Honesty in stories. Truth in words.

The Search Begins

Being a beta reader is an exciting prospect!!! I ask that you please read this post in its entirety before applying to ensure understanding for both of us. Thank you!

 

 

I told you I would be looking for permanent beta readers last month, and now, I’m ready to begin the search!

First of all, I’m looking for very specific things in betas. Also, I’m looking for people who mesh well with me and my style. If I don’t think you’ll be a good fit, please, don’t be offended! It’s nothing against you personally, I just don’t think our styles will match.

To be honest, I have been absolutely burned by multiple cruel critiques over the years. I’m embarrassed to say that those experiences have actually made me quite fearful about sharing my work with others, to the point where I dread even the thought of asking for beta readers. But I know I need betas!

So here, we have an issue. And this is where I cower in a corner and ask that you please be sweet and kind in all of your critiques of other people’s work–not just mine! No, I’m not saying that you have to be sickeningly sweet or say things that aren’t true, but there is absolutely a way to point out the flaws in someone’s work without being unkind about it. *rant over*

 

Here are some things I’m looking for in beta readers:

Experience.

This is a toughie, because I know a lot of people (myself included ;) ) volunteer to be betas just so they can read a book before the rest of the world sees it. That’s not the type of person I’m looking for (if you want that, sign up to be an advanced reader for me! :) ). I want the folks on my beta team to have some experience in writing, and even better, to have a particular strength they can offer me.

A love for many different genres.

Because I write in so many genres, I need betas who are okay being flexible. Having a team of betas for each genre isn’t gonna work, unfortunately. ;) To give you an idea, I’ve written historical fiction, contemporary fiction, biblical fiction, and dystopia.

Time for a friendship.

Yes, you are investing a lot of your time in me and my writing by being a beta, but I’m also investing my time in you! I don’t want people who will read the book, tell me what’s wrong with it, then disappear until the next book needs to be read. Nope nope nope. I want to be your friend! You’re helping me SO much, please let me invest time in YOU, as well. That can be something as small as interacting in comments, but it’s still time. I don’t appreciate shallow relationships.

Kindness in critiques.

I talked about this above and I don’t want to be ridiculous about it, but this is something that is really, REALLY important to me. I want constructive criticism, but it’s not okay for that right to be abused. Don’t be afraid to tell me how I can improve–I truly want to improve my writing!!–but please don’t be rude about it. :)

Commitment.

I need a team. A team of reliable people, who aren’t going to duck out after a month or two. Of course, I’m not going to chain you to helping me (I’m not quite that mean ;-) ), but I would appreciate it if you are prepared to stick with me for awhile.

Note: Not wanting to read one particular project, being too busy at the time to do so, family/personal emergencies, etc. are a separate issue. I promise I won’t be holding a whip over ya’ll! :)

 

Now that you made it through all of that, here’s some information for YOU! :D

  • You don’t have to read every book! For each book, I’ll be sending out emails introducing the book, providing a blurb, and linking to a google doc of the first chapter. If you don’t think the book is something you’d enjoy, or you don’t have time to beta, or…anything! Don’t feel strapped to a contract. I promise, I won’t be mad if you simply don’t want to read one of my books. :)

 

  • There will be times when I ask that you not reveal (online) that you are beta-ing one of my books. I’m already planning a few “surprise” releases, so I’ll need your help keeping secrets from the public. ;-) (Oh yeah, this is very much an “insider” thing. ;) )

 

  • I’ll always give a time limit for beta-ing projects, which can be anywhere from two weeks to a month.

 

  • This is an application/tryout process. I’ll be reading everyone’s applications, sending out a chapter or two, and deciding from there.

 

The biggest thing to note is that I’m only opening FIVE SLOTS. Only 5 new peeps get to join my beta team. It’s gonna be so hard to choose!!!!!!!

 

Let me say one thing after all of that: PLEASE DON’T BE SCARED. I promise I’m not a mean, scary person. :D

 

If you think we would work well together and would like to like to apply, please fill out this google form! I’ll be closing it on August 19th.

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19 comments so far.

19 responses to “The Search Begins”

  1. Leona says:

    Um, Ivy? I don’t see the form… but I am interested! :)

  2. Jesseca Dawn says:

    In interested as well…but I also don’t see the form. ;)

    • Ivy says:

      Note to self: don’t schedule posts before they’re finished.

      O.O

      And this is where I come up with some lame excuse why I screwed up…. *grumbles*

      It should be there now. ;)

  3. I’d love to be on your beta reader team! But between all the everyday things I have going on, and all the books I’d like to read on the side, I’m not sure I’d have the time. :(

    Best wishes to you, Ivy! I hope you find a fantastic group of beta readers, and I’ll be sure to read every book you publish!! :) <3

  4. Lisa says:

    Oh this is very nice. Have I commented on your blog before? No? Well, I still follow you here, and recently friended you on Goodreads.

    I’d love to be a beta-reader for you though. I qualify in every respect except experience … I’ve only beta-read a book once. Still, some say I’m good at editing. What do you think? I am a writer, so in that respect, I have experience, and I’m a reader, so I guess I do know what I’m looking for. Do those count?

    I’ll think about it for a day or so and then come back – I’m really excited to sign up, but I don’t want to jump into commitments before thinking it over :D

    lisa
    thisinkwell.blogspot.com

    • Ivy says:

      Hi Lisa! Nice to meet you. :)

      To answer your question–experience is kind of a tough thing to gauge. I don’t know if anything really counts or doesn’t count, that question is more of a way for me to understand what kind of background you have. If you’re really interested, feel free to sign up and try out–we can go from there. :)

      Thanks for commenting!!!

  5. Kellyn Roth says:

    I applied, though I understand that only a few will be able to do it. :)

  6. Bother, I filled out the form and then forgot to comment on here. :P Oh, well. :) Finding a group of Beta readers sounds like a good idea, Ivy. I’m glad you’re not letting a negative experience keep you from writing and sharing your stories with the rest of us. :)

  7. Rebekah Eddy says:

    I hope I make the cut!!! 😉
    But either way, I know I’ll still read and love your books as well as be your friend. 😊

    • Ivy says:

      Thanks for applying!!!! I’ll enjoy reading your application! And yes, regardless I’m glad you’re a reader and a friend!

  8. Bekah says:

    Yes, this is definitely a way to give constructive criticism! I know as a writer and author myself it’s hard to read other people’s thoughts about my book, especially if there is criticism. Yes, I know that there are always things to improve upon and honestly, not everyone is going to be a fan. ;) :) But I’m a firm believer that you need to share several good things about the book BEFORE you give the constructive criticism. I always try to write reviews how I would want other people to review my books. I give an overview of what I thought of the book share what I liked about the story and I might even expound on some of the author’s strengths in writing. Only after I have given some strong positive will I give any constructive criticism, (if I have any.)

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment, I just so agree with you! :) I hope you find some amazing beta readers!!
    -Bekah

    • Ivy says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Bekah! (and I love long comments… :) ) I can’t wait to start working with my beta team!

  9. Marrok says:

    I’m kind of late I’m commenting, but this is a very cool idea! I like how you go about it and all the specifics you give, really helps a person think if they are truly willing to join you or not. And hey if I don’t get picked that’s fine, I’d totally understand. Even if I don’t get picked I hope we can be friends :)

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