How to Find Beta Readers
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
So, you’ve written a novel? Congratulations! You deserve to celebrate!
You put in your blood, sweat, and tears, drank excessive amounts of coffee, deprived yourself of sleep, got lost in a new world, and fried your brain beyond repair.
But...what do you do now?
First, take a break! A week. Two weeks. A month if you can stomach it.
Next, it is time to REVISE.
Read through your manuscript multiple times to make edits and revisions. This is where you can polish that draft before sending it to readers. Add details. Add character descriptions. Add foreshadowing. Make your dialogue more realistic. Fix spelling and grammar mistakes. Etc. Etc. Etc. Until you can’t fathom reading through your MS anymore.
Now what? The answer is BETA READERS.
A beta reader is a person who reads your work and provides constructive feedback. They help you figure out what is and isn’t working in your novel.
But…where do you find them?
Authortubers make finding beta readers seem like a breeze—as if hundreds of strangers are going to beg to read your work. Nope. Guess what? Authortubers have wide audiences of people who want to get their hands on that manuscript. They tend to forget how difficult it is for a new writer to get feedback on their work.
What about newbie authors? Where do they find betas? Yes, you probably want your friends and family to read your work—but their feedback may be biased because they love you. You need unbiased readers to help you make your story better.
Here are four REALISTIC ways to find beta readers for your MS:
· Goodreads Beta Reader Group
· Twitter’s Writing Community
TAKE NOTE: for many of these platforms, you will have a much higher chance of finding people to work with if you are willing to SWAP manuscripts. In a swap, you and a critique partner can read and provide feedback for one another’s work.
CritiqueMatch is a website where authors can connect with critique partners. You set up your profile and connect with people who are interested in your genre. You can message potential readers, swap stories, and provide feedback all on one platform.
Goodreads Beta Reader Group is a great place to connect with other authors. There are “discussion boards” where you can place a call to action asking for beta readers. Beta readers often post when they are available—but you must be quick because they get booked fast! If you don’t get any bites, consider asking to swap with someone within a similar genre.
Betareader.io is another website where you can share your manuscript with readers and see their feedback all on one platform. The feedback is very organized, and you can interact with your readers.
Twitter’s #WritingCommunity is a great place to connect with other authors. Twitter is filled with authors, readers, and literary agents, so it is a great place to start your author platform. When you follow and interact with other writers and have a decent following yourself, feel free to place a call to action for beta readers. Many writers on Twitter are willing to beta read or do a swap.
I hope these platforms are realistic ways for you to find beta readers/critique partners. If you are just starting out with your author platform, you may need to offer to do swaps. Providing feedback for another author is a wonderful way to improve your own writing! Let the fun begin!
Read this next: The Beta Reader Checklist
Subscribe here to receive notifications for new articles or updates about my debut novel, The Crown of Bones.