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Hey, can you lend a hand? Do you like to read?



I've been with GA for a few years now. When I first joined I would have killed to have immediately found a good beta and editor. Over time, for most things I found myself settling down and working with the same two or three incredible people over and over again. It was comfortable, and I knew I could rely on their honest opinions of my work.


Flash forward to recently. While there are some damn fine editors working on site the Betas seem to have vanished.


What is a Beta? Glad you asked.


A beta reader is not an editor. A beta reader is just that, a second reader of a story. They look for things that an author missed or screwed up. I'm not talking spelling or punctuation primarily. A beta is the one who catches when an author changes a character's name by mistake, hasn't given the reader enough information to follow a part of a story, or will point out where an author might have gone over board with the details and is bogging his or her story down making a reader lose interest in what was happening. They help you fill in when you are lacking and cut when you went overboard.


They help by asking questions while they read over the work. What did you mean here, because I didn't understand? Where did character A go, because you never mentioned them again? Would love to know what Character B does for a living. You told us a few times he goes to work but as what? Be aware you started this story from Kelly's pov but for the last chapter you switched to Dan's pov and it is the only time you have done that in twenty two chapters.


Yes, a beta reader looks for the mistakes, points out where you did well, and helps an author to craft a story worthy of putting before a reader. A good beta is worth their weight in gold.


Why am I explaining all this? I will be honest. I am a selfish son of a bitch who has gone looking for a beta since my usual betas have personal issues and are/continue to be unavailable. Therefore I went to the site's Gay Author's Writing Community and asked for a beta. Unfortunately, a once rich source seems to have dried up. Do you enjoy reading? Can you be honest without being offensive? Can you work well with temperamental people? Then go talk to Louis and Jo Ann. There are authors who could use your assistance.


Thank you

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Thank you thank you thank you. Your post is so timeous. You been reading my mind? Your insight into a beta reader's skills is spot on. In publishing, they call a beta the developmental editor. LOL. Now these eds only assist the well known writers as far as I can tell, well, in South Africa at any rate. Publishers here are cash strapped so writers here must find their own editors and beta readers. I think it is different in the USA and other publishing hubs. But, not to change the subject. Thanks for this post. You rock.

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Timeous indeed. I've just taken on my first two beta reading jobs and had been wrong about the scope of work. 

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