How do people find their Beta-Readers?
I have no idea. When ever I ask someone this question they tell me to ask friends or family and some have even mentioned finding one online. These suggestions all make sense but for some it’s not that easy.
I love to write. I may not be great at it but I do enjoy it. There is nothing else like it. The ability to create an entire universe with just a blank page, 26 letters, 10 numbers and a few punctuation marks is amazing to me. I love, love, love it!
But once I complete a story what do I do with it? Get someone to read it, right? Hell’s yeah! I need to find me a Beta-Reader.
Well, that proved to be the hardest part of the entire experience. The friends and family around who promised to read for me once I was done suddenly became busy. They were so scared they might have to give negative feed back they completely stepped away. Someone suggested I look on-line but for every positive review I read about one site there were three negative ones. A little scary for a first timer.
Finally one of my friends and co-workers stepped up to the plate. Month’s prior she was the one I threw the story idea at and even though it was not her cup of tea she saw that I was so excited about it she encouraged me to follow it through and I did. Once she found out no one else would read it she stepped up and volunteered. Never reading an Urban Fantasy before she was a little apprehensive but willing.
We discussed it and came to the conclusion to take it one chapter at a time. I would send her one chapter she would take notes and then ask for the next chapter when she was ready. That way if she wanted to stop reading she could. No hurt feelings. All I asked was that she be TOTALLY HONEST.
And she was. I received e-mails with correction’s, questions, or suggestions at the end of each chapter. It was great because it was a step forward and after being stuck looking for a Beta moving forward is exciting. Now don’t get me wrong she was also very positive. I would get e-mails saying “OMG! I need the next chapter now!” I think the funniest comment she made was “It’s a real book. When I read it, it doesn’t sound like the you from work.” I took that as a huge compliment. I also loved going into work and seeing her excited with question’s about the story (never reading anything paranormal/fantasy before) and characters and how it made her feel. How some parts were funny, emotional and sometimes “creepy” (but she liked it).
I will admit it. I’m not aggressive, I’m goofey and silly most of the time and I think that’s what made most of my friends and family (including my husband) not take me very seriously and that’s okay. I’ll own that. But I do want to thank my wonderful Beta-Reader who stepped miles out of her comfort zone to help and encourage me.