If you want your book to appeal to the general public, you need to see what your fellow authors think about it before publishing it. Too often a writer’s ego (e.g. “My work is already perfect!”) gets in the way of this common-sense strategy. Don’t be that author! Ask your peers to review your work – whether it’s just sections or an entire manuscript – to ensure you publish your best work possible.
Sure, it can be scary to put your work in front of your peers, but the benefits far outweigh any hesitations you may have:
- Casts fresh eyes on your work.
- You can always take or leave any suggestions – that’s the beauty of self-publishing; you make all of the final decisions regarding your manuscript.
- Your peers understand the genres, are knowledgeable about the publishing industry and (hopefully) have a better grasp on grammar than a non-writer friend.
So, now that you know why you should ask your peers to review your book, how do you go about getting fellow authors to review it? Approach a peer in your writing community – whether it’s through an online group or in person – and simply ask. Offer to review a chapter of their book first, and ask if they’ll return the favor. Who wouldn’t agree to that? It’s a free review, and it probably compliments that writer’s ego we mentioned above. You’re coming to them for help and returning the favor – it’s a win/win situation!
Some more food for thought if you’re still not convinced peer reviews are valuable: Can you imagine Jaws as a comedy? Yikes. Believe it or not it could have ended up that way had an editor or peer not intervened. Here are a few more famous titles that could have turned out drastically different if the author never consulted anyone outside of his or her own thoughts.
You’re not in this alone; it’s all about teamwork!
Did you ask a peer to review your work before you published your book?