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A Secret Weapon for Getting the Best Feedback on Your Manuscript


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How can you be sure your manuscript has the best shot of success— both at the writing and execution level? 

(While we’re sticking to just manuscripts for our purposes, this actually applies to any product you create. The strongest products have been iterated upon many times over.)

You can wait for your editor. But will that feedback be enough to rely on?

A tool I swear by for authors is creating a short survey like this one, which I used for my own book of practical nonfiction. Send it, with your rough manuscript and your deadline, to your beta readers. Your reading committee. Those who will give you tough love; those whose tastes you trust. Make sure you’re actually including your target readers.

What this tool allows you to do is:

-Curate the questions, to guide the feedback you’re looking to generate.

-Spot the trends.

-Eliminate your work (and theirs!) of creating 20 different markups.

-Give people the option to complete the form anonymously, so they can give you ruthless honesty.

-And in the same vein, remove them from the time and pressure of writing a flowery cover letter (nice for the ego, not what you’re looking for).

This shouldn’t be your polished draft. You’ll be tempted to share that, but I encourage you to share the draft you will share with your editor, or an even earlier one, to get the best developmental feedback.

This was game-changing for my book GET SIGNED, and I now recommend it to all of our authors. Hopefully this is as fruitful for you as it was for me.

Happy writing!