• 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.

Read This Before Posting

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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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.*

In order to decrease the number of people who join AW and immediately post here looking for a Beta reader, we require members to have 50 substantive posts before they can start a thread requesting a Beta.

Use those first 50 posts to introduce yourself in the New Members forum, to greet new members and help them find their way around AW, to volunteer to Beta for someone else, to crit some in Share Your Work, and to talk about writing.

That should give you time to read the stickies in the Beta forum and Share Your Work, and to have an idea about what it is Beta readers do and what to expect and request.

If you post in someone else's Beta reader request thread seeking your own Beta reader, I will remove the post, and possibly, you.


Make sure you have read The Newbie Guide to Absolute Write.

Volunteering to Beta Read


If you want to volunteer to Beta, please post in the Willing Beta Readers thread.

If you're looking for a Beta Reader please read:


Once you have engaged with the community and you have 50 posts, you can start your own thread in the Beta forum requesting a Beta reader.

When You Post a Request for A Beta Reader

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 trade 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?

This 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.

Jenna Glatzer said:
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.

* Much of the content of this post was by our very own katiemac now retired as the moderator of this forum, but not forgotten.
 
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Why was my old thread locked? I still want beta readers!

From here on out, we will be locking threads that are older than a year. This helps keep members from burying recent beta searches under ancient threads, where the author is unlikely to be still looking for betas on the novel.

However, I understand that sometimes we want to go back to old novels, or revisions might take a year or more to execute, and new betas might be needed. Just give me a shout via PM, and I'll unlock your thread (assuming you meet all other requirements of the forum) so you can bump it without starting a duplicate one.
 

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E-mail addresses

It's probably best not to post your e-mail in public, if you want to avoid spambots from finding it. I find that this forum, in particular, is likely to have a lot of members posting their e-mail address to speed up the process of getting their beta requests. The best way to share contact info on AW is through PM. Remember, this part of AW can be seen by everyone.

However, if you want to leave your e-mail address in this forum, my suggestion is to use the (at) (dot) method.

As an example:

fake (dot) email (at) yahoo (dot) com
 

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Published Novels

This is not the appropriate forum to get readers for your already published novels. This forum is where you come when you are looking to make sure your unpublished novel is ready to submit to agents or submit to publishers or to self-publish yourself. It is a waste of a reader's time to spend time betaing or critiquing a novel that is already published. The only exception would be if that novel was previously published, was pulled from the shelves, and has been revamped with the intention of submitting or re-publishing the new version.
 
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