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.
Also here are some of my own links to pages that might be useful to read.
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 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. gay only, lesbian only, LGBTQI. 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. e.g. – 2-4 days for a chapter, 2-3 weeks for a complete story.
Bio : tell the author something about yourself. If you are a reader or author and if you have any experience. If you have a website, books published or other places authors can ‘research’ you before contact, include these. The more you can add the better for the author to learn about you.
Contact : This can be an email address or social media page.
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 / Facebook / Google +
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.
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.
Current beta readers available can be found here.