Writing 101: Beta readers / Queries

So I’ve been trolling the web looking for a few good beta readers.  Beta readers are your best friends when it comes to preparing your manuscript for submission to publishers and agents.  It never hurts to have a second, third or fourth set of eyes on your work.  Plus the ability to pick the brains of others for plot holes, character issues, flow and pace is invaluable!

For me, the struggle has been that I am surrounded by so few people who actually enjoy reading the type of stories I write.  And it also happens that everyone who has offered to read my manuscript has suddenly becomes terrifically busy with other things.  So what is an aspiring writer to do?

It makes sense to me to go where the readers hang out.  My first thought was to approach my local library and ask if I might post something on their bulletin board or website.  For a place that encourages reading, their refusal to allow even the tiniest flyer was very surprising and disappointing.

So my next step was a google search.  AgentQuery has a board where you can search for beta readers and critique partners (cp).  I also found a great site that seems promising.  Good Reads is a board that allows writers to connect with beta readers.  They also offer help for aspiring writers to promote their work through their author program.  I’m going to be checking this site out in detail in the next few days.

If you have a great way to find beta readers, I would love to hear about it.

So once your manuscript is in great shape.  Time to write the query.  For me, writing queries are a struggle: striking a balance between sharing just enough to get someone interested and not giving away the entire story.  Some stories lend themselves more to queries and some, like the one I’m working on now, just can’t seem to be summed up in a few paragraphs.  In that regard, I want to share with everyone another great site: QueryShark.   I highly encourage you to read through the entire site.  I learned so much and went back and edited my manuscripts using information gleaned from this blog.  It helps you to see writing issues before you submit your work.  We all have rabbit holes we fall down and this site helps you to see them.  While I have not submitted a query yet, I am looking forward to doing so in the very near future.  B


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