The Elusive Critique Partners & Beta Readers
Often authors, especially new authors, need a helping hand - someone to read their manuscript as they go and give critical feedback. A great solution for this need is to find a critique partner - another author in your genre, someone who you can trade off services with. You read their work-in-progress, and they read yours.
Finding a good critique partner isn't always easy. And you may have to go through a few before you strike gold. So be patient, and don't just grab the first willing author you find. Look carefully and choose wisely.
But where do you look? Start to become active in online writing groups like the Inkers, or join a local writing group. This site has an awesome list of 40 places to find a critique partner.
But maybe you don't want a partner - maybe you just want a beta reader. A beta reader isn't a writer, but a critical eye who can look over your early draft and give you feedback. They aren't always as technical as a critique partner, but they are a great way to hear a reader's voice - and the sort of criticism that would likely come from your customer base. Beta Readers often work for free, and novices may need a little guidance. Be sure to pick a beta reader that enjoys your genre, and preferably, one who has read (and enjoyed) similar works.
Need to find a beta reader? Find them here. <— That link will take you to a Goodreads group with over 15,000 members. You can post a description of what you are looking for and have qualified beta readers respond. I would suggest, when reviewing the beta reader responses, to look at each reader’s Goodreads reviews and get a feel for them. Do they point out constructive feedback on the novels? Are they snarky and mean? Reviews can tell you a lot about a beta reader and are a nice way to get to know them, before you send them your novel.
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