You might have heard no prolific art is a solo effort. Editors, designers, marketers help authors bring their novels to life. In a previous article, we already discussed the importance of beta-reading. You might have a slight idea on how important beta-reading is and how to find them if you have previously published a book. But what about you first-time authors.
Let me first remind you, these beta readers are not same as alpha readers. They are a group of 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. They are not editors or proofreaders, but they can serve in that context too.
Now the question arises, How to find Beta Readers?
A good beta reader is hard to find. For almost all writers, beta readers are a crucial part of crafting a quality manuscript and improving as a writer in general.
It is best to start with your Writer’s Network. Many writers will trade a beta read and will provide solid feedback. Make sure to contact the author who writes/read the same genre. Personally, I’ll suggest you contact self-published authors, coz they really know the importance of a beta-reader that anyone else.
Join an online writing group – In any group, writing-focused or otherwise, you want to take a little time to chat and get to know people before you ask for favors.
Try MeetUp – This is one most suggested site to find beta-readers, even though it is not very popular in India, it can be of great use to find beta-readers for your genre.
Ask on your Facebook fan page – Some of us don’t admit that we are writing a novel. Feeling ashamed about the fact that you write can hold you back as a writer, though. So unless your work is controversial, asking on your Facebook page is a great way to go.
Paid beta readers – They offer their time and opinion for a price. The quality varies depending on the service as well as the beta reader.
Remember criticism comes from an honest desire to see your work improve, rather than the chance to tear you down. Seize this opportunity. Recognize your chance to take these critiques and use them to your benefit.
Read: Beta Reader Resources for more beta reading sites.
Do you have any other tips for an ideal beta-reader experience? Share your knowledge in the comments below!