View Full Version : Is this place dead?

02-07-2017, 06:36 PM
What is with this forum? I see people posting about beta reading and their posts have over 100 views and no replies lol is this place dead or does no one care anymore?

Maggie Maxwell
02-07-2017, 06:51 PM
A problem this subforum has is that, if you look at a random assortment of the threads here, most of them will be started by people with very few posts. Most under 50, many under 10. Beta reading for someone is no small task, and it can be thankless if done wrong. You the reader are vowing to put hours of time into a novel to pick it apart and help the writer put it back together. How are they going to react? Will they say thank you, then put your advice to use? Or will they complain publicly about how their beta reader doesn't understand their genius and wasted their (the writer's) time? Or will they disappear entirely, without a single "thank you" for your effort? Many of us here have been burned by beta readers we barely knew (#3 happened to me), and many people who ask for beta readers here disappear after those first few posts. So many threads here get ignored, at least by people who have been around for a while, because we know what goes wrong when you try to help someone who hasn't shown they're willing to stick out through the tough stuff.

The ones by people who have been around and posting regularly tend to be responded to in PMs, I think.

02-07-2017, 07:17 PM
All interactions I've had re: beta reading requests tend to be done over PM, so I think there's still a lot of things happening unseen.

But yeah, as Maggie said, these days I mostly beta-read folks I know and have interacted with. I've stopped leaving replies to threads here because all the advice I would give (post and interact with others so we know your personality, critique in Share Your Work so we get a feel for your style, post a sample chapter in SYW so we can actually read what we're getting into) is usually ignored.

02-07-2017, 07:31 PM
Why not post s piece of your novel on SYW and let us have a shot at it. That way you can better find someone who is a match for your type of writing. (worked for me.) Also we will be able to see how you hold up to honest crit. I, too, have been burned in the beta dept. --s6

02-07-2017, 07:41 PM
I'm not looking for a Beta swap right now, because of time constraints, and because I don't have anything at a beta-ready stage myself at the moment.

But if I were looking for that kind of thing, I wouldn't go here - I would go to Query Letter Hell or any other of the ShareYourWork parts of this board, and see if there's anything that looks interesting to me, and see how the poster interacts with feedback and if they contribute to the community and give feedback in return, and then ask if they might still need another beta.

They might not - if the novel is indeed at a stage to be queried, I'd assume that there have been beta-readers looking over it already. But lots of people post to Query Letter Hell before the novel is ready to be queried - just to see if the premise holds water, if the idea gets any bites - or are conviced by the squirrels at QLH that the novel isn't yet at a stage to be queried after all - and might be open to such an offer.

02-07-2017, 08:04 PM
There are other boards dedicated to beta readers. I found 4/6 on Goodreads and the other two on Twitter with #betareaders

02-07-2017, 08:06 PM
I covered that at length the last time somebody gave me grief for not leaping at the chance to do a huge favor for them in exchange for exactly nothing. See it here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?212171-Why-I-Won-t-Beta-Read-Your-Novel).

It's not that I or others have anything against beta reading, but there are way, way too many writers eager to benefit themselves by taking what they can from Absolute Write yet will not stick around long enough to give anything back to the community.

So settle in, make yourself a part of AW, and spend some time giving critique and beta reads to others. That'll position the writer pretty well when they're ready to seek beta readers.

AW Admin
02-07-2017, 08:38 PM
What is with this forum? I see people posting about beta reading and their posts have over 100 views and no replies lol is this place dead or does no one care anymore?

You've posted a total of 7 posts. Your very first post (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?325803-Seeking-beta-reader-Available-for-swaps) was a request for a "Cratique reader."

You never introduced yourself—despite an explicit PM suggesting you do that, and now you're complaining because no one is leaping up to offer a "cratique."

In other words, you've managed to present yourself to a large and vibrant community of writers as someone just waiting to exploit the community.

You want a beta reader?

Introduce yourself in New Members (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?27-New-Members), not as someone seeking to exploit, but as someone interested in writing and fully engaging. Tell us about you. Tell us about what you write. Tell us about what you like to read.

Then go over to Share your Work and read the stickies (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?26-Share-Your-Work). Read some crits. Offer up a few thoughtful and helpful crits of your own.

When you've got 50 genuine posts, post an excerpt in Share Your Work for Crit.

Then maybe after you've had some responses and revised and thought about it a while, try again for a beta reader; by that time, it's likely you'll have a better idea of what other members are like, and they'll have a better idea of what you're like.