How to thank your test-readers?
If you’re an author or a writer who isn’t published yet, you might be familiar with this situation. Are you unsure of how to properly thank your test-readers for their help? If that’s the case, I’ve got a few suggestions on what you can do.
Professional or volunteer?
Depending on whether or not the person giving you feedback is a professional, there are different ways to go about it. You can read my blogpost on different types of test-readers and feedback right here.
In this blogpost however, I will only be talking about the volunteer help. Professional help and feedback will typically be charged an amount per hour or page, and most professionals have a standard contract. This makes it so much easier to find out what they expect of you.
So what about the people just reading your novel? How to thank those test-readers, if you’re not paying them? Here are my ideas on how to thank your test-readers and betas.
Thank you to my test-readers
As a writer you have a lot of opportunities on thanking your test-readers for their help. Remember that they are actually doing you a favor. It’s good manners to give something back, if they are not being paid.
If you don’t pay your test-readers or betas, here’s what you can do
- Include your betas in you dedication when you publish. ‘Thank you to my parents, my editor and my betas’. Depending on how many people you need to thank, you can even include their names to make it more personal. Sometimes it’s fun for readers too, to see who’ve influenced the book.
- Give your test-readers a personal, signed copy of the book, once you publish.
- Give them a giftcard to a bookstore or some other cute shop that they will enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a large amount. If they are not expecting to get anything, it’s a nice little surprise.
- Send them a personalized thank you card, thanking them for their feedback. Then they will feel valued and like they made a difference for you.
Or you can choose to…
- Offer them feedback on their novel, if they’re a writer too. Maybe you could pair up and become each other’s go-to beta-readers?
- Invite them out to brunch or high-tea at your home, if you live near each other. A bonus on this one, is that you’ll probably be spending hours talking about your novel.
- Give them some fan art inspired by your book. If you’re the creative type or already have a few books published, maybe they’d love some fan art. If they like the story and/or characters, they might enjoy a special bookmark with the main character. Maybe an illustration of a scene or map of the world? Your imagination is the only limit and you can use whatever it is that you can do or create yourself.
Writers have different approaches
There are so many opportunities when it comes to thanking your test-readers in a creative manner. IT’s all about finding out what your own style is. What would your betas like to receive from you and what fits with your story? If you’ve found test-readers, who are really great at giving useful feedback, you’d likely want to keep them. Saying thank you by treating them to a little surprise will help you there. Most important is to do something that works for you!
Good luck with your test-readers and writing – let me know how it works out!
Have you found a great way of saying thank you to your test-readers? Feel free to share your ideas and experiences in the comments below – let’s inspire each other!
If you’d like to read more about feedback, betas and test-readers, have a look at my writing collection right here>>