WritingForums.org

Great Benefit of Beta Readers

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Beta-Readers
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… and where you can find them.
You might ask: “what’s the difference between a beta reader, manuscript editor and a proof reader?” or “Why should I give my manuscript to a beta reader instead of my trusted friends or family?” Contrary to friends and family member, beta readers are often writers themselves. Maybe even in the same genre and they ought to give you honest feedback, no sugar coating, and constructive critique – while your beloved ones are often afraid to hurt your feelings, and might not be objective. Dealing with another writer you can exchange in beta-reading each others manuscripts. And both of you can learn from the others’ weak points.

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Online Writing Forums
For writers looking for very specific feedback from knowledgeable readers Online forums are a great place to find them. Because participants tend to cluster around particular topics of interest. These are just a few of the online resources available that can help writers to connect.  The most popular one seems to be Wattpad which has now 24 million members.  Even celebrity authors, such as Margaret Atwood, post there from time to time. ‘If the work on Wattpad is public, the authors often are not. As many as half its writers are anonymous or pseudonymous. The traditional publishing industry is watching Wattpad closely, not only as a source of new talent but also for techniques to increase reader engagement”, writes David Streitfeld in a NewYork Times article. Brittany Geragotelis has been “discovered” this way.

  • Wattpad.com
  • Scribt.com
  • Writers’ Café
  • the Red Room
  • Nothing Binding
  • Figment.com
  • WritingForums.org

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Writing Groups
Many creative writing groups focus on critique. While Beta Readers are working through your entire finished manuscript, that’s often not possible for writing groups as time is only constraint to a few pages. Try to find a beta reading exchange with other members – aside from the regular meetings of the group.

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Beta Readers at Google+
Google+ offers a variety of fantastic communities for writers looking to connect with like-minded
authors. Join these groups, and look out for new ones regularely.

  • Writers’ Critique Group
  • The Writer’s Discussion Group
  • Writers’ Corner
  • Poets of G+
  • JLB Creatives
  • Aspiring Authors
  • Writers, Authors, Bloggers
  • Authors – Blatant Promo 4 Writers, Blogs!

Why not establish your own Beta Reader Group?
As more Beta Readers you have, as better! Different people catch different errors.

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MeetUp Groups and Workshops
I recently attended quite a few manuscript critique / beta-reading author meetings, and was impressed by the friendly, constructive suggestions of these Meetup members. They can be mostly found in cities, and include a variety of groups for writers. Some gatherings are dedicated to critique and to beta reading. This is a great avenue for those writers who prefer face-to-face interaction, and who are also open to meet new writer friends. Don’t find a beta reader meetup listed for your city? Organize your own!

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Once you’ve found a handful of Beta Readers to share your work with you, the result will be a manuscript, which is ready for the editor. Beta Reading might save you a lot of money, if the editor is charching by the hour. Beta Reading also helps to polish your book before the first reviewer or readers gets their hand on your book.

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Tagged: aspiring authors, beta readers, beta-reading, Google+ communities, Meetup.com, objective feedback, Poets of G+, where to find Beta Readers, WritingForums.org


Why You Need Beta Readers


Why You Need Beta Readers and Where to Find the Best
Guest post by Lauren Sapala
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Beta-Reader
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In the tech world “beta” means something that isn’t finished yet; a product that’s still in the testing stage. Authors have now commandeered this term for their own, using it to describe the first circle of readers to review the finished draft of a manuscript. So what’s the difference between giving your novel to a beta reader instead of your friends or family? Well, other than honest, objective feedback (which is one of the most valuable things any writer could ever ask for) the chances of success for your book go up enormously.

The ideal beta reader is usually another writer, and preferably someone who is interested and familiar with the genre in which you are writing. Getting feedback from another writer means you’re much more likely to receive concrete suggestions for improvement, along with comments on what is and is not working. Having a writer as your beta reader also gives you the chance to enter into an exchange. After they read for you, you can read for them. As you examine the weak spots in another’s manuscript with a detached eye, you learn how to logically approach the problems in your own.
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Bringing on beta readers, in short, helps you become a better writer.
So where do you find them?

Your Own Writing Group
Most creative writing groups focus on critique, and due to time constraints, each member is usually only allowed to submit a few pages at a time for feedback. Beta readers, on the other hand, should be reading your entire finished manuscript.
Ask around within your current writing group to see if anyone else has finished their novel and if they would be interested in doing a beta reading exchange with you. Since it’s a trade, both of you will benefit. And since it can be done in off-hours, make it clear that it won’t interfere with the regular meetings of the group.

Google+
Social media doesn’t have to be all about self-promotion. Google+ offers a variety of excellent communities for writers looking to connect with like-minded individuals. The Writer’s Discussion Group has over 14,000 members, and if that sounds too overwhelming for you, smaller communities like Poets of G+, Aspiring Authors, and Writers, Authors, Bloggers are always open to new people too. You can browse around the different communities to find beta readers, or make a post of your own asking for volunteers.

MeetUp Groups and Workshops
If you live in a metropolitan area, Meetup.com offers a dynamic assortment of options for writers. You can find workshops and writing marathons, as well as gatherings dedicated solely to beta readers. This is a great avenue for those writers who prefer face-to-face interaction, and who are also open to meeting new writer friends. If you don’t see a beta reader meetup listed for you city, you might think about organizing your own.

Online Writing Forums
For writers looking for very specific feedback from knowledgeable readers (in the genre of hard science fiction, for example), online forums are an efficient way to find them. Because participants tend to cluster around particular topics of interest, writers can post their call for beta readers in the area most relevant to their style and content. Writers’ Café, the Next Big Writer, and WritingForums.org or Wattpad.com are just a few of the online resources available that can help writers connect.

After you have found your handful of promising beta readers, make sure both of you have the best experience possible. Be clear on your expectations. Tell your beta readers exactly what you are looking to gain from their feedback, and exactly how detailed you want them to be.

Remember, beta readers are not editors. Their function is not to correct your work, or make any actual changes. The goal of bringing on a beta reader is for you, as the writer, to get a view of your own work through a reader’s eyes.

And that, for every writer, is truly invaluable.
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About the Author
Lauren Sapala is a writer, writing coach and blogger at www.laurensapala.com. She blogs about writing, creativity, and finding and holding onto one’s inspired passion in life. She currently lives in San Francisco, is working on her fifth novel, and in her free time facilitates the writing group she founded, “Write City”.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 880+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Tagged: aspiring authors, beta readers, beta-reading, Google+ communities, Meetup.com, objective feedback, Poets of G+, where to find Beta Readers, Writer’s Discussion Group, WritingForums.org


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