By: Belinda Pollard, @Belinda_Pollard
Every time I post about beta readers and how wonderful and essential they are, I get more requests for how to find some.
People want quick answers. Their manuscript is ready to be critiqued NOW. And as many of us know, the best
betascan be hard to find.
I tried to find solutions to other people’s need for beta readers. I even spent quite a bit of time looking into setting up a beta reader exchange myself. But in the end it was too hard to do it in such a way that a person could reasonably find out the kinds of things I would want to know about my own beta readers before I entrust my writing to them. And I couldn’t find an effective way to protect people against
and manuscript stealers. nutbags
There are some sites around that are attempting to make this work. If you’ve found a good one, please tell us about it in the comments — but please keep in mind, dear reader, that I make no representations of any kind about anything people might mention in their comments!! You absolutely must do your due diligence.
The brutal truth
This brings me to the brutal truth about beta readers, as I see it.
It takes time and effort to find good beta readers, and set up an effective and enduring relationship.
Like everything in this writing and publishing biz, it’s hard work. But the effort is worth it.
I personally use beta readers to help whip my writing into shape in specific and powerful ways. I don’t just get “I loved it/I hated it” type comments. My betas roll up their sleeves and wade into my verbal jungle with a machete, a pair of tweezers and sometimes even a bulldozer in their back pocket. (Too many metaphors??
Each of them brings something unique to the mix, and I’ve chosen them specifically with those characteristics in mind. They show me things I couldn’t see myself, and trigger thoughts that create solutions.
I adore them.
With the things I ask of my beta readers, choosing one out of a hat would be like getting married immediately after meeting someone at speed dating. Yes, you might be embarking on a life of happiness with your soul mate. Or the outcome could be quite different.
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
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