Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

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. 

A solution?

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 nutbags and manuscript stealers.

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?? Haha)

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!

If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
  1. Author, Jody Hedlund: 8 Ways Writers Can Be More Reader-Friendly
  2. Author Optimization 101: Our Covers So Far - Sterling & Stone
  3. The 5 Reader-Hooking Features Every Author Website Needs - She Writes
  4. Getting It Right: Writing About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder // Part II | Writerology
  5. Backstory in Action | Live Write Thrive
  6. What Kind of Advice Works for You? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author
  7. Want To Spend More Time On Your Writing And Tired Of Doing It All? A Virtual Assistant Can Help | The Creative Penn
  8. HOW To Finish Your Damn Book | CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD
  9. The brutal truth about beta readers | @Belinda_Pollard
  10. The Book Designer — Practical Advice to Help Self-Publishers Build Better Books
  11. Goodreads Now Filling Your Update Feed With Spam, Er “Sponsored Posts” | The Passive Voice |
  12. How to Increase Book Sales: "Think" Tips from Bestselling Author Joanna Penn - Where Writers Win
  13. Stuff Readers Want You to Remember | Wise Ink's Blog for Indie Authors about Self-Publishing
  14. 5 Reasons Why Ebook Price Promotions Make You More Money
  15. Goodreads Ask-the-Author-fest | Indies Unlimited
  16. Authors' income 'at breaking point' - BBC News
  17. ThrillWriting: Nature V. Nurture in Your Characters: Info for Writers
Happy writing and running, Kathy

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