"Hi Ksenia. I need your advice on finding BETA readers: 1) How/where did you find reliable ones? 2) Which draft do they get to read?"
Awesome question, Zandile. I wrote a couple posts about beta readers, one about adapting your novel to beta readers' feedback and another about luring them with cookies, but it's time I write a new one as I've learned a bunch of new things since then. So if you have decided to start looking for beta readers, here is what I suggest you do.
1. Do you really need feedback?
Ask yourself if it will help you or hinder you. Sometimes when you're just starting out, negative feedback can cut you pretty deep, so deep, you might want to stop working on your book or quit it altogether. It happened to me a couple times. I was open to the point of turning my guts inside out and shlepping it all online for everyone to see. I'm a pretty tough cookie and can handle criticism well, but in a couple instances it got under my skin. Ask yourself, "Am I ready for someone to tell me my writing is shit without an explanation?" If not, then don't do it. Write in a vacuum until you think you'll be able to handle it and not pay it much attention, still writing the way YOU write and still forging forward regardless of what people tell you.Read More