Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who Reads Your Books?

Or: Saturday on Beta Readers and Critique Partners

I have the most awesome betas and crit partners. Sometimes people ask me how I found them and I don’t have a good answer like Absolute Write or anything. My answer is just that I whined on Twitter.

No, seriously. I was almost ready to want people to read Spyder and I mentioned it on Twitter. Then I finished the book, did a week or two’s worth of revisions, and then looked at the tweets I’d saved and basically chose randomly. Thankfully, I got really lucky with the beta I chose. She was my second beta ever, but the first on that book, and she was just… awesome. (I hope you know who you are if you’re reading this!!) The rest of my beta/crit partner stories go pretty similarly to that.

Anyways, I didn’t really want to talk about how I found my readers. I was going to talk about when people are allowed to read things and what I’ve learned from people reading my books.


No one is allowed to read a first draft. No one. The people I trust the most might get to read the beginning if I need reassurance that it doesn’t totally suck, or a passage or two, but no one is allowed to read a first draft.

What I’ve learned:

It will always make me nervous.
People won’t always get my slang.
People think I’m funny.
They will always see the typos.
Nobody likes a dryer link analogy.
Sometimes I'm really, really Canadian without meaning to be and it confuses people.
Switching from gooseflesh to goosebumps is apparently a no-no.

Alrighty, it's your turn now. Who reads your writing? When? What have you learned from having people read your writing?

Peace and cookies,