Thursday, 8 April 2010

How to find a beta reader - part 1

I'm doing part 1 today.  I'll do part 2 in a few days time.

I mentioned before that the reason I have this blog is to detail everything in my adventures in Indie Publishing.  Well, now I've finished my novel I need beta readers.  And I'll post here with all my plans to get them.

And I'll post the results of my efforts in a couple of days.

Writing Groups

Okay, my first option is to ask in writers groups.  But you can't just pop up in these places and say "Hey, read my book."  Luckily I'm already a member in two online writing groups.  The first one is  mystical adventures and the second one I'm not going to name.

Mystical Adventures is a site where a small bunch of writers hang around and help each other procrastinate.  A great group of people.

The other site actually does critiques for each other, a chapter per month.

Internet Dating Sites

Well, not quite, but sites like Crit Partner Match are like dating sites for writers.  Join and post looking for your perfect partner.  Sounds simple, right?

Ask your friends

I kick about sometimes over at Superhero Nation so I asked there.  Why not?

Ask your family

Don't think you need to find beta readers online.  Sadly my family aren't readers.

And use your blog.

Anyone fancy being my beta reader?  Post a comment and let me know.

Are there any ways I've missed?  Post and let me know how you found your beta readers.


  1. I would also suggest you check out Crit Partner Match. ( A lot of folks on there are just interested in swapping full drafts.

  2. Thanks. It was actually my second point in the post above - I joined today.

    It seems not very busy, I'm guessing it's still in its infancy? A little like my Guild.

    Do you know if people have much success through CPM?

  3. I haven't had much luck with this myself. That is, until I started my blog.

    I used to belong to a lot of different crit sites and writers groups, until I realized that, like me, everyone else was there to have their own stuff read, and none of them really wanted - or had the time - to read other writers' stuff.

    Once I started up my blog, I had ample resources for potential readers. The real goal, of course, is not just to get crits, but to get valuable ones: ones with some real critical substance. And you won't get that from friends or family. For that you need readers you don't know, people who can approach your material objectively.

    I'd be happy to have a look at what you've got. Send me a sample.

  4. Thank you.

    My own family wouldn't be much use at critting, I'll agree. On the other hand, some of my favourite NY published authors get crits from their wives.

    One is married to another author, the other to a journalist. Of course, not everybody is married to or related to someone who could give good objective crits.

    But people reading this will know their own families and can tell if they are useful in this way or not.

    I'm hoping that getting a few crits will increase my chances of getting valuable crits. We shall see.

    I'll send you a sample tonight.

  5. Why not name Kelley Armstrong's site? It's one of the best online crit groups on the internet.

  6. Because I read a post there that said... don't talk about the site outside of the site, it's private, it's confidential, just don't do it. So I didn't.

    But yeah, it is Kelley Armstrong's website, the forums, it is awesome, and there's a fantastic group of people over there.

    Hi Jay.

  7. Friends and family who aren't persuing professional writing really aren't much use as critics, IMO. They'll always love it, and won't know how to articulate the weaknesses they do see.

    I find the hardest part is finding someone at the same level in their writing whose style is similar enough that we mesh. I've been lucky in that I have a couple, but it's never been as easy for me as just asking for volunteers and having them work out great.

    I would suggest you trade a couple of chapters with a couple of people, just as a test drive before you commit to critiquing an entire novel. I did that once, and ended up me spending 1/2 a day on a crit, and getting back a 'wow this is great' critique.