Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Out of the many book-writing apps I’ve come across, Reedsy is definitely among my favorites. But how well does Reedsy work when sharing your manuscript with beta readers? Actually, it’s a quick and easy process that has a lot of potential.
Although Reedsy has a lot of paid services, we’re just looking at the free book-writing app today. It has a lot of features that make it worthwhile, including its capacity to share your manuscript.
Sharing a Manuscript with Beta Readers from Reedsy
If you need someone to go over your manuscript and you’re using Reedsy, the process for setting up a shared document is relatively easy. This process creates a unique URL that you can easily email your readers, which gives them a chosen access to the manuscript.
Unfortunately, anyone reading the shared URL is unable to make suggestions or notes. This is perhaps one of the main drawbacks of using the Reedsy editor. If your editor needs access, you’ll probably be better off using Google docs.
Step 1: Open Your Manuscript in Reedsy
Access the manuscript you want to share by clicking the “Write” button from your My Books section of Reedsy.
If you’re curious, I am writing this tutorial with the Dark mode extension for Google Chrome. Currently, the Reedsy editor doesn’t have a dark mode of its own to use.
Step 2: Open the Share Function
On the bottom right of the Reedsy editor, you’ll see an icon of two people. This is the “Share” function of the writing app.
Click the “Share” icon.
This will open a new window showing your list of collaborators.
Step 3: Create a New Reedsy Link for Beta Readers
Click the “Create new link” button in this new window. If you already have URLs, they will be displayed in this window.
NOTE: If you’re looking for something to add to your Buy Me a Coffee or other membership platform, you can offer supporters a link to your work in progress.
This will bring up a separate pop-up window for creating the URL.
Step 4: Set the Expiration Date for the URL
Using the drop-down window, select a date when you want the URL to expire. This is an optional feature in Reedsy, but setting an expiration date will let beta readers know that time is ticking.
After all, you want feedback from your readers as quickly as possible. You don’t want to sit on your manuscript for months on end without making edits.
Step 5: Configure Access Type
Choose whether you want the URL to give access to the entire book or whether you want to share specific chapters.
This can work great as a teaser to share with others as well as offering beta readers one chapter at a time. There are quite a few possibilities to make this sharing feature work from a marketing perspective.
If you select the “Share selected chapters” option, the window will expand where you can use a checkbox to include specific parts of the book.
Step 6: Create the Link
Click the button to “Create link.”
This will change the window to show the “Preview URL Created” screen. From here, you can copy and paste the link as you see fit. You can also open the link in a new browser window to view what your beta readers will see from Reedsy.
If you click the “Share” button next to the URL, Reedsy will launch an options window where you can post the link to a variety of installed apps. Though, this looks like it may be centric on the operating system you’re currently using.
Personally, I’d just click the “Copy link” icon and then paste it into an email, blog post, social media, or anywhere else that accepts URLs.
How to Edit Sharing Links You Created
Each URL you create will show in the sharing window. But what if you wanted to change something or remove a URL entirely?
Click the button to the right of the specific URL you want to alter.
This will bring up two options: Edit and Revoke.
If you click the “Edit” option, the URL screen from before will show up. Here, you can set a new date and change access to the book or chapters as you did before.
If you click the “Revoke” option, the URL will be moved into “Revoked” status. From here, you can choose to unrevoke the URL or remove it entirely.
Do Beta Readers Really Matter?
When it comes to producing the best book you can, beta readers can be quite helpful. They can help you identify confusing elements, let you know what works in the story, and help you plug plot holes you might have forgotten or missed.
In fact, my beta readers are currently helping me polish up my next book and bringing to light all kinds of issues I didn’t think about.
In this case, my beta readers are doing so from the Reedsy URL I created a month or two ago. The only downside is that they have to write up their own “review” of the manuscript.
I have one person in particular who wishes she could make editing notes in Reedsy as she can in Google docs. I think that would be a great addition to the Reedsy book editor, but I can see why it’s not part of the writing app.
Part of Reesdy’s premium services is for paid help, such as hiring editors. If anyone could edit the manuscript directly, it would cut into the money Reedsy would make overall.
That just wouldn’t be a good business practice.
However, you can always export the manuscript as a DOC file and share it that way if you want someone to help you clean up the book.
In any case, the method above works exceptionally well for beta readers and lets you share the URL in a myriad of ways. As I mentioned before, I offered it to my Buy Me a Coffee monthly members as a way to thank them for their support.
When self-publishing a book, beta readers are worth their weight in gold. You want to deliver the best book you can, and addressing major concerns from your audience can help you create a far better experience for future fans.
Share Your Story with Beta Readers from Reedsy
Reedsy has a lot of great features that make it one of my favorite apps for writing. From goals to sharing with beta readers, Reedsy is easily one of the better apps available for writing just about anything.
Well, at least it is in my opinion. Still, I’d much rather use it than something like Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.
What’s your favorite part about using Reedsy? If you use another writing app, which is your favorite?
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