Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta

In the world of Indy authors, there are some things that are done a little differently than in traditional publishing.

Way back in the day when I was writing articles for the local paper, a couple of my writing friends were preparing their manuscripts to send to traditional publishers. Keep in mind that this was before Facebook, before digital files were acceptable, back in the day when  submitting a manuscript meant sending a print copy, single sided to a publisher.

They were heartbroken when they received rejection letters. At that time, we were in a local writing group. The idea at our meetings was to share our work and get a critique from our fellow writers. The works that were submitted  had not been read or shared in the group. After the rejection slips, one writer agreed to share pieces of it with  the group.

Indy authors in my circle have a system for  evaluating their work before hitting publish. I personally think it’s a good system. It certainly would help all authors from submitting less than their best work.

After writing the first draft, the writer goes back and self-edits, and makes revisions. Some authors use all of these and some use one method.

Alpha – readers that review a work in progress (WIP)

Beta – readers after the first draft, first revisions and self – editing.

Gamma – readers that review your story after second round revisions are made from alpha or beta readers , these are most often proofreaders.

Delta –  the final proofreader before it goes to press. The delta squad is crucial as  the most detailed proofreader looking for punctuation, spelling, correct grammar usage, and details. This is more fine tuning than anything. At this point, all plot holes should have been addressed.

It takes more eyes on your baby than just yours. In other words, it takes a village. Just make sure that your Delta squad isn’t the town drunk and  the village idiot!

Till next time

Ellie

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