Help Please! Beta Readers

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Writers & Artists Short Story Writing Competition

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Emurelda

Basic
Feb 27, 2015
London
Well it has taken a full day to re-write the first chapter and I have started compiling a beta reader list.

How many is a good number? And as I have finished the first chapter as far as I can take it I have decided to send it out gradually as each chapter is edited.

I have found 7 readers although am waiting to hear back from them and wondered if I could include someone from here too? Sorry for these demands you guys must have but it is just for the first chapter 1,800 words.
 
Happy to read it in principle, but I may not be the best candidate reader for some genres. I think I could do an OK job for sci fi, lit fic, dark fantasy, but no romance or memoirs please! If I fit the need, feel free to paste it via PM.
 
Good luck, I only have three beta readers, but usually it's best to email the full novel, either as a doc or pdf file. Unless it's small, copying into a PM would be massive. Again, I'd love to help, but won't have time until the end of the month ;)
 
Thanks Alistair...am still working through it all again following some wonderful feedback and many interesting perspectives.

Thanks all. This process is helping me with the next chapters and the whole novel overall.
 
Alistair has hit on an important aspect of Beta Readers. They aren't really supposed to be an intermediate editing step, but a final read, for pleasure and overall comment, once the project has been edited and honed to release-level perfection. I recently accepted a Beta which was basically unedited. It would have taken me full-time with notepad in hand to deal with it. I had to demur. Besides, I'm a lousy editor, that's why I need to use professional editors.
 
I'll admit I was very surprised at the level of feedback I received. Some gave their general encouraging comments whereas others were very kind to give very detailed and specific line by line editing. And of course the all important professional editor needs to be found without a doubt. Got several in mind.

Not sure how much to budget for it. But it depends on what is needed I suppose?
 
It can be really daunting. I learned to trade my own skills in other areas for editing. If I'd had to pay even the low-ball rates that beginning editors charge I'd be bankrupt by now! ;) There are primarily two kinds of editors that we all need. First the Developmental editor who can do a read and find weaknesses in the plotting, character vagaries and red herrings int he story line. They can make suggestions about what to tighten up and what to dump and the best of them have lots of industry experience, so they know what the market and the specific niche expects. They are not inexpensive, but don't always need to do a full read. Proofreaders or copy editors are the other kind, the ones who wader into the messes we create and clean them up to the point they can be read. I hate rules, but I love my editors.
 
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