult is reading a published book after and not wanting to make changes to the story.


How time consuming is it? – It can be very time consuming. You have to read some books 2 or 3 times. You have a make changes as you read, so you can’t just read straight through.

Gah! The absolute worst part of writing – editing! I share your pain. By the time you get to the third read, you don’t enjoy the book anymore and it becomes so tedious to get through it.


When you read a book, what are the main factors you look for? – Grammatical errors, does it flow well, are the characters likable, would I want to read this?


Have you ever beta read a book that you didn’t like? – no, I haven’t read one I didn’t like, I did just recently get one with a situation I would never read by choice.

*ducks head* And I apologise profusely for that. 😛


Have you ever beta read a book outside of your usual reading genre? – As I said above, it wasn’t really the genre, it was a poly relationship, and I wouldn’t read that by choice. So it wasn’t really the genre it’s the situation.

Trust me, I’m so grateful you could bend the rules for me. Your input was invaluable.


You run the Facebook page Bayou Junkies. Do your beta reading duties ever spill over, into your Facebook page? Do you ever talk about the books you’re beta reading, getting everyone excited for the release? Or do you have a strict, no talking about the beta book until it’s released, policy? I am on Rebecca’s street team as well, so I definitely pimp what I beta read.


What has been your favourite book to beta read, since you started? Healed (book 3 in the Forgiven series) by Rebecca Brooke. I had read books one and two, and it was so cool to read about characters you know so well, and to see past characters you love so much.


As a reader, how important is it for you, to get to read books before they become available? Especially when you get parts 2, 3 or more in a series, before anyone else knows they’ll exist? I think it’s a cool thing, but I wouldn’t say it’s important for me to get books before the public.


What’s the worst thing about beta reading? It can be tedious, and just because I love something doesn’t mean everyone else will. So I worry if my suggestions are really good, and will be well received by other readers.

Welcome to the world of authors. 🙂 That’s how we feel, so it’s great to have someone to share that scary feeling with. And trust me, you’re ideas are great.


The best? Getting to be a part of the creative process. It’s really cool to read a book and think I took part in that. I had a say in what ended up in the final draft before the publish button is hit.


Have you ever thought of crossing to the other side, to write a book? If so, what kind? No, I am not creative enough. I don’t have much of an imagination.

I would definitely disagree. 🙂 You’ve come up with some incredible ideas for my own books, and I’m sure Rebecca would agree. You’ve got the imagination, for sure.


What type of book, if you were asked to beta read it, would you absolutely not, ever, touch with a barge pole? – Incest..I read mostly m/m, and I see books about twins. *Shudders* Gross, I have twins. Ewe

Gross! I completely agree. There are some things that you just don’t want to think about.


Finally, tell us some more about your awesome Facebook page, where M/M authors such as myself, can advertise/share our work with you and your readers – Bayou Book Junkie started, because I saw so many m/f Facebook pages, but none for just m/m books. I wanted a place where people could go to see New Releases, Sales, freebies etc.. It’s been slow going and I should probably post more than I do, but between a full time job, family, Beta reads, ARC reads and a blog it’s pretty busy, but I try. I have someone, Mari who runs the page with me, but she has similar things on her plate as well.

Facebook page:



Thanks so much for being with us, today. We’ve loved having you.

Elaine x


3 thoughts on “Interview with a Beta Reader

  1. This interview with a beta reader is so cool, I’ve never seen it done before. I agree with so many of your answers Tracy, Healed was my favourite too. Beta reading is my favourite thing to do, like you said when a book is published it gives you such a good feeling to know that you had a part in the awesomeness of that book. I love it!! Well done. Xx

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