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Old 09-11-2010, 12:12 PM   #1
J.M. Pierce
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A question for you all.

I'm curious as to how many beta readers each of you use. Is there such a thing as too many? Thanks in advance.

J.M.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:54 PM   #2
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I use two to three. Too many and you have too much input to the point that the story is no longer yours. Once you find a couple you can trust with good opinions on your story who like reading the genre you write, you'll be set. Finding them is another matter. That's the toughest part in the world.

I'm always open to accepting new beta readers, because not every beta I've used is interested in everything I write.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:55 PM   #3
Monique
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Hi J.M.!

I basically agree with horse_girl. I had 4 beta readers, one cheerleader and one editor.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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Hi J.M.!

I basically agree with horse_girl. I had 4 beta readers, one cheerleader and one editor.
Maybe too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone needs a cheerleader and an editor. Then you can mix and match beta readers along the way. I have...one, maybe two at best. Still looking for a few good ones.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
Steven Lake
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Yeah, I have between two and five. Two who are guaranteed to read, and three more who can if they have time.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:38 AM   #6
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Could depend too on why you're writing the book.
If it's for personal expression, then the less beta-readers the better.
If it's for capturing a wider audience explicitly, then perhaps up to 5 well selected readers.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:05 AM   #7
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Could depend too on why you're writing the book.
If it's for personal expression, then the less beta-readers the better.
If it's for capturing a wider audience explicitly, then perhaps up to 5 well selected readers.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:26 AM   #8
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One's own ego probably makes an important swing in here. Often you might find it easier to just write what you want to write and then seek the appropriate readers

I know if I was an author I'd probably cry a lot when the beta-readers gave me anything but praise. I prefer to let the market decide (which isn't always the best... and probably why I'm not an author - but rather a slave to one ).


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Old 09-22-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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Definitely not good to have too many cooks in the kitchen.

I have one editor. One cheerleader. and a couple of beta readers.

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Old 09-22-2010, 09:55 PM   #10
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That looks like a Five Man Band to me. The Writer, The Cheerleader, The Editor, and two replaceable Beta Readers.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. Pierce View Post
I'm curious as to how many beta readers each of you use. Is there such a thing as too many? Thanks in advance.
J.M.
I asked around, including our reading circle, and got four, two from the circle. Had to twist two arms. All four got roughly a quarter of the book to begin with.

One made good criticisms, did a certain amount of copy editing that I had missed, complimented certain turns of phrase, made suggestions, and hung outside by the mailbox when the next section was due. That's the kind of beta reader I like.

Another took three months to read some of the first quarter, made one comment and didn't ask for more. No loss. He's a fan of detective novels and this is not such a book.

One of the twisted arms, my son who has a BA in lit crit, has nearly forced himself half way through the book after five months. If I'd had an alien, and/or a vampire and/or a werewolf in the book he'd have finished it in a week. His criticism has been valuable from a content point of view.

The other twisted arm, my wife, a language teacher, made it to chapter 5, then became heavily involved in a musical production being put on in our village. She likes my style, but from other things I've heard from her since I asked her to look at my book, I find she's more concerned with form than content, so she'd be a good copy editor. At least she likes my style.

I'd like two or three more of the first kind, but finding them is not easy.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:49 PM   #12
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I like three or four, ideally. Usually more for just the first chapter.
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