The fifth draft of my first novel is finished and I'm looking for a couple of people who are interested in being beta readers.
One of the pointers Stephen King gave in his book On Writing is finding a few people who are willing to read a draft of your novel before submitting it to an agent or publisher. I've reached that stage and hope that a few people who have been interested in my writing are willing to critique it. I am planning to talk to a couple of people I've met at Kansas Writers Assocation meetings, but could use a few more beta readers.
If you are interested in reading the draft, I'll let you know what I'm looking for.
* I want you to give an honest assessment of what you like and don't like about it, particularly about the characters and the pacing. I want to know whether you found them relatable or sympathetic, which ones drew your attention and which ones you'd believe need more depth. Tell me how much I held your interest or if there were points in which you believed the story need to move along quicker (or slower). In other words, I want specifics, not just whether or not you liked it overall.
* Certainly, part of the job is looking for spelling, grammar and punctuation. There may be the debate about the Oxford comma, though. Seriously, do keep an eye open for such issues and typos.
* You should have a recent version of Microsoft Word or a program that can open a file with a ".docx" extension. I use Microsoft Word 2010.
* Remember that this is a critique, not a review. You are NOT to spoil anything (only I decide what will and won't be spoiled before the book comes out). You are not to pass it around to anybody else unless you get permission from me (and in such cases, it will only be granted if that person wants to be a beta reader). You are not to discuss plot or character details with anyone else.
* I will give you two months to read the draft and send it back to me with your critiques. Getting it back sooner would be better, but I understand everyone gets busy. Besides, another pointer from King is that the writer put the draft away for a few weeks, so I won't be doing anything with this draft for a while.
If you are willing to do this, here is what you do.
Send me an email to ratsportrm at yahoo.com. Please put Beta Reader in your subject. Let me know why you are interested in doing this (other than the fact that you know me and think I'm a nice guy).
I will take up to 10 people (no more than that, though) who are willing to read and critique my work. As for what's in it for you, I can discuss that with you individually.
Thank you in advance to those who are interested.