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Writing Tip: How To Find A Beta

Posted by , in Writing Tips 07 June 2012 · 592 views

Writing Tip

So, a couple of weeks ago we talked about what an author should look for in a Beta Reader. I thought that today we could maybe talk about how to FIND a Beta Reader. There are many ways to go about it, but here are just a few!

  • You could always post in your Chapter Note or Chapter End notes that you are currently looking for a beta reader! I wouldn’t personally put everything I want from a Beta Reader in there, but you could always tell your readers that if they are interested in beta reading for you, to PM you. Then you can tell them what you expect and see if they are still interested!
  • Look at who is always reviewing your stories! Perhaps you’ve noticed one or two of those people listed as a Beta Reader on stories that you read! If you do, then you can always look at stories they are listed on and see if you think they will fit your style. If not, no harm no foul! If you go this route though, just make sure you remember that some people who beta are not looking for other authors.
  • Post an ad in the Writing Support Request forum! It’s a great place to share a snipped of your work and let possible beta’s know what exactly you are looking for! Lugh wrote up some great instructions on how to post an ad and what information your add needs! Make sure you read it before you post!! You can find it here!!!
  • One other way to find a beta reader is to contact TalonRider! Once he knows what you are looking for he’ll do his best to find you a beta reader that fits with your style and needs! As with using the Writing Support Request forum, keep in mind that it might take a bit to find a beta reader that fits your needs.
So, now that you know the different ways to find a beta reader, why not go and find yours? And for all those of you that already have a beta reader, how did you get paired up? We’d love to hear your thoughts on finding a beta reader to fit your needs.

Just a few comments to add because I have worked with a number of betas and as a beta for a number of writers.

First - it is always best to know what both parties are looking for. Each person defines their beta slightly differently.

Second - Be ready for honesty. As a beta usually the job is to find spots where a story goes astray, ideas are not clear, names are accidentally changed, or there are spots that seem choppy. A beta is there to help you catch these errors. They might also suggest ways to help you improve your story. Just remember these are suggestions and comments to help you focus on them. They are not there to rip you apart, or make you feel you can't write. They are there to help you. Comments are there as suggestions and not as something written in stone. You are the author and your beta will work to help you see possible problems in your story. A good writer/beta relationship is one where ideas and suggestions flow freely between the two.

Best of luck on finding a beta who fits well with you.
I'd like to add that sometimes it takes more than one ad or more than one type of advertising for betas. It took me 3 years to find a new beta after my last one moved away and we lost contact. I tried a number of different betas and none worked out. The most important part of the grand beta search is to be persistent. Don't give up. :D