You’ve written your first draft, second draft and perhaps a few more. You’ve gotten your book as far as you can and you’re thinking about the next step—sharing your work.
Placing your words in the hands of beta readers is a daunting task. It can be scary to share your story–but feedback from others can really make your manuscript shine.
So how do you find the right beta readers for your YA novel? We’ve compiled a list of resources for finding the right readers for your book.
In your own community
If you like to talk out your writing, join a writing or critique group in your area. Some great resources are Meetup and Facebook groups. If you can’t find anything in your area, see if you can find a group that meets over Zoom.
If you’re up to organizing, start a beta reading group among your writing friends. Set a day when everyone turns in their chapters from that month, and set up a Zoom meeting where you can all discuss your comments.
Friends and family can be great resources if they are willing to be honest. One way to get productive feedback from the people in your immediate life is to give them specific questions. Are there any points where they feel bored? Do they connected to the motivations of your characters? Are they able to visualize the world you’ve created?
Writing forums are a great way to connect with other writers. Pitchwars applicants join a forum where plenty of writers are seeking beta readers and critique partners and NaNoWriMo also has a forum for connecting with other writers.
Many writers find their beta readers on Twitter. Search the #writingcommunity hashtag or ask one of your mutuals if they know anyone looking for a beta reader.
Join writing groups on Facebook and post about your search for a beta reader, or search the group walls for other people seeking beta readers.
We’ve compiled a few resources online for finding a beta reader
https://www.facebook.com/groups/488365771285615/?hc_location=ufi — A facebook group for writers short on time looking for beta readers
https://new.critiquecircle.com/landing — One of the largest and longest running writing communities on the web
http://mywriterscircle.com/ — A forum for the writing community
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/50920-beta-reader-group — A beta reader forum on the book tracking and reviewing website
https://forums.nathanbransford.com/viewforum.php?f=16&sid=f012a77bf2a8983db37c5b63acf3e128 — Nathan Bransford’s forum on finding a critique partner
https://cpmatchmaking.wordpress.com/ — Critique partner matchmaking site
Not every beta reader is going to be right for you. Find someone who likes your genre and knows how to provide constructive criticism.
While it’s important to have beta readers, it’s also important to be a beta reader. Offer to read other writer’s manuscripts and you’ll create a reading community for yourself. Not only will you help your peers–you’ll learn more about writing with each manuscript you read.
Good luck finding a beta reader and be sure to check back at our blog for more resources on finding beta readers.