• Read this stickie before posting.

    • In order to reduce the number of new members requesting a Beta reader before they're really ready for one, we've instituted a 50 post requirement before you can start a thread seeking a Beta reader.
    • You can still volunteer to Beta for someone else; just please don't request someone to Beta for you until you're more familiar with the community and our members.

Please Read Before Posting!

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katiemac

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Welcome to the Beta Readers, Writing Partners and Advisors forum. This forum is designed to help writers find suitable beta readers and writing partners.

However, before you post a request for a beta reader or writing partner, please take a moment to consider what you would like in another member of your team. People are more likely to respond to specific requests, and if most of the information is availabe initially, you can find a good match faster. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Genre. Non-fiction and fiction attract different kinds of people, as does mystery, humor, fantasy, etc. Take, for instance, novels and greeting cards, or freelance articles and poetry anthologies.
  • Feedback. Can you take harsh criticism, or do you prefer a little hand-holding? Are you looking for someone to simply answer questions, offer tips, or do you want someone willing to read and evaluate your work? Are you looking for guidelines, or someone to make sure you're reaching your goals?
  • Publishing. While most people prefer traditional publishing, many are knowledgable about self-publishing. Which is for you? Do you need help pitching to magazines? Querying agents?
  • Credentials. Do you want your writing partner to have specific background credentials, like a published novel, or do you feel comfortable working with all knowledgable individuals?
The above list is merely a jumping-off point. If you think you've found a match, be sure to cover a few ground rules so you both understand each other and can get the most out of the experience.

The difference between a writing partner and a mentor

I've taken the liberty to reproduce one of Jenna Glatzer's posts describing her definitions of the two terms. Yours may vary, and so may the individual's with whom you buddy up with--so make sure everyone understands each other.

A mentor is someone who knows more than you do and is willing to take you under his/her wing to answer questions, possibly provide feedback on your work, etc.

A partner is someone who you actually write with. Maybe one of you is the "idea person" and the other is the "get it on paper" sort. Maybe one writes, then the other edits. Maybe you take turns writing pages or chapters.

Lines can overlap, but neither is inherently a more "serious" relationship than the other. A writing partnership is not necessarily "loose" or "fun." My partnerships are work. If I have a need for someone with expertise in a particular area, and I ask that person to be a co-writer, I expect him/her to take it as a business relationship, not as a "hey, let's motivate each other and laugh a lot" thing-- though the latter is what others want.


Best of luck, and don't forget to check out all the resources AW has to offer.
  • List Your Specialized Subjects on the Story Research Board is a compilation of AW members and their knowledgable areas. It's worth a look if you need quick answers. Please Note: This is NOT a list of potential beta readers.
  • Check out agents and publishers on the Bewares and Background forum, which now features an Index of all previously discussed houses and agencies.
  • The Learn Writing With Uncle Jim thead on the Writing Novels forum is a great asset to writers, new and old, looking at fiction and publishing.
  • Finally, if you notice a poster with the title Absolute Sage under his or her name, listen up! When it comes to publishing, these guys know their stuff.
 
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DoomieBey

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Thanks

I'm new to this site/forum, and I'm working with limited funds; so any information is helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post.
 

Unimportant

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In my experience, betas fall into two categories.

One is the person who's willing to beta simply because he needs a beta for his own work and he knows that quid pro quo is his best bet. He would, of course, like to beta-read an excellent work, but he'll take on something that's a rough read if it will get him the beta reader he's dreaming of. So, in reality, he's offering to beta-read for a good critiquer. He'll seek out someone who has written good critiques on AW's SYW, and say "I see you're looking for a beta reader. I'm willing to beta read your ms if you'll read mine. I'm putting my hand up for your ms because I'd love your feedback on mine; you write great crits!"

