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I'm so sorry but I have one more ?


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#1 hjvagar

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 10:56 PM

I would like to hire a beta reader and I have one person who is totally trustworthy and will be able to critique my work honestly. I would like at least one more and I have a candidate in mind but with this second person I don't know them well. He is also a writer. Are there any rules to follow when asking or hiring someone to do this? I am not saying he would try to use my work for himself but the farther along I get with this the more proprietary I get. I am almost done and would like to get the ball rolling. Do I draw up some type of contract? I love writing but all the other stuff that goes along with it? Nope.  It's frustrating to be new to this and feel this ignorant about so much to do with it. I know some will probably say you don't need beta readers but I am quite insecure about my writing and I guess I need the reassurance that it doesn't out and out stink and it would be nice to know whether to continue or if I'm wasting my time. Thanks.



#2 Sassalota

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:51 AM

Hi Hjvafar- Beta's are a great idea. You can hire a beta but a lot of time you can find them for free where you trade chapters. As for the guy you are thinking of, maybe just ask him if he has a writing partner or whats to swap some chapters for feedback?

 

If you want to look for a free one check out the wanted ads on this site. You can reply to someone who has already posted or you can post your own ad.



#3 hjvagar

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 03:45 PM

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately this person is more into writing songs and maybe some poetry and I'm not sure he would want to work it that way. The main reason I want to ask him is because he is really creative and he's from a different age group than my other reader which would mean he might be seeing it from another perspective and I think if he agreed to it he would be someone that could help if he finds any glitches in the storyline.  Thank you for the idea of the ads here. I honestly did not even know they had them lol.



#4 WinterBliss

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 10:51 AM

I would like to hire a beta reader and I have one person who is totally trustworthy and will be able to critique my work honestly. I would like at least one more and I have a candidate in mind but with this second person I don't know them well. He is also a writer. Are there any rules to follow when asking or hiring someone to do this? I am not saying he would try to use my work for himself but the farther along I get with this the more proprietary I get. I am almost done and would like to get the ball rolling. Do I draw up some type of contract? I love writing but all the other stuff that goes along with it? Nope.  It's frustrating to be new to this and feel this ignorant about so much to do with it. I know some will probably say you don't need beta readers but I am quite insecure about my writing and I guess I need the reassurance that it doesn't out and out stink and it would be nice to know whether to continue or if I'm wasting my time. Thanks.

All of us authors feel a little scared someone is going to take are work. But If you say you're in a writing group you'll have access to their writing too. So then you don't feel to scared. Have you looked at the youtube series wordnerds they have great advice and you can even ask them question. 



#5 Icehvs

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 04:43 AM

I advise you to maintain a certain balance. I've been in this game for some time now, and I have a beta-reading group put together. I think we writers look at books very differently than other people. Having a mixture of the two might be a good idea. My group is five people, out of those two are writers and three "civilians". The differences in feedback are uncanny - writers take a deeper look at the plot, the structure, they notice these things fast. Others give vaguer descriptions about what the problems are, but immediately notice when, just for example, a character behaves OOC. 



#6 hjvagar

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:21 PM

Thank you winterbliss for the tip on using that youtube series. I will be looking at it today.

 

Icehvs. I do not have a group per se.  I am quite new to this game so I have several people that I used on my first book but that one was so different from this one. The first one needed a specific type of reader I felt to give me any insight into problems with it. This second one is something different from anything I have done before. I understand exactly what you are saying and that was why I chose this second person - he, too, is a writer but not of novels. He does poetry and songs. I just thought, creative person, great! Unfortunately he is not responding back to me. That is where my worry comes in. I would prefer in the future to find someone who not only fits the creative slot but also the reliable slot. I would not mind waiting for input and thoughts but when you don't even acknowledge receiving the manuscript for me then there's a problem. It worries me. Can you tell me how you formed your group? Did you ask people on here? Creative friends that you already had? Thanks for any help.



