Beta Readers are becoming more popular as authors go Indie and want a reader to look over their work rather than an editor.
As I’m looking at a more traditional publishing model via an agent, I’ve considered looking at Beta Readers as well.
When I digitally published, this wasn’t as much of a concern as there was enough editing done in-house, I worried less about content as there were so many eyes looking at it, and I had really good editors. 🙂
I’ve asked my fellow authors who use beta readers how they go about finding them. There seem to be a number of ways to do this:
Post to FB, Twitter, etc and ask for Beta Readers to read your latest book. I think there are Beta Reader Groups out there. I plan to post to a Local Steampunk group as I think they might be interested in reading my story.
Readers you meet randomly – I actually found a reader at a Con last year, and I think she will work out well. I’d like more beta readers, but one will do for now.
Friends and Family – I’ve heard reason’s not to use friends and family, but my argument would be that you are looking for continuity in your story. That being said, make sure you pick a friend who is an avid reader. Also, if you write Mystery and your sister is a hard-core YA reader, you may want to take that into consideration when reviewing her feedback. She can likely still provide great character insight, but may not enjoy the read as much as she might a YA read.
I’ve heard Indie authors who use Beta Readers prior to Editing and some use them after. Obviously I will use them before hiring an editor. I’m looking for Beta readers to review for content, character likeability, plot holes to some extent and the like. I’m looking for an overall critique, not editing. I believe that should be done by the publisher, as I’ve experienced in the past. Honestly, if an agent tells me to hire an editor – I will likely skip the agent process all together. 🙂
Until next Writer Wednesday, be naughty. ~Tina
P.S. If you are interested in being a Beta Reader for a Steampunk novel, go ahead and comment below. 🙂
Last week, right after I posted my rejection post. I received a request for an additional 50 pages from another Agent. The Universe must have a plan.
I had met this agent at an RWA conference a couple of years ago when the manuscript was just getting started in my head and on paper. She had given a talk on agents and how they help you in the business. That talk made me look at querying agents for this book that was an idea in my head. Especially since what I had written was such a bit of a departure from my current work.
I will still have to wait a few more weeks before I hear back, but this is exciting news. I remember listening to her talk, and getting a good vibe.
As you read this, I’m heading to the airport to go on my annual retreat with the WZG Founders. And plotting my next book. More on that next Wednesday.
I got my first rejection from an agent last week. Less than 24 hours after I sent my query.
Was I surprised? Yes and No. Yes that it was so quick, and No that it happened. It was a form letter and I likely received for one of two reasons:
The agent is not acquiring new authors
My packet wasn’t proper. And my packet was incomplete…I noticed after I hit send.
I can not stress the importance of following the rules when agents and publishers lay them out for you. In my case the agency wanted the first 5 pages and I misread it to be query letter only. Now was I rejected for not following the rules, possibly. I’ll never truly know, but I guarantee I always wonder.
Some of you may think this is nitpicky on the publisher’s or agency’s part, and maybe it appears that way. But the rules are an indicator of what will maximize an agent or editors time. And truthfully if my query sang all on its own, perhaps I would’ve received a gentle reminder about the missing pages. Or I stated my query well enough that they knew a Stempunk Romance was not on their #MSWL.
Unfortunately for me, at this agency, a rejection from one agent is a rejection from all. It is too bad, as the agency represented many authors I love and respect. Sigh.
There are more agents ahead, and I assure you I will be diliegent in following the rules going forward. 🙂
I sent off my first query for The Courtesan of Constantinople on September 1st to an agent. I’ve done Query Letters before to publishers, but this was a bit different.
It still had the blurb portion and writing credits, but the letter doesn’t contain the hard sell that I would have in a query to publishers.
When querying publishers, I’m aiming for a specific line, so I’m very specific in my query of how my book will fit into the publisher’s line. I’m selling them my product.
When querying agents, I’m selling me and my brand. It’s a bit more of a soft sell. I’m telling them what I write so the agent can decide if we will be a good fit.
I’ll be sending off more queries, along with sample chapters and the Synopsis. How I hate the Synopsis-Its such a struggle for me. Digital publishers usually take a query and the complete manuscript, so I’ve been a bit spoiled. I haven’t had to write one since my very first, “The Pilot and the Pinup” story was published. I’m sure there will be some learnings ahead.
I finally typed “THE END” on my first steampunk novel, “The Courtesan of Constantinople”.
I’ve decided to pursue an agent for this book, so I’ve been making a list. My list is comprised of agents actively looking for Steampunk. Also adding those who requested during #Pit2Pub or perhap have Steampunk as a #MSWL.
Because I’m pursuing this route, I thought I would keep the inquiring minds among you up-to-date as I progress through this ‘new’ process for me.