I am in need of beta readers.
For those of you who don’t know what a beta reader is, it’s someone who reads your draft before you’re ready to submit and offers feedback.
I could force things on my usual fall-backs: my mother, for example, or my ex-boyfriend, my friends from high school. But I’m asking for help because I want to a) give them a break from “here, read this!”, b) give other people the opportunity to see what I’m working on, and c) get new perspectives. (That doesn’t mean that if you’re one of these people and you’re reading this and WANT to be a beta reader that I’ll exclude you. I do love you guys, after all.)
I need about five beta readers to feel like I’m getting adequate feedback (I can go with more to a certain point, and I prefer not to go with less). This is an unpaid position, although if my book gets published my beta readers will all get autographed copies for sure.
I have a few things that I am looking for in a beta reader, and a few things that I’m not asking.
What I am looking for:
- People who are capable of reading fairly quickly and getting feedback back to me in a short amount of time (we’ll say a couple of weeks, up to four).
- People who know how to word constructive criticism as actually constructive.
- People who have a good understanding of what makes a story tick.
- People who are capable of identifying strengths AND weaknesses in the story/writing.
- People who are capable of expressing the strengths and weaknesses they’ve identified. “That’s good” or “I didn’t like it” are not useful feedback without further elaboration.
- If I’m really lucky, someone who has sold a book to a publisher before and knows what publishers in the fantasy genre are looking for.
What I am NOT looking for:
- I am not looking for editing (grammar, spelling, etc.) help. I am confident in my grasp of the English language and its mechanics, and I already have someone who has offered to do the fine-tooth-comb thing when the rest is solid. (But if there is something excruciatingly glaring, yes, I hope you point it out.)
- I am not looking for people who cannot word their criticism in constructive ways. I can’t avoid the fact that I have a badly bruised ego/self-esteem from things that have gone on in my life these past two or three years, and I don’t feel like exposing myself to more abuse. If you cannot be tactful and concise about what you find wrong, then I prefer not to work with you.
- I am not looking for people who want to read the book just for the sake of reading it. Now do not get me wrong here. I love you all very dearly. But if you fall into this category, I would much rather present you with a finished, polished product when all is said and done. <3
If this sounds like something you can and would like to help me out with, then I would love to hear from you. Barring any crises or major upheavals, I anticipate being done with this draft of my novel in the next two weeks sometime. (As I get closer to done, I’ll have a better idea of what day exactly.) I’d like to be able to send it right out to my team when I am done, which is why I’m asking for beta readers now.
So leave a comment here, or utilize any number of the methods found on the “contact me” page on this site. I look forward to hearing from you, and working with some of you.