• 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.

When You Really, Really Want a Beta Reader

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

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
7,439
Reaction score
2,387
Location
Virginia
Has anyone else ever read a book, only to find a mistake in wording and you want to contact the editor and say wth? As far as beta reading, I would enjoy doing that, but I'm not great with pronunciation, and would I just post it here?

Not quite sure what you're asking here. Do you mean you'd like to beta read for someone? If so, you can list your name in the Willing Beta Readers thread. However, beta reading is much more than catching typos and grammar errors, and it's generally private correspondence between the author and the beta, rather than something you'd post on a public forum.

On the other hand, if you want to try your hand at critting someone's work, look on the password-protected Share Your Work forum. (Password is "vista.") Do be sure to read the stickies before posting.
 

g_eke

Kind Benefactor
Registered
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
46
Reaction score
3
Location
UK
I've done beta reads and written up a 5,000 or 10,000 word overview of its issues and gotten a single-word reply Thanks. But the one that makes the best story was a line-by-line for the first two chapters, riddled with mistakes, and an overview of the whole, plus handouts on the kinds of mistakes the author was making. There was one for punctuating dialogue, for subject-verb agreement, for lay vs. lie, like that. The reply was Asshole! It's a wonder I ever did another beta read.

Maryn, noting that person was later banned for other behavior here

I'd never thought of this, and now I'm slightly concerned (just posted my availability to beta read). Is there anything you can do to filter out people like this in advance? Perhaps sending feedback in bite-size chunks to gauge how the author responds, for example.
 

AW Admin

Administrator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
18,770
Reaction score
6,221
I'd never thought of this, and now I'm slightly concerned (just posted my availability to beta read). Is there anything you can do to filter out people like this in advance? Perhaps sending feedback in bite-size chunks to gauge how the author responds, for example.

One of the reasons for suggesting people particcipate for a while, and do some crits in SYW, is to get an idea of the overall community and the members.

That said, if someone behaves as Maryn describes, let the mod(s) and/or MacAllister and I know. It's not OK.
 

g_eke

Kind Benefactor
Registered
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
46
Reaction score
3
Location
UK
One of the reasons for suggesting people particcipate for a while, and do some crits in SYW, is to get an idea of the overall community and the members.

That said, if someone behaves as Maryn describes, let the mod(s) and/or MacAllister and I know. It's not OK.

Makes sense. I guess I could also take a look at someone's posting history before agreeing to beta read for them.
 

AW Admin

Administrator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
18,770
Reaction score
6,221
Makes sense. I guess I could also take a look at someone's posting history before agreeing to beta read for them.

Yep, that's a good idea.

And ask for an excerpt, a short one, before agreeing, respond to it if you think you can/want to, to make sure the two of you will be compatible.

It's not a sin or crime if you aren't; that's the nature of reading for someone else.
 

Maryn

Baaaa!
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
48,220
Reaction score
14,072
Location
Pasture
FWIW, one of my dear friends here remains a favorite even after we agreed I was not the right beta reader for his novel.

Maryn, who'd hug Chase if he was around
 

Sage

The Answer to Life, the Universe, & Everything
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 15, 2005
Messages
61,915
Reaction score
12,987
Age
42
Location
Cheering you all on!
One of the reasons I love the Beta Project so much is that every person who participates is committing themselves to giving at least 3 critiques as well as getting them. The project has a built-in filter for those who are willing to put in the work to get work out of it.

FWIW, upon getting a simple one-word thanks in response to a critique or beta read, it's easy to read it as a disappointing response to how much work you put into your side, but I always have to think about times when I feel too awkward to respond more than a "thanks" to kindness, or where I worry that I'd be bothering this person who put in so much effort, or just at that moment I don't have time to read the critique, but I wanted to make sure the person knows I appreciate it immediately; and even though I usually give more than a "thanks" anyway, I can easily see why someone might give only that.
 
Last edited:

valnic33

Registered
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
13
Reaction score
8
Location
Colorado
Is a beta reader the same thing as a critieu partner. Sorry - showing my ignorance here!

- - - Updated - - -

Is a beta reader the same thing as a critique partner? Sorry - showing my ignorance here!
 

Bufty

Where have the last ten years gone?
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,766
Reaction score
4,652
Location
Scotland
Is a beta reader the same thing as a critieu partner. Sorry - showing my ignorance here!

- - - Updated - - -

Is a beta reader the same thing as a critique partner? Sorry - showing my ignorance here!

A Beta reader is usually the last stop before submitting. In other words the manuscript sent to a Beta reader is finished, polished and as good as the author feels they can make it.

Critiques can be given on whatever is submitted to a critter and in whatever form, and can be on a draft or finished scene, chapter, extract, or on an ongoing basis if desired.

Critique 'partner' suggests an exchange of crits.

Any help? :Hug2:
 
Last edited: