#IWSG: Finding Good Beta Readers

This is the November post for IWSG.

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately about beta readers. What you should do and not do, etc. For me this is coming up in December. I will, hopefully, have my novel finished by the end of the month. Then I’ll be sending my novel out to Beta readers. I’ve already had a lot of alpha readers from my writing group. So, the question is who makes a good beta reader?

I think the best readers are those who have never read it. They can give a fresh perspective and will be like the actual readers who end up buying your book. Finding these readers won’t be too hard. If you belong to some online writing groups or FB groups you can put a call out to see if anyone is interested. I have a few friends that are English professors who I would totally trust giving me the most constructive criticism if needed.

Another great beta group is your writing group. For me this is very true. Most of them have never read any of my stuff, so fresh eyes with great critique skills will be welcomed. I also have members of my previous writing group who know my story and pushed me to great heights and their input will also be invaluable.

I have stayed away from letting family ready my stuff so far. I read that they cannot be objective because they love you and want you to succeed. I see that a lot on talent shows where the children cannot hold a tune and yet the parents are like you are so awesome! I am sure I will send it to my mom but after the professional edit is done.

It’s been hard trying to finish this book. I wasn’t able to write for 3 months because of morning sickness that lasted the whole first trimester. Now I am on fire and projected to finish by the end of the month.

Where do you find your beta readers?

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6 Responses

  1. Way to go and congrats on the pregnancy. If you find good beta readers, hang on to them!

  2. storyteller5 says:

    My beta reader is my ex-fiance, which, as you can imagine, can get a bit awkward. He was my editor long before we started dating, and I still find his insight invaluable. He’s not a writer per se, but he has an incredible ability to know when something could be better and how to make it better. He pushes me beyond previously conceived limits. I can’t imagine doing this without him, which may be problematic as he’s married with a son and another child on the way.

    I would highly suggest letting people other than writers read your work. Writers tend to unconsciously edit to their own voice–we want to see things written the way we would have written them. Rare is the writer than can edit without that tendency sneaking in. Find readers. That’s your target market.

    Good luck! (Found you through IWSG.)

  3. My teens end up being my beta readers a lot of the time. I also have some great friends that would kill me if they didn’t get my book after a few rounds of revision. The best part is that they are all talented in different areas and honest with me. Sure they gush at times, but they can also point out plot holes and stuff that’s just plain dumb. I never realized how lucky I am till now. Thanks!

    Oh, and my IWSG post is at charitywrites.blogspot.com not my wordpress page.

  4. Tina Downey says:

    Hi! Nice to meet you! I’m not ready for my own Beta readers yet, but I’ve had the privilege to do so for many of my online buddies. These are bloggers with whom I’ve established a relationship and it grew out of that. Great topic for IWSG! I’m co-hosting this month.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  5. My beta readers – or test readers as i call them – aren’t writers but readers of the genre I write. I used them for the overall story idea and flow. Then after many other edits, I send to critique partners, who are good writing buddies of mine.

  6. suzanne says:

    Congratulations, hope you’re enjoying the pregnancy now 🙂 I have a friends son read for me – he’s incredibly bright so I know checks the writing, spelling, etc, but also as my MC is a teenage boy he helps make sure my MC sounds like a teenage boy!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

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