Getting beta readers is an important step for your own writing, since a beta reader test-drives your work before publication and is much cheaper than an editor. Without them, the quality of your work relies on one person’s eyes to catch mistakes and test for the presence of an audience. A lot of people want beta readers, especially the kind that aren’t friends or relatives and thus don’t have any reason to give back only good, fluffy remarks. But how do you get this help?
READ for Others
If you want to get beta readers, it is only right and just to beta read for others. There have been times that I’ve read multiple novels for people only to be turned down for the reading of a short story, and this always gets my dog hide. It’s also, thankfully, very rare!
I have been lucky enough to have a few beta readers for some of my more important (i.e. not on this blog) works, but part of having beta readers was giving back in the form of beta reading for others. Eventually I’ll want to collect beta readers for something, but that means I need to be working up the karma in the meantime.
Are you looking for a beta reader? Fill out the form at the bottom of this post. I’m finishing a beta read now and will be available for a new one come Saturday.
Get Better at Editing
Ever felt like you can’t read your own works well? Like you can’t catch simple mistakes? Reading others’ works will help you learn how to find mistakes.
When you write, you read back what you think you wrote rather than what you actually wrote. When you read someone else’s work with the intent to edit, it’s easy to see what went wrong. It’s easy to pick apart another person’s story because it’s not your baby. At the same time, the other author might make the same mistakes you do, or you may identify a type of mistake in their work that you’ll see in your own upon closer inspection.
It’ll also help you figure out what kind of information is useful to you as a writer. What kind of information would you like to get back? How detailed does this edit need to be? What kind of instructions should you give to a beta reader? All of these questions will be more easily answered once you’ve done it yourself.
Beta Reader Available HERE and NOW
As of Saturday, I will finish the current book I’m beta reading (look for a blog post next week on what I learned during the edit). Thank you so much, E. Kathryn, for letting me read your novel!
If you would like me to beta read for you, fill out the form below.
Things I’m good at:
- Finding plot holes and inconsistencies
- Helping make your science more realistic, or at least not completely impossible
- Reading with an eye for diversity
- Spotting places where you can show rather than tell
- I can give you a fair pass at grammar help, especially if it is requested
As always, I will not share your work if you choose to request my assistance. Looking forward to any new books to read!