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629 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  PearlEarringLady
Is it necessary to pay for Beta Readers?
Or is there a way to find writers of my genre to swap beta reads with?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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I've never paid for a beta reader. I don't ask other writers. I ask a reader. I have a couple that give me great feedback. They are not experts in grammar or sentence structure or anything like that. But they love my genre and give me the kind of feedback I need to improve my writing with regards to plot. It depends on what you are looking for with your Beta Readers. I wouldn't pay though.
Sorry for the ALL CAPS, my brother just told me it appears as if I am yelling when I use all caps, so I will remember not to do that in the future.

So, how would I go about finding beta readers in my genre which is both YA and adult paranormal fiction?

Is there a way to leverage the readers who have bought something that I have already published? Is there a way to send an email blast to those who bought my first book?

Hmmm, thinking, thinking...
You might have luck at the AbsoluteWrite forums. I haven't been active there for quite awhile, but last I knew they had a really active and helpful section for finding betas. And it's free, of course!
I don't use beta readers (not for the big stuff because I don't have the time to pay the kindness back), but no, traditionally you aren't supposed to pay them for a read -- my understanding is that it's usually two writers who swap, or fans of a writer who are more than willing to volunteer.
I have 7 beta readers for this novel. One is from Goodreads. 6 are friends. 4 are avid readers of the genre (urban fantasy), 1 doesn't read fantasy at all (but she's my best friend and would shoot me before being left out), and the final was my fiancé who also doesn't read urban fantasy but is addicted to its cousin epic fantasy.

So far they've all given me amazing feedback. I send a 6 page questionairre with my manuscript to make sure I get useful feeback. Not just "it was good" or "I like it" or "it could be better."

So far 4 of my readers have demanded to be brought back as betas for my next book. Because their feedback was so useful this time around I'll be delighted to use them again.

-None of my betas are writers they are readers of the genre which means they know what they like and have vast experience to draw from, which is AWESOME.
-None of my betas are paid.
- I will always use Goodreads to get 1 or 2 betas that I don't personally know. This gives me a feeling of confidence that they will be more harsh.
- I have only found ONE company that I believe I would use as a paid 3rd party beta read service. $75 for 75,000 word novel. I am keeping them in mind for the future but I am hoping to never need them.
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Lo Conner said:
traditionally you aren't supposed to pay them for a read -- my understanding is that it's usually two writers who swap, or fans of a writer who are more than willing to volunteer.
Those are great if you can find them. Established authors will have a mailing list of fans who are only too happy to beta read, although fans tend not to be critical. I've had some luck in the past from friends on a critique group, authors whose books I've reviewed in the past and Goodreads, but the results can be mixed. Fellow authors are very critical, and regular readers aren't always very detailed (with a beta read you want to know more than: yeah, I liked it). Plus, they aren't always very timely.

For my third book, I've had no luck getting volunteers, so I'm paying for three beta reads. That way, I know I'm getting a thorough critique, and it will be done quickly.

It's really difficult when you're just starting out, though. I sympathise.
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