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LilGreenBookworm
11-25-2011, 04:28 AM
1. If you ask someone to beta for you, what (if anything) you do for them? Is there a fee involved, or is it a 'you scratch mine and I'll scratch yours' type of thing?

2. Is it rude to ask for someone's credentials if they offer to beta and you don't know them very well? I told a girl at a write in my plot, and she offered to beta because it sounded fascinating (her words, not mine). I've met her twice and know nothing about her, though from her novel excerpt she seems to be a phenomenal writer. It would seem common sense to know more about her before just handing over the baby that's been living in my head over half my life, but then again, people exchange work with internet strangers all the time, why is this different, kwim?

3. What stops a beta from making your work pretty, and then heading off to Publishing Land with it? I know, I know, like someone told me in my welcome thread, stuff like that doesn't happen that often. But it does happen. Is there a contract exchanged between an author and their beta at all? "I solemnly swear I won't gank your work and slap my name on it." :D

4. Are there horse socks?

leahzero
11-25-2011, 06:03 AM
LGB: Read the sticky threads in this forum. They answer all of your questions...except #4. :P

Maryn
11-25-2011, 06:45 AM
1. If you ask someone to beta for you, what (if anything) you do for them? Is there a fee involved, or is it a 'you scratch mine and I'll scratch yours' type of thing?You may be able to repay in kind, beta reading for the person who beta'ed for you, but it you can't, please try to pay it forward and beta read for someone else.


2. Is it rude to ask for someone's credentials if they offer to beta and you don't know them very well? I told a girl at a write in my plot, and she offered to beta because it sounded fascinating (her words, not mine). I've met her twice and know nothing about her, though from her novel excerpt she seems to be a phenomenal writer. It would seem common sense to know more about her before just handing over the baby that's been living in my head over half my life, but then again, people exchange work with internet strangers all the time, why is this different, kwim? What qualifications does a beta reader need? All she needs, really, is an interest and some experience in reading your genre, and the willingness to do you this huge favor. She need not be a writer in the genre.


3. What stops a beta from making your work pretty, and then heading off to Publishing Land with it? I know, I know, like someone told me in my welcome thread, stuff like that doesn't happen that often. But it does happen. Is there a contract exchanged between an author and their beta at all? "I solemnly swear I won't gank your work and slap my name on it." :DSelling fiction is difficult. The odds of someone taking the time and making the effort to write a great query and research the right markets for a work they didn't write approach zero--and this comes from someone whose work has been stolen and sold, although on a small scale. Thieves generally don't work that hard.


4. Are there horse socks?No, that's why they have hairy fetlocks.

Maryn, hoping to be helpful

Fallen
11-25-2011, 06:51 PM
1. Maryn's suggestions + for every reply they send through I throw in some rep points to. If I beta, then a polite nudge that if they publish, I'd like a signed copy :D, but I'm cheeky, and a collector, and annoying, and getting a nice collection...

2. See Maryn's

3. I'm not into professional suicide. Ever.

4. We have horses let alone socks? :scared:

lbender
11-25-2011, 08:24 PM
2) I've always made a habit of sending 4-5000 words to start and then evaluating the crit. If they don't like my work, or if I don't like the crit, for whatever reason, we don't continue. That way, my entire novel only goes out to the people that help me improve it, not just those that ask about it.

4) Horses have 'stockings', not socks.

Rufus Coppertop
11-26-2011, 11:54 AM
3. What stops a beta from making your work pretty, and then heading off to Publishing Land with it? I know, I know, like someone told me in my welcome thread, stuff like that doesn't happen that often. But it does happen. Is there a contract exchanged between an author and their beta at all? "I solemnly swear I won't gank your work and slap my name on it." :D

No beta worth having needs to steal your work.

If you can't trust a beta reader, why trust an agent or publisher?

It could be that the agent's pet author has writer's block or has run out of ideas. Maybe that agent's an unscrupulous bastard who can see a perfect match and whose eyes go ka-ching with dollar signs.

The publishing house's slush reader could be a gormless hack who's good at crafting prose but can't dream up an original character or plot to save themselves. That slush reader might take quite a shine to your work!

It can happen of course, but so can earthquakes, random murder, late onset psychosis, bubonic plague, radioactive cockroach infestations, assault occassioning bodily harm by a testosterone addled kangaroo and leprosy. Don't forget leprosy!

Rufus Coppertop
11-26-2011, 11:59 AM
And funnel webs. If you're in Sydney, funnel webs can happen.

mccardey
11-26-2011, 12:07 PM
And funnel webs. If you're in Sydney, funnel webs can happen.

That's true - funnelwebs do happen. Especially after all this rain :( (You know where they like to hide, Rufus? Under the rim of the wheelybins. I've found them there three times).

As to people stealing your work, bookworm - it's not really something to worry about. The sort of people who are attracted to writing want to write their own stuff more than they want to rewrite other people's: even more importantly, there's not enough money in writing to make it profitable for someone to take a chance on pinching (and rewriting) your work.

Tragically true, but there you are ...

Rufus Coppertop
11-26-2011, 02:20 PM
Uhm, McCardey... :chair ..I can feel something crawling on my head.

areteus
11-26-2011, 03:35 PM
It's all a question of honour. You have to, at some point, trust someone else to read your work and, if it is not a beta reader, it will have to be an editor at a publishing house or, gods forbid, a real reader!

And that is what a beta reader is for. Their job is to be your surrogate reader. They don't need any special qualifications (if they do then great but you may find you get a different response...) because they are supposed to represent 'the man/woman in the street' who picks up your book in a shop and reads it. They are not editors necessarily (but they can be, again though what you get from a beta reader who is an editor will be different to what you get from a beta reader who is not) just people who might be interested in your concept.

You pay then in kind, usually. With a beta read of their work in return. I would say that anyone who offered to Beta in return for actual cash money is a scam in the same way as anyone who offered to publish you in exchange for you paying them money is a scam.

Note that a professional editor is a different kettle of fish - you get a different service from them which, if they are any good, is worth paying for.

mccardey
11-26-2011, 04:00 PM
Uhm, McCardey... :chair ..I can feel something crawling on my head.

That's a chair, Rufus.



:ROFL:




A funnelweb is more like this :e2teeth:

Fallen
11-26-2011, 04:49 PM
A funnelweb is more like this :e2teeth:

Everyone, get it :mob I'll, erm, just wait over here :gone:

LilGreenBookworm
11-26-2011, 08:37 PM
Thank you very much for all of the advice everyone. I'm sure that coming in here yelling, "They're after my Lucky Charms!" is a very newbie thing to do and you have templates saved to answer it. ;)