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F3M #27 – Beta Readers

Recently I’ve been working hard trying to source beta readers on Wattpad. There is a huge need for beta readers, yet trying to find one or become one – knowing where to start and where to look – is often difficult.

I have also started a section here under Services in which I would hope to offer LGBT authors the opportunity to source beta readers. But so far I’ve had more success on Wattpad finding beta readers, then in the general writing community. But I’m not deterred.

For those who don’t know what a beta readers is –

A beta reader is a friend, another author, or fan who will read over your story prior to publishing and help with editing, critiquing and make general comments.

To become a beta reader, you will need a knowledge of writing, a love of reading and the patience to help an author work though their story. It really is quite easy.

The Write Life webpage has created The Ultimate Guide to Working with Beta Readers by Amanda Shofner. I would recommend any one interested in being a beta reader, read this. It has some really great tips and links for both author’s and beta’s.

If you are an LGBT author on Wattpad and would like to know more about the beta readers available click on image below.

BetaTestingCover_zps9cca6516

 

Also here are some of my own links to pages that might be useful to read.

What’s Up With That : Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos

5 Things You Should Know About Working With Beta Readers

What Makes a Good Beta Reader

 

Authors

Taking the first step to finding a beta reader is hard but very rewarding. Very few authors on Wattpad have gained instant success overnight. Those who do well, work hard at reworking existing stories, ensuring stories are completed and creating stories that will capture the reader. If your story is presented with little or no errors, then you have past the first hurdle to getting your story read and gaining followers.

Finding the right beta reader will put you one step ahead of every other author. Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to look over your story. Getting a second opinion or asking questions about direction or characters profiles, can help with writers block, the story line or inspire scenes.

To find a beta reader, author’s should first investigate beta readers and ensure they will be right for them and their story. Ask questions of a beta (via email) if needed. Communication is the key to successfully finding the right beta reader for you. If you at first don’t succeed in finding the right beta, try again. Remember, a beta may give you honest feedback, that you may not agree with. Be respectful and polite. You don’t have to accept their feedback, as it is one persons opinion. Once you find someone who can work with you, and offers the right balance for your needs, stick with them – if they’ll have you. Building a strong relationship with your beta will help when it comes time to edit other stories.

If you are concern about copyright of your story, share sections of your story at a time. Once you have built confidence with a beta reader you may feel more confortable sharing more.

Sharing your Documents with Beta Readers.

There are two ways an author can share their story.

1. Email your word doc to the beta reader.

Using Track Changes, a beta reader can suggest changes to your document without altering your story. Be sure the beta reader you have made contact with understands Track Changes must be on.

2. Share your document through Google Docs.

Google Doc is free to join and use.
Create a new document and copy and paste your chapter / story.
Select View, Mode across the top of your document. This will allow you to select Edit, Suggestions or Viewing.

Edit will allow the person you share the link with, to edit your document. All edits will be highlighted for the author to accept or decline any edits made. Only use this function is you are requesting your beta reader to edit your document.

Suggestion are when all edits are made as suggestion. This function can also be used when the author would like the beta reader to make comments. The author can add the suggestions to their document manually if they are for corrections.

Viewing allows the document to be read only and no changes can be made. This is the one most authors will use to allow the beta reader to read over the document. Communication can be done through Wattpad PM’s or comments can be make on the Google Document in the top right hand corner.

To share your document, select the share button In the top right hand corner of  your google doc.
This will open a window in which you will find the file path to share your document. Copy and paste this path to the person you wish to beta your story in an email.

Beta Readers

Beta readers are not obligated to accept all requests. Communicate with an author to ensure you both understand what it is you are committing to. Be polite when making comments (even if you disagree or the writing/story is bad, be as tactful as possible. Remember the author has done the best to their ability in writing their story, and you, as the beta reader are there to assist them in making their story even better.

The great thing with google doc is both the beta reader and author can be on the document at the same time. Chat options are available, so communication can be instant. I’ve found this function extremely useful when my beta reader has been working on my stories.

REMEMBER – each beta reader will have their own way of editing / commenting, as too will authors have their own expectation on the level of editing and comments. Be respectful and professional in your manner and you will find working together can be fun and your skills may improve.

To be a LGBT beta reader and advertise here.

Please provide the following information –

Name : Preferably your real name and/or first name.
Stories you will beta : Include the category you will beta eg, romance, werewolf, short story.   Rating – PG, M, R, All
Stories you will not beta : Include the category you will not beta eg, vampire, chicklit. (if you do not like erotic or violence be sure to state this)
Length of stories : The number of words you will beta. If you are not concerned with the length make it known all lengths will be considered.
Time frame : Give the authors a time frame as to how long you will take.
Bio : tell the author something about yourself. If you are a reader or author and if you have any experience.
Contact :

You profile will look something like this

Name: Michelle Rae
Will Beta : Romance, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, All ratings.
Will not Beta : Werewolf, Vampire, Horror.
Length : Stories 20,000 words or less.
Time Frame : 3 days for a chapter. 7 days for an entire story on receipt of chapter / story.
Bio : I’ve been reading for a loooong time and writing for seven years. I’m happy to read stories and offer editing and comments where needed. Find my writing credentials here.
Contact : moralfortitude-publish @ yahoo.com

All arrangements should be done between the author and the beta reader via email. From contacting the beta, to sharing documents and any communication.

I will keep this page updated regularly. Beta readers to communicated with me when they no longer wish to appear here. Any questions, please contact Moral Fortitude.

Hope this can help with authors looking to improve their stories and find dedicated beta readers who can help.

Thank you.

 

PS. Please share the link to this page. Help get the word out there so that we can offer as many beta readers who are interested. Thank you.

 

NOTE : If there are any questions from beta readers or authors in relation to beta reading (becoming one, sharing data, how to get started) please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help.

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F3M #25 – Publishing vs Self Publishing

There are many posts around regarding the pros and cons and publishing vs self publishing.

I have experience both but rather than go into my personal pros and cons I found a really great post that not only reflects my views but also has resources already attached.

So rather than writing my own post I shall borrow this one, which I am sure you will agree is worthy of reading.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 5.19.10 pm

Conflicted by Louise Lyons + Giveaway

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Synopsis

Two competing gangs of car and drag racing enthusiasts with a shared history of pain and rivalry leading to outright hatred. Two men from opposite sides of the tracks, yet more in common than they’d like to admit.

Paul Appleton is a troubled man who has never been in a relationship, having lost everyone he cared for in his life. His mother died when he was very young and subsequently, he lost his brother and his best friend. Now Paul is convinced love will always end in tears.

Greg was living on the streets after his parents died and was stabbed by a junkie, ending up in hospital. The Buchanans took Greg under their wing while doing charity work, and Greg joined their loving family when he was adopted. He and his siblings are also car enthusiasts with much more money and therefore better cars than Paul Appleton’s gang.

When they eventually find a connection, Paul fights his feelings and tries to convince himself his lover is only a temporary bit of fun, but Greg has other ideas.

About the Author 

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Giveaway

Louise is offering on luck reader a great give away. Click on the link for more details – Conflicted Give Away

Purchase book

A collection of Self-Published LGBT ebooks

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