Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« on: August 22, 2017, 12:03:26 AM »
Hi everyone,

So something that I'd really like to do is start encouraging everyone to take advantage of the beta readers society forum. For those who haven't checked it out, this forum basically serves two purposes:

1. Finding a beta reader or offering to be a beta reader by filling out this forum
2. Finding a writing partner or offering to be a writing partner by filling out this form

You may be wondering what the difference between a writing partner and a beta reader is in the context of our site.

A beta reader is exactly what you'd expect- someone who reads a story and goes through and points out grammar/spelling, plot holes, characterization, etc.

A writing partner is someone who's there to help encourage you through your writing when you're stuck, do word wars with, all that kind of stuff.

We currently have this post (which I haven't updated in a long time), which is a list of all of the people who are willing to beta read/aren't willing/might beta read depending on certain things. I'm not sure how many people have actually gone through this list to contact each other (let me know if you have!) about beta reading/being writing partners, but I hope you'll feel encouraged to do so. :)

So basically what I'm looking for is some feedback on this section of the forum so that hopefully it can be a little more active and people will actually take advantage of it.

Code: [Select]
[b]Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section?
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not?[/b]
[b]Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more?[/b]
[b]Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use?[/b]
[b]Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner?

Basically, we're not looking to get rid of this section or anything- far from it! We just really want people to take advantage of it and the fact that there are people who are willing to beta read and be someone's writing partner, should you want them. I'll probably be going through the questions that the beta reading/writing partner forms ask and see if I can think of anything else to add onto them, but I don't think there's really any questions that aren't already covered.

So yeah...I'm curious to see what feedback you guys have on this section. I hope that this post will help encourage everyone to start using that section to their advantage, even if it's just to have a writing partner to help encourage you and brainstorm and such.

(I should mention that that section HAS had posts in it before from others in the past, from when the site first opened, but I moved them into an archive sub-forum of that forum a while ago since they were mostly over a year old. So it hasn't gone entirely unused, it just doesn't get used as often as I had thought it would right now, but I'm hoping to change that!)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 12:05:46 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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JayLee

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 01:16:03 AM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section? Before I saw this post?... :-\ no. Oops :)
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not? If I'd remembered that this was a thing, I probably still wouldn't have at the moment. Mostly because I've got current editing clients, and I'm helping a couple people on the side, so a bit too busy to partner, and I haven't gotten around to finishing the edit on my WIP, so I can't seek a beta yet, and I tend to prefer if people ask me to beta over me randomly offering (except sometimes when I do 'cause the idea sounds awesome!).
Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more?I think people would have to be at the right stages of writing, to begin, and that's out of this site's control. Otherwise, let people post what they are up to in there, synopsis, snippits, future plans, so on and so forth. Hopefully it sounds like someone's cup 'o tea, and they'll jump on it. Encourage swaps for sure too when it comes to betas. If you wanna be read, you gotta read.
Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use? meh.
Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner? sorry, kinda smooshed this in with the answer above :) I was mostly just answering why I haven't really paid much mind to the section at all.
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True Neutral

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 02:06:53 AM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section? Not beyond a brief glance.
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not? No. If someone wants me to beta-read, I expect that they'll ask. I figure it would be rude of me to shove into someone else's business. As for why I haven't contacted anyone looking for one, it's a lack of interest.  I'm used to flying solo with my own stuff, and I've found that pairing up doesn't really help me. (Specifically, I end up either waiting on them or not wanting to overwhelm them, and it makes me work much slower than I otherwise would. Also, I'm not working in chronological order at the moment, so it would be hard for another person to follow.)
Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more? Advertise it periodically, perhaps?
Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use? No. I haven't used it.
Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner? While I don't mind beta-reading for others, depending on the situation (It's easier for me to promise a one-off than a lengthy commitment, since my schedule can be unpredictable in the long-term.), I'm not interested in having one myself at this time, and I'm just not interested in writing partners. As I said, I don't want to overwhelm someone or confuse them, so it just makes me take even longer to get things done. It just wouldn't suit my current situation to be relying on or waiting on another person. And I've never really needed anyone to encourage me.

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Manu

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 05:05:34 AM »
Related to this topic: Is it possible to add a text field to our profiles to specify stuff about beta reading? Currently we only have the options yes, no and depends. I clicked depends, and it would be cool if I could specify what I can help with.

@topic: Since my own writing is not in English, I don't think this is the right place to look for beta readers. As a non-native speaker, I'm also a bit shy to offer my help as a beta reader to others. That's why I'd like to be able to specify in my profile (or somewhere on the forums) what I can and can't do for others.

