Beta Reader Group discussion

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Writing Advice & Discussion > Is beta-reading pure buisness or personal enjoyment?

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message 1: by Delvin (new)

Delvin | 128 comments I started a poll in the poll section. The main purpose is to help authors and beta readers understand each other better.

What the poll doesn't cover is:
1. If you are a beta reader, do you usually give the author an approximate time when you will finish the book?
2. If you are an author, do you expect your beta-reader to give you a timetable? (After all, they are reading your books for free.)

So, is beta-reading more of a buisness or more of a personal choice?


message 2: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) 1-When I beta, I warned the author if there is something else going on in my life that can slow me down. I don't give an approximate time but I send the author notes as I do it so they're not left in the dark as to know if I'm 'working' on it or not.

For me beta reading is a personal choice. I want to help if I can.

2-Honestly, as an author, I don't expect anything. As you say, they may be reading my book for free but they are also helping me make it the best that I can. Of course, deep down inside of me I keep my fingers crossed that it will be done in a timely manner. So far, I've been blessed with great betas. They always surprised me with their eagerness to help. :)

Beta readers are my lifeline, my go to people when I need advices, when I want to know if something works or not. It's a must step for me. (So would you call it business then?)


message 3: by Delvin (new)

Delvin | 128 comments Thank you for your input, G.G.! This will help everyone a great deal!

As for business, I mean strictly money-involved business.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael | 19 comments As an author, if the beta reader doesn't read the book, well... that's feedback too. I can't imagine anyone having the temerity of asking them for a time table. It does give me the idea for a short story though: an author that stalks the beta-readers... Rings the doorbell, peeks through the window, pounds on the bathroom door. ARE YOU READING MY BOOK YET??? ok, never mind.


message 5: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) Delvin wrote: "Thank you for your input, G.G.! This will help everyone a great deal!

As for business, I mean strictly money-involved business."



Oh then it's never business for me.


message 6: by Delvin (new)

Delvin | 128 comments Michael wrote: "As an author, if the beta reader doesn't read the book, well... that's feedback too. I can't imagine anyone having the temerity of asking them for a time table. It does give me the idea for a short..."

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH! *Chokes*

But seriously, do you expect beta readers to tell you their progress?


message 7: by A.M. (new)

A.M. Leibowitz (amleibowitz) | 20 comments 1. When I beta, yes, I give an approximate length of time it will take me, or I ask how soon they want it.

2. I do not demand that my betas give me a time, however, I will tell potential betas if there is a reason I need a rush read (like a deadline from a publisher). Obviously, if a beta can't do that, there are no hard feelings--I just find someone who can.

I beta read because I enjoy it. My business is copy-editing and writing, which for me is far more intense. A beta read is a relaxing and fun way to meet new authors, read good stuff, and offer/exchange critique. I've made long-term friends that way.


message 8: by Delvin (last edited Aug 25, 2015 09:15AM) (new)

Delvin | 128 comments A.M. wrote: "1. When I beta, yes, I give an approximate length of time it will take me, or I ask how soon they want it.

2. I do not demand that my betas give me a time, however, I will tell potential betas if ..."


Oh, I agree, especially the "relaxing and fun" part. :D


message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) 1. If (when) I beta-read for other, I ask them when they want the book back. I can probably squeeze the book in some weekend, but I need to know in advance how urgent their need for feedback is.

2. When I request beta-reading, I usually give a time frame, usually one month or two. If the beta is too busy and declines, that's fine too. I'll inquire how it's going only when the given time is expired - or close to it - if I haven't heard from the beta...

And no money is involved in either processes on my part! :)


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael | 19 comments Delvin wrote: "Michael wrote: "As an author, if the beta reader doesn't read the book, well... that's feedback too. I can't imagine anyone having the temerity of asking them for a time table. It does give me the ..."

Not really. I think the story has to get its hooks into the reader and if it doesn't do it to a beta reader - someone who by definition LOVES to read - well, that's feedback too. As someone above said, if you are going to write be prepared for rejection and disappointment. My strategy to maintain sanity is to try to be egoless and be faithful to the story. When someone tells you they love your story and they mean it, all they love is the story. It's not you. The opposite is also true. Take criticism the same way as praise. It's not about you - it's about the story. Rinse and repeat. ;-)


message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tsipouras | 103 comments I tell the author how long it will take and if it's longer than two weeks I feel bad and apologize.
But of course it depends. There's one author who didn't send me the whole thing all together, but every week one section that I read and commend within the week.
Beta readinng is most of all fun then the oppurtunity to help someone and very often very nice contacts to authors that indeed may lead to friendship.

Of course I'd like to make it a business...


message 12: by Entrada (new)

Entrada Book Review | 209 comments Long before I started at this publishing company, I "worked" at beta reading and doing ARC reviews - because I LOVED to read and could never find enough good books or had enough money to buy all the books I wanted.

Of course for the company I work for, beta reading is a business, with a time table, obligations and expectations for authors. But I think the same is true with our beta readers. They do it because they love it and if you love what you do, it's never work. Right?

-Rachel


message 13: by Aly (new)

Aly | 5 comments I beta read for personal enjoyment only. I love to help! I think this is a great way to do just that. It works out well for me because I also love to read!


message 14: by Jake (new)

Jake Stark (jakestark) | 2 comments I have finished my m/m romance
And I am paying £40 to have it beta / proof read on fiverr

Anyone else paid for a beta read?

Jake


message 15: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Driggers (jacquelined) | 8 comments I rarely ever do free beta reading. Money is tight with us, and I have a writer services, where I do editing and such. So I really can't afford to do much beta reading for free. But I do try to keep my fee for that service as cheap as possible. I have to pick and choose carefully what I spend my time on, as I'm a writer as well, so I just don't have the time to do much free beta reading. I have a lot going on.


message 16: by Taylor (new)

Taylor | 18 comments I beta because I enjoy reading and I love how I'm able to have an impact on the story. I don't charge and I usually don't give a time table, though if it takes more than a week to finish or since my last response about the book I do like to give an update to let the author know that I'm still reading it and haven't forgotten about their book. If I know I won't be done in a week I do like to ask if they have a time frame that they'll need the book done by to make sure I'd be able to read their book in time.


message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Jake wrote: "I have finished my m/m romance
And I am paying £40 to have it beta / proof read on fiverr

Anyone else paid for a beta read?

Jake"


40£ on FIVERR? I thought everything was supposed to be at 5$!!
I pay editors, but not beta-readers. How long is your story, Jake?


message 18: by Lin (new)

Lin | 213 comments Mod
I beta read because it helps me as a writer and as an editor. As it's so time-consuming, I do charge, but part of the fee may be taken off the cost of other work - editing, proof reading.
I enjoy it, mostly, but there are times when it's really hard work. I've seen a wide range of standards of writing - some where I can pick up on very little and others where I've commented extensively on the first part then eased off for the rest because it would be the same comments again and again.
Writers are generally very appreciative, and many book me for subsequent novels.
In my spare time, I have my own novel to work on.


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