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Thread: Willing Beta Readers Volume III

  1. #1
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    On the Server

    Willing Beta Readers Volume III

    The first Willing Beta Readers thread started in 2006. It was replaced by Willing Beta Readers Volume II.

    Many embers who posted in the Volume II are no longer active on AW, or they can no longer act as beta readers.

    I've started this new thread.

    Procedure To Volunteer To Beta Read

    If you are interested in becoming a beta reader for someone on AW, please leave a reply in this thread with your genre preference and any other info you'd like members to know. See the template below for an idea of what to post.
    Please turn on PMs so members can contact you privately to ask if you would be willing to Beta for them.
    Should you become unavailable to beta in the future, please you return here and edit your post to reflect your status.

    DO NOT POST in this thread asking for a beta reader. I will move any requests into their own threads. Or I might just delete it.

    Feel free to peruse the previous thread for potential beta readers, just be aware that tht thread (especially the earlier pages) is not current.

    Beta Reader Template
    A typical post about your willingness to Beta includes:

    • Availability:
    • Preferences:
    • What I write:
    • Beta Style:
    • Experience:
    • Timeline:
    • Contact:

    You can include more; but these are the basic points to provide.

    Don't forget to return and edit your post if your interests or availability change.

  2. #2
    Жили-были дед да баба... davidjgalloway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Upstate NY
    Edit (7/8/2017): currently full. Will update when ready for more.

    Availability: Seeking 3 full-length novels to read in the next three weeks (through 30 July 2017).

    Preferences: SF/fantasy of all types, but I have read everything and will read anything GOOD.

    Why me: Many readers have told me my critiques are the best they’ve ever gotten. They’re right. I’m old enough to know what I’m good at, and I’m good at this. I read fast and write fast. You’ll have your beta-read complete in a week. What you do after that is up to you.

    How I work: I edit in MSWord using comments and track changes.

    Experience: 30+ years as an SF/YA reader, have written four unpublished novels, with the first to hopefully appear this winter. Since joining AW, I’ve beta-read for 30 members, totaling 1.7M words. I count them because that’s the only thing you can do with them. I’d like to be over 2 million words by the end of the summer.

    I’m always honest, and polite if you don’t try anything colossally stupid in your book. If you do, I get grumpy in the comments, and you’ll know I hated it because I’ll tell you so. That doesn’t mean it’s not fixable, and I like tossing around ideas for solutions.

    No first drafts, in-progress works, or any of that. It needs to be done, and not on its first-ever read, either.
    I don’t like being told how to read. I’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t. Don’t tell me you don’t need close editing—if I see a problem, you need close editing.
    If your book has major issues that make it impossible to continue, I will stop and give you what I have, as well as telling you explicitly what I think is causing the problem.
    I know nothing about markets, what is popular, etc., nor do I care. Don’t ask me if it’ll sell. I’m not an agent.
    Extreme content (define as you will) doesn’t offend me. I’m only offended by terrible writing and stupid plotting.
    If you give me a dystopian novel, it had better be the most fucking amazing thing ever written.

    Contact: PM me with a paragraph-long synopsis and first couple chapters and include your email.
    Last edited by davidjgalloway; 07-09-2017 at 01:49 AM.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Susannah Shepherd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    The coolest little capital
    Availability: Currently available, but I will be slow to turn around work in July and late Aug/early Sep 2017.


    • Romance (wide tastes but prefer historical, suspense, contemporary - I don't do sweet, inspirational, vampires or extreme alphas)
    • Erotic romance (ditto; comfortable with any combinations of numbers/genders/sexualities)
    • Erotica (not much into BDSM or similar, but I am OK with a bit of kink)
    • Mystery, suspense, political thrillers (I'm a sucker for a good conspiracy theory)
    • Historical (not predominantly military; prefer pre-19th century)
    • General literary fiction (Not coming-of-age or similar. Please, no coming-of-age.)

    I don't do SF/F, NA or YA, although I am OK with low fantasy elements in the genres above.

    What I write: Erotic romance and erotica, mostly historical. The to-be-written list also includes some non-romance historicals. I tried romantic suspense, but I suck at it.

    Beta Style: I will give you honest feedback on whether your premise, prose style and pacing grab me as a reader. I'll be reading for whether your characters are presented consistently, learn something along the way, and have believable conflicts. I have a good ear for the cadence of prose and natural dialogue. Time constraints may prevent me from doing a full line-by-line, unless you're prepared to drip-feed chapters, but I will point out where your prose isn't working for me.

