Thursday, February 2, 2017

BETA Readers Wanted!

Hello, all! So if there is one thing I've learned about writing so far, it's that writing is hard. Like really hard. Like steroid abs hard. If there are two things I've learned about writing, it's that writing is hard, and it's really hard to do without help. That's where you come in!

I NEED you!
It seems like every month or so I think to myself, "This is it! This time my manuscript is perfect!" But I am always wrong...except maybe this time. I don't know. You be the judge!

But complaining is easy!
If you are reading this, you must be somewhat interested in being a BETA reader--either that, or I begged or bribed you into considering it! Since I have a few of you targets in mind, I figured I would write this gif filled guide to answer some questions you might have.

So what is a BETA reader, you ask? Well, let me break it down for you!

Oh yeah! Breaking it down!

The Ultimate(ish) Q and A for BETA Reading! 
(If you can think of other questions, leave them in the comments!)

1: What is a BETA Reader?
A BETA Reader is someone who test drives a book before the author tries to publish it. Consider yourself a test audience, whose opinions will help shape the work before it moves on to a bigger stage. All you have to do is read, and give your honest opinion on as much (or as little) of the book as you want!

I am a BETA Reader!

2: What do I get for BETA Reading?
Well, you will get to be one of the first people in the universe to have read a particular book! That's kind of cool, right?

I personally might throw in some real bribes though!

3: Does Feedback have to be Detailed?
NOPE! Recreational books are supposed to be entertaining. This shouldn't be work for you. You just have to read, and have an opinion! Your feedback can be as detailed, or as vague as you like. Any feedback is good feedback.

Eh, I got bored on page 3 and quit!

4: Should Feedback be Nice and Sugar-Coated?
It depends on the author. But in my personal case NOPE! Constructive criticism is invaluable. Telling me what you don't like is the best way for me to make my book better! You are helping me. I'm not going to complain. The path to publication is filled with rejection, so writers have to have thick skin. You can't hurt my feelings... and in the off chance that's a lie, there is always chocolate to improve my mood!:)

Cake is the kind of sugar-coating I like best.

5: What if I don't Want to (or Can't) Finish the Book/Pages an Author Sent to Me?
That is A-OK! Just tell the author where you stopped, and why! Did life get in the way, or was it something about the book? Did the action get too slow? The book boring? Did you really hate a certain character? Just tell it like it is!

Rules and Requirements for BETA Reading!

1: Must like to read! 
This is virtually the only must! If you don't enjoy reading, then you won't enjoy BETA reading either.

2: Should like books in the same genre!
If you aren't interested in the genre you are asked to BETA for, you probably won't enjoy the author's book either. Your opinions would still be valuable, but your time is also valuable. Make sure the book is a good fit for you!

Like your momma said, "Honesty is the best policy!" In this case, it's the whole point!

Help me exorcise my book's demons! 
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica, ergo draco maledicte, ut ecclesiam tuam secura, tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos!

4: Do Not Share BETA Materials with Third Parties.
With self publishing so available these days, having your manuscript stolen does happen. I've know people who have had their work copy/pasted and sold as ebooks by thieving thieves!:-(
An author wouldn't ask you to BETA if they didn't trust you, but things get complicated if an author loses control over how many sources have their manuscripts. So if you DO want to share the author's materials, please make sure to get the author's permission first. :-)


So that concludes my guide! Hopefully it was informative enough to help you make the best decision for me and other authors for you! Thank you for considering to read! If you have more questions, please leave them in the comments! If you wanted more gifs, tell me in the comments! Thank you!

I swear I won't be pushy!

BONUS: Rules and Requirements for Authors with BETA Readers!

1: Be Patient.
Be patient!