Beta Readers: a no-nonsense guide

My St. Louis Writers Guild colleague Cherie Postill has written a no-nonsense guide on beta readers: how to find, qualify, train and get intelligent feedback from them: How to Train a Beta Reader and Sell More Books.

Tools for beta readers

Her techniques include providing two ingredients often missing from requests to beta readers:

  • A detailed questionnaire with a list of specific points you want your reader to address, and
  • A printed copy of the manuscript, colored sticky notes, a mechanical pencil and a red pencil, a highlighter, plus other useful items that may be appropriate to commenting on the book. She also includes a prepaid addressed return envelope for the annotated manuscript to be returned to the author.

 She advises choosing avid readers within the genre you want critiqued. They know what to look for and what they want from the genre. These beta readers will tell you what’s right and wrong with your book

More About Cherie

Cherie Cherie Postill, beta readers expert
Cherie Postill, beta readers expert

Cherie Postill is a writer, marketing professional and a speaker. She has long experience in beta testing products for the mass market. Her experience equips her uniquely well for beta testing of manuscripts. She presents workshops to writers across the country, teaching her unique strategy and step-by-step process. Her debut fiction for middle grade writers, The Wrath of Night, first in a planned series, is scheduled for publication in fall 2021.

She and her husband, Rob Postill, an avid mystery reader, have provided much good advice about my own writing. A marketing professional, and a speaker, Cherie writes both fiction and nonfiction books, She serves as a Vice President on the St. Louis Writers Guild Board and liaison for more than 20 school districts. Cherie is an active member of the St. Louis Publishers Association. She presents workshops for writers of all ages. Connect with her at or Make sure to read Cherie’s Beta Readers page on A Writer’s Journey for more tips and a link to download her free beta reader questionnaire.

A Writer’s Journey is back–better than ever

We  paused A Writer’s Journey for  over a year as we consolidated two websites. Now we bring it back for all to enjoy. When I retired from an active architectural career to write, I discovered the publishing industry, like our own starry cosmos, is expanding at warp speed. This free guide provides a publishing overview for writers, independent “indie” publishers, self-publishers, interested readers and anyone else who loves books.

Until next time, good words to you,


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