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Elena

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2017, 01:00:19 PM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section?
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not?


Yes, I did, but nothing happened. The person who volunteered didn't give any feedback and didn't send anything to me to read either.

Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more?

I don't know. It depends on each person's free time, and on the fact that some of us write little in ENglish.

Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use?

It would be nice if it happened...

Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner?

I did, once. Not having it happen, I haven't tried again.
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Silver

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 04:44:32 PM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section?
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not?


No. The simple fact is, I don't need a beta reader or a writing partner because I already have one. I am happy to beta read for people if I have the time, but my life goes through stages of being pretty hectic so I don't always have much free time. 

Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use?

I agree a lot with what @JayLee said - the issue with a site like this is that everyone is at different places with their writing, and also everybody is at a different skill level. So it becomes a case of finding the right match. And then you have to have to factor in that most people are quite busy and don't necessarily have time to commit to a long term arrangement.

I think beta readers for short stories are slightly different, because it doesn't take long to read a short piece and make a few general suggestions for improvements... or even just say what you liked and didn't like. But when it comes to actually beta reading a whole novel - or being someone's writing buddy - I feel like that requires a relationship that can't just be forced. Or at least it can't be for me; if I did want someone else to read over my novel for me, I wouldn't just pick someone at random.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2017, 06:49:39 PM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section? Before I saw this post?... :-\ no. Oops :)
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not? If I'd remembered that this was a thing, I probably still wouldn't have at the moment. Mostly because I've got current editing clients, and I'm helping a couple people on the side, so a bit too busy to partner, and I haven't gotten around to finishing the edit on my WIP, so I can't seek a beta yet, and I tend to prefer if people ask me to beta over me randomly offering (except sometimes when I do 'cause the idea sounds awesome!).
Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more?I think people would have to be at the right stages of writing, to begin, and that's out of this site's control. Otherwise, let people post what they are up to in there, synopsis, snippits, future plans, so on and so forth. Hopefully it sounds like someone's cup 'o tea, and they'll jump on it. Encourage swaps for sure too when it comes to betas. If you wanna be read, you gotta read.
Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use? meh.
Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner? sorry, kinda smooshed this in with the answer above :) I was mostly just answering why I haven't really paid much mind to the section at all.

It's a good thing I made this post then. :P

All fair enough reasons. :)

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I think people would have to be at the right stages of writing, to begin, and that's out of this site's control. Otherwise, let people post what they are up to in there, synopsis, snippits, future plans, so on and so forth. Hopefully it sounds like someone's cup 'o tea, and they'll jump on it. Encourage swaps for sure too when it comes to betas. If you wanna be read, you gotta read.

Well that's kind of the point of the forms...let's say you fill out the form and make a new post with it filled out, asking for someone to beta read. I could come along and read the information and say "this sounds like it's right up my alley, I'll beta read for her!" and either reply or PM you offering to beta read it. Same goes with the writing partners form...you fill it out, I come along and read it, and offer to be your writing partner.

But I can't offer/ask you for either of those things if I don't know that you're looking for them, or offering to be either of them, if you don't fill those forms out. So that's why members need to be filling them out and posting them so that members know who might be a good beta reader or writing partner for them. (I should note that I believe there will be a feature on the librarium site where there'll be information on your profile that you'll be able to fill out where you'll basically be able to say whether or not you're willing to beta read and what you'll beta read and all that. But until then, we have the forum for beta reading/writing partners where people can fill the forms out and post them. We may or may not still need it by the time we get the librarium, though.)

I will definitely look at the forms for beta reading/writing partners and add those things you suggested to the forms if they're somehow not already there (which is likely).

Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section? Not beyond a brief glance.
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not? No. If someone wants me to beta-read, I expect that they'll ask.

Fair enough, but they won't know what you're willing to beta read if you don't fill the form out and post it for people to know whether or not you're someone who will beta something for them.

 
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I figure it would be rude of me to shove into someone else's business. As for why I haven't contacted anyone looking for one, it's a lack of interest.  I'm used to flying solo with my own stuff, and I've found that pairing up doesn't really help me. (Specifically, I end up either waiting on them or not wanting to overwhelm them, and it makes me work much slower than I otherwise would. Also, I'm not working in chronological order at the moment, so it would be hard for another person to follow.)

Fair enough.

Quote
And I've never really needed anyone to encourage me.

Encouragement is just an example of what a writing partner can do. :P

Related to this topic: Is it possible to add a text field to our profiles to specify stuff about beta reading? Currently we only have the options yes, no and depends. I clicked depends, and it would be cool if I could specify what I can help with.

