PublishHER Podcast Episode 130: Growing Your Audience Through Beta Readers with Jenna O’Malley

PublishHER Podcast Episode 130: Growing Your Audience Through Beta Readers with Jenna O’Malley

Join Alexa Bigwarfe, with guest, Jenna O'Malley, who shares insights into using Beta Readers to grow your audience as an author.

Jenna O’Malley, the Soul Writer, blends sci-fi/fantasy with dashes of romance with nerdy references to create raw stories with characters throughout time and space. The worlds she weaves highlight issues including women’s rights, the importance of all voices in leadership, LGBTQIA+ alliance, mental health awareness, and anti-racism. She also helps fellow writers to (re)set their creative processes to phoenix mode through her modalities as a trauma-informed educator, editor, and creativity empowerment coach.


Key Takeaways

  • Alpha Readers: Early-stage readers who see raw drafts and help keep the story on track, particularly valuable for serial fiction.
  • Editing Process: Sometimes editors are used before beta readers, especially for early books in a series, to address major plot holes.
  • Beta Readers: Read more polished drafts and provide feedback on the overall reader experience.
  • Editing Costs: Discussion on reducing costs over time with strong alpha and beta teams, emphasizing the importance of continuous feedback.
  • Community Feedback: Importance of genre-specific and fan feedback in shaping the narrative and deciding on content visibility within the platform.
  • Tools and Platforms: Mention of Ream Stories, a platform for authors, and its subscription model for chapters, highlighting its features for author and reader engagement.
  • Subscription Platform Concept: Similar to Patreon, where tiers are set by authors offering various benefits like free books and exclusive content to subscribers.
  • Community Engagement: Discusses involving super fans in decision-making, such as website design, through higher-tier subscriptions.
  • Comparative Value: Contrasts traditional publishing (like Disney's vault) with the ongoing access and community engagement of subscription models.
  • Time Management and Commitment: Highlights the challenge of balancing writing with other responsibilities and emphasizes the importance of planning and consistency.

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