What to Do While Your Book is in Beta

Sometimes, I am not as patient as I’d like to be.

Currently my book is in its preliminary stages of beta. My mom and boyfriend (er, fiancé now – oh, yeah, I got engaged on Tuesday!) currently have my book and are going through it. Then I have a few other people lined up to take a crack at it.

But what does an impatient writer do while their book is in beta? Here are a few suggestions to occupy you (and thus, keep you from climbing the walls).

(Note: most of these are tailored for those of us who are publishing independently.)

1. If you’re going the self-publishing and going the crowdfunding route, now is a great time to work on your campaign. Think about what you can offer for incentives or work on the video many people use on their campaign page. You don’t have to publish your campaign right away. Might be better to wait until your beta readers get back to you.

2. Find your editor(s). Now is also a good time to locate some potential developmental editor and/or your proofing editor. Many freelance editors will list their specialties on their websites and offer a free sampling so you can both see if you’d be a good fit for the other person.

3. Find your book cover/interior designer. I can’t recommend hiring a professional designer enough. You want your book cover to be as good as the story inside. (I talk more about book cover design here.) Your cover is one of your most important marketing tools. Don’t waste the opportunity to grab a potential reader’s interest by putting out a book that looks like crap.

4. Make sure your social media is up and running (and update it regularly). Writers can benefit from the use of Facebook and Twitter but social networks like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google+ (yes, even Google+) can be useful for reaching your audience with news and little book extras. And don’t just hit it and quit it – keep them updated.

5. Work on your author website. This may even be more important than your social media presence (but not by much). If you have the cash, hire a professional web designer to create something for you. For more advice on making your author website and/or blog look good, check out my free ebook, The Writer’s Guide to Blog Design.

And last but not least…

6. Write a blog post about how to what to do while your book is in beta. ;P

If you have any ideas to keep a writer busy while waiting for beta readers, let me know in the comments!

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