@topic: Since my own writing is not in English, I don't think this is the right place to look for beta readers. As a non-native speaker, I'm also a bit shy to offer my help as a beta reader to others. That's why I'd like to be able to specify in my profile (or somewhere on the forums) what I can and can't do for others.

Hm. It's possible, yes, but I think what I'd most likely be doing, just so that there aren't ten extra things on the profiles at the moment, is put in a spot for a link to your beta reading profile (i.e. if you fill out the form for beta reading and post it in the beta reading section, you'd stick the link to that post in your profile) so that people can follow that link and read up on what you're willing to beta read and such. Like I told JayLee above, I believe there's going to be a portion of your profile on the librarium site that will have information for you to fill out regarding what you're willing to beta read and such, so until we get the librarium and have that option on it (since certain features are going to be rolled out at different stages), you'd just fill the form out in the beta readers society and post it in a new post and link to that. (Hopefully I didn't make that confusing. :P I'll work on adding a spot for it to the profiles and then I'll make a post with a screenshot/directions for it so that people will know what to do until we have the librarium.)

There are a few people on here who aren't native English speakers as well, I believe, so depending on what language you speak, you may or may not be able to find someone to beta for you.

Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section?
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not?


Yes, I did, but nothing happened. The person who volunteered didn't give any feedback and didn't send anything to me to read either.

Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more?

I don't know. It depends on each person's free time, and on the fact that some of us write little in ENglish.

Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use?

It would be nice if it happened...

Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner?

I did, once. Not having it happen, I haven't tried again.

:-\ That sucks that nothing ever came from the person who volunteered. Unfortunately that's one of the downsides to asking for someone to beta read or be a writing partner, is that you have to rely on them to, you know, actually beta read for you. I would say maybe go ahead and fill the form out again and see if you can find anyone else who would be speaks/writes in the same language as you (since like I told @Manu I think we have a few non-native English speakers on here, though not many) who'll give it a shot. Totally up to you, though.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 11:47:39 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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Ahryantah

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 11:12:46 PM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section? Yes.

Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not? Not through that section, no.

Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more? Advertise it more? I don't really know.

Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use? I honestly don't have much to say about it in general. I have looked at a couple of the requests, but never responded because it just wasn't a good time for me to act as a beta. I will continue to check it when new posts go up, and if a request seems like the right fit and I have the time, I'll probably respond.

Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner? Like I said, lack of time for being a beta. As for requesting a beta myself, I don't see myself doing that until I have a complete, polished draft. I'm kind of private about my writing.


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Amblygon

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 06:44:04 PM »
Have you looked at the beta reading/writing partner section? Yep!
Have you contacted anyone about being a beta reader/writing partner? If no, why not? I've been too busy at work recently so haven't wanted to commit to anything so that I don't let anyone down. Also I don't feel confident about giving feedback; I try to be objective and helpful, but I know it's not easy to receive feedback so I'm always worried that someone won't find my comments helpful.
Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more? I think just keep reminding people that it's there and encouraging people to talk about their good experiences with the section (and also share any constructive feedback on the section).
Do you have any general feedback to provide regarding this section and its use? Not really - I think it's a great idea. Perhaps the only thing I can think of is that beta reader sounds so official. Maybe it's worth making it clear that you can go there to ask for specific feedback on certain pieces of work (e.g. maybe a chapter or scene or whatever) without it having to be something as formal as a beta reader situation.
Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner? I have one piece I'd like to get some feedback on, but I haven't had time to edit it yet so that I'd feel comfortable posting it. Hopefully September will be a bit easier.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Beta Readers Society Feedback Needed!
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2017, 11:49:30 PM »
Is there anything specific we could try and do to encourage you/everyone to start using that section more? I think just keep reminding people that it's there and encouraging people to talk about their good experiences with the section (and also share any constructive feedback on the section).

Maybe it's worth making it clear that you can go there to ask for specific feedback on certain pieces of work (e.g. maybe a chapter or scene or whatever) without it having to be something as formal as a beta reader situation.
Is there a specific reason you haven't posted in this section looking for a beta reader and/or writing partner? I have one piece I'd like to get some feedback on, but I haven't had time to edit it yet so that I'd feel comfortable posting it. Hopefully September will be a bit easier.

I think one of the reasons people seem to not know about it/use it is because there aren't posts being posted in that section consistently, so people are less aware that it's there because it doesn't show up in the activity stream with activity. But that comes down to people just being in different places in their writing and not being ready for betas/not being available to offer being one.

I do like the suggestion of making it clear that it's not just for formal beta reader situations, so I'll make sure to do that.
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