The other is the person who's looking to pay-it-forward. She isn't asking for a manuscript swap. She has the time to read and crit, and wants to help someone else just because other people have helped her in the past. She'd like a manuscript that she'll enjoy reading, so she'll get something positive for herself out of the experience. So, she's offering to beta-read for a good writer. She's going to seek out someone who has posted engaging stories on AW's SYW, and say "I see you're looking for a beta reader. I'm willing to beta read your ms because I read your first chapter in SYW and really enjoyed it. If you think I'd be a good critiquer for you, send me your ms!"

If you're a good writer or a good critiquer, and you've demonstrated that here on AW, you'll find beta readers here.
 
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Unimportant

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It will greatly increase your chances of getting a response when you post a request for beta readers if you provide the relevent and necessary information in your post. Please!

- Genre.
- Category (childrens, MG, YA, NA, adult).
- Word count.
- What kind of feedback you're looking for.
- If possible, a link to where you've posted the query or first chapter in Share Your Work. If not, a brief blurb or summary of the book.
- Whether or not you're willing to trade beta-reads with people, and, if you are, what genre(s) you're willing to critique.

And do please proofread your post to your best ability. If we aren't familiar with you and your work, we're going to equate the quality of your manuscript with the quality of writing in your post. Poor punctuation and run-on sentences aren't going to entice readers.
 

ellewest

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I also think it's wise to post your first chapter in a SYW thread and link to that -- I sometimes think I might be interested in something but I need to get an idea of the writer's style/skill before I commit.

I know I can ask for a sample chapter, but posting in on SYW basically saves me that awkward moment where I have to explain to someone that -in my humble opinion- it needs more work than I am willing or able to give it.
 

Ton Lew Lepsnaci

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At times low-count posters request a mentor. The thread's title contains the option, so the request seems reasonable. An early request for a mentor often draws the reply that the (newbe) poster is asking too much. Taking part in SYW by critiquing or sharing work, building up your post count etc. will ensure that the community gets to know you. There is no guarantee someone will step up as a mentor once you've done all that, but your chances will have increased. I stumbled on a beta reader who bordered on a mentor thanks to his insightful comments. This allowed me to grow as a writer. So there are a variety of ways to get help on AW, all of which require a genuine input first.
 

barleybree

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Hello,
I'm looking for a beta reader for my short story (Romance) 5,000 words. Any one out there?
Thanks!
 

Kay

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Hello,
I'm looking for a beta reader for my short story (Romance) 5,000 words. Any one out there?
Thanks!

If you're looking for a beta you need to start a new thread to ask, not post in here.
 

Emermouse

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Okay, I'm thinking of possibly seeking a Beta. I had been posting in SYW, but feel like the piecemeal approach isn't working and I could benefit from a more intensive one-on-one thing. But I am finding this section confusing. Do I post my request in the main part or in one of the two subforums? Which one am I supposed to use? I thought the Beta approach was more private, done over email, but the subforums have the critiques posted, so needless to say, I'm confused. Anyone want to help me out? To use Reddit's words, explain it like I'm five.
 

Ari Meermans

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The two subforums were for special beta projects. The main room where this sticky is located is the ongoing request-for-a-beta room. katiemac's instructions are in the first post of this thread.

The way it works is: An author opens a new thread making their request for a beta, then an interested beta reader will contact the author via PM or in-thread. Decisions on whether your styles will suit are hashed out in PM and email addresses are exchanged or not.

Check out several of the beta request threads below these stickies for ideas on how to present your WIP and what you're looking for in a beta read.

Best of luck.
 
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Emermouse

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Thought I'd ask: is it possible to get a Beta or mentor for a Query? I know about QLH, but my experiences there have ended badly, just so much confusion as there seems to be a million rules on how to do them and no one seems to agree on one. I'd rather have a one-on-one mentorship than try to figure out whether to follow Person X's words or Person Y's or what. I also suffer from crippling anxiety and would rather not have my screw-ups posted on the web for God-Only-Knows how many people to pick over.
 

AW Admin

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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.