Thursday, September 17, 2009

Setting up a deadline

I am going to finish the edits on Matt's story, hereby known as "The spandex diaries" by next Friday. I can do this. This means I am going to need beta readers. Beta reading is hard. What do you say when your friend hands you a manuscript and you can't finish it? Or its bad; grammatically, logically, and artistically bad? Or life happens and you run out of time to read? In the interest of keeping friends I'm writing out what I am looking for in a beta reader and what I will (or will not do).

I promise to the following in regards to the critiques of my fellows:
  • I will not take it personally if you do not like the work.
  • I will be public and grateful for your support, perhaps with fudge, certainly with thank yous.
  • I will consider consider carefully any suggestions you make.
  • I will make the changes that work best for my work.
  • I will offer (time and circumstances allowing) to repay critiques in full if asked.

In return I ask the following:
  • Please critique the work not the author.
  • If this is something you truly can not stomach (everyone has different taste in books) please polity tell me it isn't for you or that you don't have the time (if you really can't tell me you don't like it).
  • Please be honest and blunt.
  • Please do not share the story with someone else with out asking me first. Especially do not post any of it online, submit it to any publisher, etc etc etc with out my permission. (Should it go with out saying, probably. In the case of the 1 out of 100 person who doesn't see a problem with this I say it anyways).

The Critters group has a good guide on critiquing located here.

Good beta readers are a godsend and those of my friends who have offered to help should be nominated for sainthood. May their names grace the dedication/ acknowledgments of every book I publish. Thank you!


  1. Hey darlin,
    I'm willing to beta read for you, if you still need folks.


  2. I'd love to beta read!

    My email is in my profile if you're interested.

    (And I never even thought to mention that betas can't submit your novel. I wonder if crazy people like that really exist.)

  3. Meg is an awesoem beta reader! Jump at her offer. ;) I would offer to read for you but my schedule is INSANE right now. I barely have time to check email. I did wanna say hello to you and your lovely blog though. I found you through Megan's.

  4. Your story sounds fascinating. I wish I had time to beta read it for you. Zombies, a four year old, a hubby, and a paying job are demanding too much right now. Thanks for becoming another follower of my new blog. (someone from a different group of friends, yeah) I followed you back to yours and had to say hello. (waves)