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  1. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    How To Find Beta Readers

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by J.T. Woody, May 14, 2019.

    I'm getting sick and tired of asking family and friends to be beta readers. The last straw was this past weekend, finishing up my final for this semester.
    I needed someone to proof read the paper. People were unreachable, so I called up and asked my parents. The first thing they always ask (for essays, research papers, fiction, poems, etc.) is "How long is is?"
    This paper was 8 pages (excluding reference page, abstract, appendices, and cover page). The gave me so much grief for having asked to read it that I'm just fed up with it.

    With that being said, I've sent 5 works of fiction out to journals. I'm anxious because I didn't have anyone read it/go over it because, again, I've had no one willing to read my work and offer solid critique other than "oh, it was good."

    -sighs-
    this is part rant, part serious.... how do I find people willing to read my work, no matter the length?
     
  2. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

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    Omg this is totally me!!! I cant even get family members to read a few scenes and they swear it's so long. Another thinks reading is torture. I did get one opinion but that's just one. Ugh. I would like to know about these beta readers also.
    Another family member tells me to just write with no other opinions or ideas and publish it as is. :confused: I get so frustrated.
     
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  3. Ma'am

    Ma'am Banned Supporter

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    Critiquing/beta reading takes a lot of time on something they likely have no interest in, even if they do have quite a bit of interest in you. It also gets sticky worrying about hurting your feelings, for friends and family. I think it's usually much better to get- and give- help from other aspiring writers.

    Edited for clarity.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  4. Reece

    Reece Active Member

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  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You've been around for awhile. I'm sure there are people on this site who would beta read for you. I think it works best to do a trade. Just think about the people you click with on here or post in the section fro seeking beta readers. I would do it, but I just committed to helping someone else out with a lengthier piece. However, feel free to message me in the future if you want. But, really, you're in the right place to find people who will read your work.

    Also, don't worry too much about making submissions that haven't been read by other people. I sold a story for big money that no one had seen. in fact, it might have actually hurt me if I had taken any advice on that one. It wasn't something I felt very confident about so I would have likely made changes that could have prevented me from making the sale.

    Betas can be great, but they're not really needed. I like trading work with some of my friends on here because it's nice to see what they're up to. It's not really about looking for help. It's just something I like doing, especially when I know they're good writers.

    If you really just feel like you need feedback, there is the section of this forum for that.
     
  6. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Supporter Contributor

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    I found pretty much all my beta readers right here on this forum. What you can do is post under the Collaboration forum requesting beta readers and, if you're willing, don't forget to mention that you're willing to beta read their similar sized work in exchange. You can swap stories with @Just a cookiemunster , for example, assuming you aren't the wrong target audience for each other.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I've used fiver for short stuff
     
  8. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    I'm at that point again where I've finished something. 2 people (1 friend and 1 coworker) seemed interested in reading my work and giving me feedback. its been about a week and I haven't heard anything from them. I'm feel like I'd be annoying them or rushing them if I asked after it...
    I dont know if its just me being impatient (i am a very impatient individual in my personal life), and to me, it shouldnt take a week to read 20 pages. Or if thats about right and I just need to wait some more....

    If I post in the workshop section for feedback, wouldnt that hurt my chances of getting it published, since by posting it online, it counts as "published" already? :superfrown:
     
  9. sleepindawg

    sleepindawg Member

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    Are you down to SP&G? And how big is the work? I may be able to help with the S and P parts of it, I'm a bit weak on the grammar however, I could try for that as well. The reason that I ask how big is that I have 2 bits of flash fiction that I'm thinking are ready for final polish.

    EDIT: If it's passed back and forth in PMs it isn't published as far as I can figure.
     
  10. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Contributor Contributor

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    Exchange favours.

    You do similar size and same level difficulty favour to someone and he/she does one to you.

    Exchange beta reading. You betaread for other writers, they betaread for you.

    Think: What is it in there for them? What is their benefit? How they profit? What can you do for them?
     
  11. RobinLC

    RobinLC Member

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    What kind of fiction is it? I'd be happy to beta read just about anything for the same in return.
     
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  12. AndieBoDandy

    AndieBoDandy Member

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    I'm with Robin... As long as it's not too close to something I'm personally working on. I NEVER ask my family to read my stuff, as I don't think I'll get anything other that, "it's good" from them. Is there perhaps a writers group in your area? If you could find just one or two like-minded individuals, I think that would work best. You need to find people who are into the genre that you write. They'll be familiar with reading it and know how it works. I love contemporary fantasy, space opera, dystopian even horror. So hit me up if its one of those things. (Not that I wouldn't help if it was something else... I need to broaden my horizons. =)
     
  13. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Try the Collaborations section of the forum‚ but...

    make sure you are willing to trade...willing to read and give feedback on THEIR work of similar size, and...

    let the potential readers know what kind of thing you've written. Even posting a paragraph or two can help them decide if it's their thing or not. If people see that it's a subject or genre they like, they like your writing style, and realise it's not chock-full of SPAG errors, they are more likely to take it on.

    You can do the actual exchange via PM here on the forum. OR, if you trust the member enough, you can swap email addresses and do it that way. (Which can solve the formatting problem, which happens when you attempt to copy/paste your own work into the forum. The forum software isn't very user-friendly in that respect ...hence the need to go through and re-paragraph everything, add in italics, bolds, etc.)
     
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  14. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    Thanks peoples!
    I've submitted that particular story but I will keep these things in mind for next time. I'm trying to finish at least one thing before the year is over!
    @AndieBoDandy, @RobinLC, @sleepindawg , and @Just a cookiemunster .... I tend to write short works leaning more towards the odd and surreal, somewhat "disturbing" (a word my husband used). Longer works i'd put more in the fantasy/sci fi genre with a sub genres including adventure and/or romance.
    I have one right now that I go to off and on that is none of the genres and themes listed above, and thats currently at 9,987 words - so I'm all over the place in terms of having something close to being done....

    But I wouldnt mind trading. Even if its a page or two of a WIP. I wouldnt mind getting some feedback on WIPs either lol
     
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  15. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn't post short stories you're trying to sell in the workshop section. I was talking about the collaboration section where people ask for beta readers and to do trades all the time. Also, since you're a submitter to the journals and magazines, think about joining the little community we've got going in the rejection thread. The regulars often trade work for feedback or are just willing to read when they have time. But, again, I really wouldn't put too much weight into feedback unless you really know where it's coming from (like another writer you admire or a writing mentor). And even then, beta readers aren't editors buying your work. Sure, you can get some good advice and things that need some fixing can be pointed out. But I've gotten feedback that was super off the mark before. You've got to be able to spot that too. Anyway, good luck with all your submissions.
     
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