#7 Icehvs

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 04:29 PM

Not from the site, sadly. I just found it this day. Before I tell you though, I must admit that I’m probably the luckiest SOB around, and for some reason I always happen across people who can help me a bit.

 

In my beta-reading team, I go for balance: I write YA/NA Contemporary and Romance, so my main focus are girls. To reflect that I have three of them in the group, all, or all but one are native speakers of English (which is important, since I’m writing in a second language). Now, I also have two people who are writers, my mentor (woman, a bit older than the original three) and a guy (around the same age as the three gals). The only thing I tend to ask is complete honesty. Since I can take criticism, I tell them to give their opinion without holding back. If that happens, I’ll ask them for the next round too, if not, then I don’t.

 

Now, where I found them…Here and there, really. The guy I’m going to college with. My Mentor is the one who helped me for years. The native speakers I usually met through penpaling. Beta readers can come from anywhere, really, as long as they are candidly honest about their likes and dislikes.

 

One final thing though, especially if you’re just starting out: there’s a good chance not all your readers will finish with the book. It’s usually a 25-50% who just doesn’t get to the end of it. If you can, just ask them what was the point where they put it down, and why. That can help you too.



#8 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:47 AM

While it may sound like a good idea to have someone who's not a writer read your work, in my experience, it doesn't always work out. They don't "see" a novel like a writer sees a novel. I asked a friend to read an early draft of my novel, and he didn't make it all the way through. He kept pointing out things that didn't matter, and wanted me to add more exposition into the already exposition-heavy beginning about the economy and stuff that didn't matter. Conclusion: he wasn't a writer. He didn't even read that much. 

 

I recommend hiring a "legit" freelance editor. They're plenty of them around if you hunt. Before you do that, I recommend finding a beta swapper. 

 

As for the contracts, when I hired a freelance editor, I paid her half at the start and then half when I received my manuscript back. I understand your reluctance of hiring a stranger. Odds are, they're not going to steal your work. What are they doing to do with it? Publish online in spite? No. Good freelancers have their own website with a picture, or some details about them and their credentials, and maybe a testimony or two. They should also have some "legalities" at the bottom or somewhere that says what they'll do or not do, like steal your work. 



#9 hjvagar

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 07:06 PM

Thank you Icehvs. I was quite lucky with my first book. With the topic being relevant to her thesis, I had someone who read and critiqued it. I also was very lucky in one person who does Indy movies read it and another believe it or not was a nun lol. I wanted honesty!  I am like you in that I insist on complete and total honestly. I mean, why bother if someone's just going to sugarcoat what they are going to say? With this new book my first beta is absolutely the best. She is a voracious reader and quite creative in her own life. She read the first 1/2 of it in one day and then wrote to tell me she was so sorry she didn't edit it because she didn't want to stop reading. lol. Today I am sending her the completed book along with my idea for a sequel lol. It seems since I have started writing, I have become addicted to it. Anyhow, thanks again.

 

Blueberry Tide. Thanks for your comments. I will have to look into legit editors although hiring one may take a bit if they want too much lol. Poor person here raising two kids - one in a college that is costing an arm and a leg LOL!



#10 Icehvs

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 02:12 PM

Blueberry Tide: Sorry, but I have to ask who are you writing for? True, non-writer readers have a different outlook on it, and you shouldn't always accept what they say at face value (nor should you with anyone, you have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis). But their feedback is invaluable, because they see the book as a reader would see it. As a person who doesn't have the deep knowledge of plot, world-building or characters would see it. Plus, if any of your betas tell you what's wrong, you should heed it, but the second they tell you how to fix it, you should tell them they're wrong. Maybe you could've worked those suggested explanations into the story without adding more exposition at the beginning.

 

Editing and revising is a hard business that's very different from writing, and you can't go at it with your ego. And hiring a professional, freelance editor is great, yeah, if you can afford it. Americans probably won't have much of an issue there, but for me it's an impossible road, because their fees are several month's wages in my country.






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