    I cannot critique effectively if your grammar and spelling needs a lot of work (I get distracted by too much copy-editing), so I won't beta anything that hasn't already been tidied up as well as you can. I will want to read a couple of chapters before I commit, and I will say no if your book just isn't my cup of tea.

    Experience: I have been doing some crits here and there lately on the various SYW boards: see here and here if you want an idea of the feedback I might give, depending on what you're looking for. I am extremely experienced in writing and peer-reviewing work reports, mostly narrative documents rather than technical editing, and so the feedback you get from me will be professional and respectful.

    Timeline: Depends on real-life workload, but if I can't get something done in a few weeks, I'll let you know.

    Contact: PM me with a bit about your work, what editing it has been through already, and a blurb (I want a hook, but no big spoilers!). If I'm interested I'll get you to email me a couple of chapters to see whether it's my thing.
    Last edited by Susannah Shepherd; 07-06-2017 at 04:33 PM.

    WIP1: The Hysterical Bride (18th century erotic romance M/F) - second draft complete: ready for beta!

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin knifebirds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Availability: Currently unavailable, although feel free to message me if you don't mind waiting a bit
    Preferences: LGBTQ Science Fiction / Fantasy / Magical Realism, although I'll read anything if it is LGBTQ. I would strongly prefer not to read anything with a heterosexual main plot.
    What I write: LGBTQ Science Fiction / Fantasy / Magical Realism
    Beta Style: I have a good eye and an ear for line-by-line editing. I like to think of a scene as being made of small parts. If the scene isn't working in the small scope, those small flaws add up to create a weaker work in the grand scope. I focus on character development, emotional atmosphere, and style. Most of all, I prioritize immersion in a story--if something pulls me out of the story, I'll point it out to you, whether that be contradictory characterization, an awkward sentence, or clunky information-delivering.
    Experience: I have experience critiquing in formal university workshop settings along with thorough critique-based conversations with writer friends.
    Timeline: If it's a short story or relatively short sample (<10k), I should be able to get it back within a few days, but for a longer work it might take me a few weeks to a month.
    Contact: PM me with a brief description of your story, and I'll let you know if it's in my neck of the woods.
    Last edited by knifebirds; 07-23-2017 at 03:49 PM.

  5. #5
    purplemoon purplemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Availability:Available to beta read
    Preferences: Historical fiction with a military / romance preferred. I'm not interested in fantasy, Sci-fi, or paranormal
    What I write: I write as I read. I've self published five books, (9 more waiting to go) but on this forum wish to 'give' before asking others to reciprocate.
    Beta Style:Probably best described as a 'loving amateur.' I like to lose myself in a book then contemplate it for a few days, write a few notes where I left the story or my mind wandered, then have another read to see if I can put together some succinct thoughts to help you. I am like many in that if I am hitting my head against a wall of bad grammar, spelling and a confused plot I will get an ice pack and politely opt to save my brain cells, (they are far too few as it is.)
    Experience: I read when I can. I have a busy schedule, like our prospective readers. I studied theater in Canada and have performed in many different countries across Europe and Asia. I have owned theatre companies (in the UK), French restaurants, hotels, boutiques and even renovated thatched cottages. My family is comprised of professional athletes, artists and designers. We like to have fun. Reading is mine.
    Timeline: An 80k book will probably take me two weeks to read twice and write notes etc.
    Contact:PM me with a synopsis. They are a bore to write but are usually requested by publishers anyway. If it is my thing and I think I can be of some benefit, we can go from there. Cheers K

  6. #6
    reading all the things Anna Iguana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Availability: I will try to work in anyone wanting to swap poetry; otherwise, I'm currently full

    Preferences: free verse, prose poetry, or short stories (about 2,000-7,000 words) that are contemporary fiction (adult or YA), women’s fiction, romance, or fantasy (including dark fantasy and non-graphic horror).

    I don't read first drafts, hard SF, or graphic horror. If you're thinking, "I'm not sure if she'll consider it graphic horror..." I'm probably not your target audience.

    What I write: adult contemporary fiction, dark fantasy, women’s fiction, prose poetry, and free verse.

    Beta style: I’ll mark my reactions as I read. I'll prioritize developmental feedback and look for positives, but I'll also tell you what doesn't work for me. If there are aspects of the piece you’d most like feedback about, please let me know. If there are aspects of the piece you don’t want feedback about, let me know that, too—but if those aspects loom as problems, I may tell you anyway.

