Author Resource: Beta Readers

Beta readers are an invaluable resource to indie authors. As our Laurie Boris writes, “This is someone who very nicely agrees to read your manuscript and to give you feedback so you can make improvements before you unleash your work into the hostile murky depths of cyberspace.”

Using beta readers before your manuscript goes to an editor can reduce the amount of editing needed, thereby reducing an author’s editing costs. Want to learn more about beta readers? Check out these articles before venturing out into beta reader country.

The Basics of Beta Readers
Getting the Most from Beta Readers
Open Letter to Beta Readers
Six Ways to Drive Beta Readers Crazy
Finding Beta Readers
A Fresh Set of Eyes

Here is a list of sites where authors can find beta readers. This list is provided as a convenience to our readers, and Indies Unlimited has not vetted and does not endorse any specific site. Make certain to read each site’s submissions requirements before eagerly barreling into them.

Goodreads Beta Reader Group
Goodreads Beta / Proof Readers Group
BetaReaders.info
Golden Lake Beta Reader Directory
BetaFinder
Beta Fish Tank
The Writing Cafe Beta Readers
DeviantArt Beta Readers
AbsoluteWrite Beta Readers
Ladies Who Critique
Yeah Write Workshoppers
Magical Words Beta Readers
The Beta Reader Club – Facebook group
Beta Readers – Facebook group
Beta Readers Here – Facebook group
Beta Readers Community – Facebook group
World Literary Cafe Beta Readers & Critique Groups
Creepy Pasta Beta Readers

13 thoughts on “Author Resource: Beta Readers”

  1. This is such a great resource. I have never had a beta reader. I mean, a real beta reader. Wish I knew about these sites earlier. Could have saved me a lot of uninvited typos.

    Thanks! Will hold onto this page! Wow. 🙂

  2. A beta reader should do more than spot typos, Brenda. That’s an editor’s job. And the author should do all he can to minimise them anyway. Two good ways are: 1.to read your book on an eReader – you’ll spot problems more than you would reading hard copy; and 2, read each sentence separately starting from the end of each chapter. That way you don’t get caught up in the story, the text of which you probably have indelibly printed in your head. I find that this method makes you clinically examine sentence by sentence, It does take some getting used to as it forces you to stand back from your own writing.

    Getting a good beta reader is difficult. I write non-fiction: Thai lifestyle and culture. Beta readers need to understand a genre of course but many can’t change their western mindset to appreciate an eastern culture. I now have what I refer to as my “focus group”. Thais who can constructively criticise my writings. It’s more like a debating society on a cultural Thai topic.

  3. Good article. I particularly thought this useful.

    6.) When you’re really rolling, slow down. Say you’re reading the part with the big car chase / gunfight / stolen plutonium recovery, and you are just cranking right through, thinking, “Wow, I really wrote this part tight and solid.” You probably didn’t.

    My focus group is great for picking up on things like this and they do it in a conversational and debating way. After all we are both trying to understand each other’s cultures. They often throw a different light o a topic; and they benefit by seeing the western point of view.

    I’ve had three editors and one beta reader, (coincidentally all American) The beta reader was completely at sea and it was embarrassing discussing some of his comments with my focus group. Two of the editors live in Thailand. One spent most of her time with other westerners and never got to grips with the text but came up with some good general tips and ideas. The other editor was a breath of fresh and understood the concept that peoples have different worldviews.

    IU can be a great resource if free debate is allowed and we challenge our preconceived ideas and are willing to learn.

    Thanks again for the link..

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