Thursday, July 3, 2014

Looking for a handful of beta readers...

UPDATE: Hey! I'm closing the beta reading signups. First of all, WOW! I got way more responses to this than I expected. Thank you all so much for the interest/support/desire to help!!! You guys make me love writing even when sometimes I hate it. (Like when I try to work on a stubborn book and want to cry/scream/rip my hair out. *cough* Remember Jamie Baker *cough*) Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel like I can't ever say thank you enough to my fans.

I haven't looked at all the signups yet. That's my task this week, and then I should be contacting a few of you to read Scion (Supernaturals #3) for me. (Yes, I FINALLY finished the pesky ending of that book. WooHoo!)  So, I'll be in contact soon. THanks again, and remember I really did get a TON more responses than I can actually use, so I apologize in advance if I don't pick you. It doesn't mean that I don't love you, I promise!


Hey everyone! So as the subject of this blog post suggests, I am in need of a handful of awesome, helpful, and reliable beta readers.

What is a beta reader (besides awesome and one of a writers greatest tools)? 

  1. Beta readers(According to Wikipedia)
  2. An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption.Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.

Simply put, a beta is someone who reads early drafts of a manuscript for an author and gives feedback. Beta readers are an essential part of a writer's toolkit. Especially for us indie authors who don't have agents, editors, readers, and publishers all giving us pages and pages of edits. I've recently developed a need for some new beta readers, and I am currently looking for a handful of people who would be willing to do this for me. I'm not too worried about spelling and grammar as I have a wonderful editor who does that for me once my manuscripts are finished and polished. What I am hoping to find is someone who can give me feedback for all the other good stuff. Over all thoughts, questions you have, plot holes, character issues, things you liked, things you didn't, etc... Sometimes I'll have specific questions in mind I may ask for your opinion on. Things like that.

What am I looking for in a beta reader? 

  • someone with a basic knowledge of giving feedback or is used to dissecting stories (book bloggers tend to make exceptional betas because they break down books in all of their reviews.)
  • someone with at least a basic knowledge of writing/story structure/character development
  • someone who reads a lot/enjoys my genre (YA either contemporary or fantasy or both)
  • someone not afraid to tear a manuscript apart. In a helpful, non-hurtful way, please. ;)
  • someone who can read a manuscript in a word doc format since they will be reading first drafts that haven't been formatted in ebook formats yet.
  • someone enthusiastic about beta reading simply for the love of reading and sake of making stories better and helping out an author they like since this is not a paid job but strictly volunteer
  • and above all, I need people who are trustworthy and will under no circumstances pass these manuscripts along to anyone no matter who they are because I would be heartbroken if any of my early (usually crapy) first drafts of my books leaked out to the public.

What do you get out of this if you beta read for me?

  • My eternal servitude. Kidding. But you would definitely have my undying gratitude. :)
  • Not money. Unfortunately. As I said this is not a paid position. Just something that if you love to read and would like to help me, I would love your feedback.
  • I can't give feedback on your own manuscripts either. Unfortunately, I am not looking for critique partners right now. I know that sounds terrible, but as much as I wish I could help everyone who asks me to read and give feedback for their manuscripts, I simply don't have the time. I have one or two critique partners already and if I take on any more, I won't have any time to actually write. I am only looking for readers at the moment.
  • BUT...
  • Obviously as a beta you would be one of the select few who gets to read my books months before they release, and you would have the opportunity to voice your dislikes/concerns while there is still time for me to do something about them.
  •  complementary ebooks of the final product
  • a mention in my special thanks of the book (along with a link to your blog if you're a blogger)
  • possible future characters named after you if you so desire such a thing...
  • autographed swag (posters and bookmarks) of the books you beta for me
  • experience. If you're an aspiring writer, beta reading is a great resource for your own writing. You learn so much from having to pick apart stories looking for the weaknesses. It also helps to see the changes that go into rewrites. I used to beta read a lot and found the experience invaluable . Unfortunately I don't have the time for it anymore. 
  • and my undying gratitude. (I know I said this one already, but it's wroth repeating since I would love you that much!)

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, please take a moment to fill out the following sign up form. And please keep in mind that I won't be able to use everyone. As much as I wish I could choose everyone who signs up, I only need a few readers for both my contemporary works and my paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi stuff, so please, please, please don't hate me if you sign up and I don't contact you. 

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