    I’ll be most help with work that’s already reasonably copy-edited. I’ll assess your prose as well as your story. I won’t rewrite your prose—though, if I give a suggestion, I may offer an example. You can check out my critiques in Share Your Work and Poetry Critique.

    If you send me a .doc or .docx file, I'll use Microsoft Word to track changes. If you send me an .rtf or other type of text file, I'll mark comments in [brackets] in-line with the text.

    Experience: I worked as an editor for academic journals, and I have poetry and fiction forthcoming in print. Most important—I read a lot.

    Timeline: I should be able to return a short story within a week.

    Contact: PM me w/word count and a few words describing your story
    Last edited by Anna Iguana; 08-10-2017 at 05:56 PM.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Thick Scales
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Availability: *Edit* Full until the end of September. If you are not on a strict deadline, you can still email me but you will not receive a critique until later in October.

    Preferences: I prefer YA of any subgenre, but I am open to all that is readable. Newbies are welcome! I'd love to work with a seasoned or semi-seasoned YA writer.

    What I write: I write YA fantasy/supernatural. I'm currently working through my fifth novel and hoping to get it out to agents early next year.

    Beta Style: I try to keep a balance between being a casual reader and keeping an eye on technical improvements. You will get my initial in-line comments as I read through, and I will also provide a separate document detailing my overall thoughts and recommendations for categories like Plot/Characterization/Setting/Writing Style and whatever else I find relevant. I will tell you what I really like, be it a line of dialogue or a sentence or a scene/chapter. I do trend toward blunt reactions, i.e. what confuses me, where the writing slows down, scenes that I find irrelevant...If you need or want a lot of positive hand-holding, I may not be your best reader. I'm not mean -- but I don't mince. If I'm not feeling something then I will say so. If the writing is not polished enough to warrant a line-by-line critique, you will receive a chapter or two of heavy editing to give you an example of how to improve, but the rest of the novel will be an overall critique with general commentary. My biggest strength is my ability to pick out patterns. I'm good at spotting your weak points as a writer, devices you rely on too much, over-use of certain types or words/phrasing, etc. We all have our crutches, eh?

    Experience: I've been writing for over ten years with five novels under my belt. I've submitted to agents for two novels, and the last one received some great feedback (though it wasn't picked up, unfortunately!). I have been a member of critique groups in the past and so far have provided feedback on three novels for AW members since joining a few months ago. None of them sent me burning bags of poo in the mail, so I'm taking that as a sign of satisfaction! I am always available for questions and additional feedback as well.

    Timeline: On average, I can get comments back to you within 2-3 weeks. I will always let you know at first contact if that estimate changes so you're aware of any delays. As mentioned, I will determine whether or not your novel is in a position to warrant line-by-line critiques for the entire draft, but you will always receive at least one chapter of heavy editing as a starting point if you're a newbie.

    Contact: PM me with a query or general brief synopsis and your first 500 words.
    Last edited by neurotype; 07-27-2017 at 12:18 PM.

  8. #8
    figuring it all out Splendor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Availability: Available now
    Preferences: children's book, middle-grade books (fiction and non-fiction), inspirational books, historical Christian inspirational books, screenplays
    What I write: children's books, middle-grade, historical Christian, screenplays
    Beta Style: edits for flow, content, and consistency. I will ask questions if something doesn't flow or make sense and will mark grammar typos if it's minimum. No heavy grammatical edits.
    Experience: My children's book is to be traditionally published this fall. I have a self-published inspirational ebook. I'm working on an MG historical fiction book and have two-holiday screenplays I'm trying to get sold/produced. I edit letters and educational documents professionally but have not done a beta reading yet.
    Timeline: Send a short paragraph and if I'm interested we'll start with a 10-page page sample which will be completed in 3 days. After that, if it's something I feel I can help with I will accept a chapter at a time and complete within a week.
    Contact: PM is fine

    I do not read/edit anything with sexual content or excessive curse words.
    Last edited by Splendor; 07-29-2017 at 12:13 AM.

  9. #9
    Huh?? Comanche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Deep South Texas

    Who I Am: An old guy. I have time to read and I read a lot. I know when my day is ending when I pour a craft beer, fire up a good cigar and read an engaging book. When I pick up a book to read, I give it my best shot - I don't put a book down unless I'm just plain bored to tears. If your first 200 words aren't so good, I don't care - even the first chapter won't make me put it down. You'll have to be bad through the first quarter of your book before I leave it to gather dust.

