Beta Reader Redux

I’m approaching the end of the “scribbling things in red-ink” portion of my revision. Soon, I will be hitting the “reading my own handwriting and typing” portion of the event. Yes, today’s chunk of printed manuscript includes page 419/419 (No, that is not in standard manuscript format. Actual word count? about 92k going in.)

This is the point at which I start thinking ahead. Buying, for instance, a computer that types all the letters.

Contemplating whether I need to rewrite my query and synopsis. (Query no, but a little spit-polish wouldn’t hurt the synopsis.)

And, of course, trying to figure out where my next round of Beta readers is coming from.

So far, all my Betas have been brilliant writers (mostly from Holly’s Writing Classes)… people who write in my genre, or at least read it, and people I’ve known for a long time. Come say hello, and take the pro-focus writing quiz while you’re there.

This time around, I have a volunteer or two lined up. (Yay!) (Yes, there were a few escapees who were in the middle of their own revisions last time, or just didn’t have time.)

I’m not against sending it back to my previous Betas, but I haven’t come up with a good way of saying “You know That Time when you did me a huge enormous favor? That means I own your brain forever and ever and ever, right?”

I am still debating childhood friends. (Hey, remember that time you didn’t let me play with your robot, and I didn’t tell your mother?)

Non-writers. (Uhm… you do know this isn’t an open invitation? You do not get a plus one.)

And other people I know in real life. (Why no, as a matter of fact, I haven’t asked Aunt Thelma what she thinks of. Oh. You did? And now she thinks her husband is cheating on her?)

I’m getting hungry, so I’ll wrap it up. If you have any tips or thoughts, spill your guts. Aside from not knowing Aunt Thelma, what do you look for in a Beta and where do you find them?


  1. Reply

    Well, heck, I beta read on occasion. I’ve got a launch coming up under a pen name but if you’d like to send it, contact me through my website.

    As for your question, Jami Gold has a number of really good articles about the search for and working with beta readers. I highly recommend going to her site and having a look-see.

    • Reply

      That is so generous! I’m going to have to get back to you after I finish the revision. I hit a snag with the last few chapters (of course) so I won’t have any specific details for a while. I’ll look up Jami Gold when I get a chance. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    Karen, I’ve learned a lot about beta reading since my last beta read – so if you want to give me another chance, I could do it – better than the last time! 😉

    • Reply

      Thank you so much for being willing! I’m making a few big changes, so at least some of it will be new for you.

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