You did it. You finished writing a book, you’ve read it over at least 500 times, and you’ve meticulously threaded through all those pesky sentence-level errors. It’s time to share your work with other people before you send it off to a publisher or an editor.

Remember, if you want your writing to be successful, (sell anywhere from a few copies to a billion copies) you must reach some sort of audience. You should have decided this in the writing stage, so share your work with the kinds of people you think would be interested in reading this book.

Make sure you read over your work one last time before you let anyone see it. Try to read it from a perspective of someone who has not read it and be prepared to answer questions from your audience. If you can answer these bigger questions from what you’ve written, you may not have to change anything. However, if the book does not clearly answer a question a reader has, you possibly have some changes to make.

Family members and friends are good places to start getting feedback. They will most likely not be too harsh on you, but be careful you don’t get fooled that everything is perfect. Your mom or your grandma will want to hang your manuscript on the refrigerator, but they might not necessarily be the only person from which you receive criticism.

Talk to any of your friends that are also writers, or maybe are interested in journalism, English, creative writing, or other kinds of writing. You can also have your work checked over by your school teachers or school mentors you have. These people might have more of a background than your relatives and can offer more, because in feedback terms, more is always best.

There are also several websites you can visit that offer groups for talking about writing and reading. These sites include figment.com, WritersCafe.org, booksie.com, jottify.com, and many more. They offer chat forums, advice, courses, and even contests for writing. The best thing is that everyone there is just like you!

The most important thing about getting feedback is to remember that in the end, it is your work. Listen to the advice you get, but only change the things you think will truly make your piece of writing improve. You make the final decision.

Alissa