    What I read: A lot of history, historical fiction, biographies and the occasional novel. And yes - I love J. R. R. Tolkien. It may be fantasy, but his works read like history. Ken Follett is another author I enjoy. You get the idea.

    What I don't read: Youth oriented works, such as fantasy - vampires and zombies bore me. Not into erotica, though an occasional steamy scene is fine. Chic lit - not.

    Experience as a Beta Reader: Just finished my first beta - and enjoyed the experience.

    PM me if you are interested. I'll work in a Word file, using comments and/or revisions. I am not a particularity tough person, so I won't be body slamming anyone's writing, but I will be honest.
    Too Soon We Get Old - Too Late We Get Smart

  10. #10
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Availability: EDIT: closed for a few weeks as of 8/11/17

    Preferences: I strongly prefer YA or NA. I'll happily read contemporary but I have a bigger soft spot for magical realism and paranormal elements. I'm not a huge fan of sci fi, but I'll read it if it's well written.

    What I write: YA, mostly with magical realism. I'm working on finding an agent for a fairytale retelling at the moment.

    Beta Style: I comment on the document with thoughts, questions, and any grammatical things I notice. Afterwards, I follow up with a letter that goes more into detail on the bigger plot and character problems I'm seeing. I tend to be pretty thorough and I don't hold anything back.

    Experience: I've edited my own work time and time again. I'm an assistant editor for a journal, and I've been an editorial intern for two presses. I've also beta read for about a dozen AWers and assorted pals with good results.

    Timeline: School is starting again, so it'll probably be 3 weeks to a month. I try to get manuscripts done sooner, but I'm not sure how rigorous my classes will be this semester.

    Contact: PM me the genre, word count, and a short synopsis and I'll get back to you ASAP!
    Last edited by s_nov; 08-11-2017 at 11:19 PM.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Availability: I just put this up so I'm currently wide open. However, I do start school in a bit so I will have to see how that affects my schedule.

    What I Read: I'll read short stories; you can send me a few stories of under 2,000 words or so or send me one story of anywhere between 2,000 to like 10,000 words. I'll read poems; you can send me a few pages of poetry. However, poetry isn't exactly my strong suit, but I'll be willing to help anyway I can. If the premise interests me enough and I'm like dying to read it, I might read a novella. Unfortunately, being a full time college student soon I don't think I'll have the time to read any novel manuscripts. As far as style and genre goes, I like to read a rather wide array of stuff. I like scifi. I love real suspenseful stuff. I enjoy both "literary" and "genre" fiction but am blown away when a writer combines the two. To be honest, I tend not to enjoy fantasy as much. Overall, I'm pretty open to almost all genres and styles.

    What I Write: I'm a rather young writer and have not tackled my first novel yet so I've only written short fiction. I also write a tiny bit of poetry. I write kinda a variety of stuff, a like to shoot for suspense in a lot of my work.

    Experience: I've worked as a copy editor proofreading other's work at a newspaper. I've revised and edited my own work for a while, but overall I'm new to this.

    Contact: PM me with the titles of your work, word counts and a short synopsis and I'll get back to you. If I decide to read your work, I would really appreciate it if you would give a few of my short stories a look as well. I won't send a ton, just a few stories or poems.
    Last edited by Skipworth11; 08-12-2017 at 09:32 AM.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    American Midwest
    Update: I'm currently full and will update again when I have more availability.

    Availability: I am open to reading a full length novel or two (please have at least first draft done) over the next month - September 2017.
    Preferences: I especially enjoy fantasy, particularly in the high fantasy and urban fantasy subgenres.
    What I write: As you probably expect, I write fantasy. Currently, I have two unpublished novels. The first is in the hands of a terrific freelance editor right now, and I hope to have it back within the month.
    Beta Style: Typically I focus more on upper level stuff (pacing, characterization, etc.), but I'm happy to delve into the weeds of word choice and sentence structure from time to time. I use a strength based approach and prefer open communication between myself and the author.
    Experience: Other than my own writing, which I've been doing seriously for about 15 years, most of my editing experience lies in the realm of academic journal articles.
    Timeline: This probably depends on the length of your novel and both of our availabilities.
    Contact: Feel free to message me!
    Last edited by SheridanEF; Yesterday at 04:32 AM. Reason: update


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