The term still bothers me. Anyway, how do you guys find good ones? I look for someone who can be both editor and copy editor, meaning he/she will alert me to stylistic problems and also comment sometimes on the action. And of course, I return the favor. Absolute honesty is a must.
Years ago I belonged to a writers group. We exchanged a chapter or story every 2 weeks. That worked well, but the group didn't survive. Since then, I've been working with two of my readers, but one has serious health problems and the other no longer sends me his writing. In other words, I think I'll soon be without readers.
Suggestions are welcome.
When you find out, you tell me. lol The only way I've found to do it is to meet people, be it online or in person. Writing forums and writing classes are where I've found most of the people who have read my work and given me feedback.
OK. Yes. The problem is getting someone with experience. Writing experience, not critiquing experience, though that's good, too.
Well, I suppose once you're more advanced yourself, you'll begin to know when a reader doesn't have that kind of experience. I've met a few great people on writing forums who have taught me a lot. And I've met at least some semi-knowledgeable people in my writing classes. They've helped. I agree finding truly experienced people is difficult. Not sure there's really an easy way other than finding/looking for ways to meet other writers. Writing forums, groups, events, and classes are likely good places to look if any are options. But hey, I'm hardly one to be an expert on where to find Beta readers.
It all depends on how much you're willing to pay. The best person I've used is Allen Renzler. Click Here! Allen is great to work with but were talking big bucks.
I'm not paying. Period. I have a Ph.D. in English and if that doesn't give me qualifications to edit, I've wasted my time at the university.
I think the question is: Are you willing to pay for a good reader?
Pay beta readers...?!? Is that common?
After you pay them, they're no longer called beta readers. They're called editors.
I don't have the dough to pay them. So I'll have to rely on regular beta-readers, for now. Maybe if I ever become truly successful, I'll have the money for something fancier.
My Beta readers haven't done their job well the last two books (too over-looking of faults), so I've been forced to pay a real editor. I consider these two different types. I don't pay Beta readers. I either read something for them, or perhaps buy them dinner. Real editors I pay and expect a lot more, and recently had my eyes opened (about some of my shortcomings, and my Beta readers) by a very successful, clever, and astute writer/editor named Lorraine Bodger. I recommend her highly. Not cheap, but I've seen worse, especially in New York.
I was in an online group with other writers twice, but I was the only one who kept up and we folded. The more people, the more reading and work you have to do in order to earn your own critique. I'd love to find one other writer to work back and forth with. But it's hard. I write every day and I haven't found anyone who's both insightful and interested in keeping up month after month.
My first agent was a good beta reader, but then he'd started out as an editor. I have writer friends who I send sections of work for specific types of feedback, but I've never asked anyone to read and comment on the whole thing.