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    Beta Reader Basics
    Beta Readers offer an assessment of books and projects prior to them being submitted for publication or published. As a Beta Reader, you can assist writers by giving feedback about any issues in the work relating to the plot, structure, characters and pacing of the work.

    As a Beta Reader, you represent an opportunity for the writer to hear the voice of an average reader. You should highlight plot holes, character continuity issues, problems with story pace, etc.. You are not expected to edit copy or correct mistakes such as typos or punctuation, so please do not do so unless you want to.

    As a Beta Reader you are agreeing to freely give up their time to read a writer’s book or project and offer assistance, so please respect that agreement and ensure you do deliver feedback, whether it is good, bad or indifferent.

    Please note that if any WF member acts disrespectfully towards you as a Beta Reader, it will be dealt with seriously. If you do experience any unpleasantness, please ensure you report it to a member of staff. This helps everyone who is serious about writing and reading.

    Are you Qualified?
    So many people believe that they’re not qualified to be a Beta Reader, but you are, 100 per cent! Beta Readers are simply people who read a book before it is published and tell the writer what worked and what didn’t work. You don’t have to explain why (although it’s helpful if you can), but if something just feels ‘off’, that’s good and valuable feedback.

    If you read, you are qualified to be a Beta Reader, plus it’s good fun. You get to read free books and might find something that really stands out from the crowd. You do not need to be a writer to be a Beta Reader, but many writers find the process of Beta Reading to be helpful.

    Please be fair to the writers, don’t over-commit and ensure that you offer feedback in the agreed manner and timescale.

    Sensitivity Content:
    Please take note of any sensitivity content themes mentioned by an author in their beta request post. Sensitive themes like rape, domestic abuse, etc have a natural place in fiction, but because a work will be at beta stage where it requires readers to see if it's portrayed accurately, it will need beta readers who are prepared to handle this content at 'testing' stage. Authors recognise that they don't always get it right and that it can upset.

    General Advice on Reading Sensitivity Content:
    Comments should always remain constructive. If you find yourself reacting too adversely -- to the point comments are more angered -- despite knowing the author has chosen to cover this topic, then that's a time to step away and give beta reading a rest for a few hours. If you feel it's too much to continue, please let the author know where you found it hard to continue.

    Accepting a Beta Reader Request
    Please ensure you only respond to Beta Reader Requests via the forum section and in the open, unless you are providing personal details to the writer for delivery of the MSS (book). If you do not wish to pass on personal details, request that the MSS (book) is made available for download.

    You will need to consider the following when accepting a Beta Reader Request. Please ensure that you are able to meet any commitment you make as there is nothing more dispiriting than silence for a writer.

    • GENRE (Is this a genre you would typically read, and are you familiar with other works in this space? If not, you probably cannot offer feedback that is pertinent to the writer)
    • WORD COUNT AND TIMESCALE (Have you got the time to read the work and comment in the requested timeframe?)
    • POSTED BLURB (This should replicate typical back cover text. Would you pick up such a book with an intent to buy and/or read it?)
    • AUDIENCE DESCRIPTION (Do you fall within the typical reader profile?)
    • EXPECTATIONS (Consider how you are going to offer feedback and ensure that the process suits how you want to work)
    • AVAILABLE FORMATS (Is there a format you are happy to read?)
    • OTHER INFORMATION (Is there anything that might offend (ie sensitivity content) or impact on your reading?)
    Last edited by Aquilo; September 19th, 2019 at 01:14 PM.
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