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Beta Reader Team: Assemble!

header-beta-reader-team | I Am Rosa

 (Or, “How I Found My Beta Team”)

 

My latest book, Eyes of the Hunter is currently in the hands of a wonderful team of beta readers. Even though they’re still reading, I’ve already received some very constructive feedback.  I’m thrilled!!

Today, I received this question from a fellow author:

May I ask how you got a team of beta readers? Because when I tried to get people to read my book before it was published no one was interested!

The short answer is:

I do my homework and am picky about who I ask.

The long answer:

I try to approach people who I know have beta read in the past, are interested in the genre of my book, have a good eye for detail, and have given solid feedback (to myself or others) in the past.

 

5 people agreed to beta read Eyes of the Hunter. Here is how I chose each one …

 

Beta Reader 1

This lady actually found me. She’d read a review I was under attack for writing, loved how honest and fair I’d been, and tracked me down on Facebook to ask if I would review her fantasy novel. I agreed, but couldn’t make it through the book. So, instead of writing a review, I asked if I could just give her suggestions on improvements. She agreed. She made the changes. She got picked up by a publisher (I’m not taking credit for that, btw) and has just release the sequel.

We kept in touch. When I see a snippet or article she’s written, I read it and comment. She’s improved. A lot. She’s serious and dedicated, so I continue to support her. And, she also freelances as an editor. So, when it came time to assemble beta readers, I asked if she’d be interested. She said, “Yes.”

 

Beta Reader 2

Amusingly enough, I found this lady exactly the same way Beta Reader 1 found me! She was being attacked by another author for the honest review she wrote on GoodReads in exchange for an ARC. Curious, I read the review. It was actually a very fair review, praising the author’s writing skill, but pointing out there were issues with the story that didn’t sit well with her. She didn’t finish reading, so she marked it DNF (Did Not Finish) to make sure it wouldn’t hurt the author’s rating. I sent her a message, apologizing on behalf of authors who aren’t dicks, and told her that I really liked how honest and fair she’d been. Since I knew from her GoodReads profile that she liked stories similar to Eyes of the Hunter, I asked if she’d be interested in beta reading it and gave a her brief description. She agreed.

 

Beta Reader 3

About a year ago, a lady in one of the Facebook writing groups I’m part of asked if someone could do some artwork for her. I was interested in what she wanted done and offered my services. I really liked her honesty in comments and noticed she always had great suggestions. So, instead of cash payment, I asked if she’d be interested in beta reading for me. I gave her a brief description of Eyes of the Hunter. She liked the story idea and had read some of my other writing, so she felt confident that she’d enjoy this and agreed.

 

Beta Reader 4

This one, I can thank Beta Reader 1 for. She’d talked me up to this gentleman and I apparently made a good impression in the Facebook groups we were part of. We chatted back and forth on Facebook for months. When he found out I was almost ready to hand off Eyes of the Hunter to beta readers, he expressed an interest in reading it. From our conversations, I knew he’s very honest about his opinions and he has a great eye for detail. Even though the story is aimed for YA female readers, I thought a male opinion would be beneficial. So, I asked if he’d go one further and beta read it for me. He said yes and  offered some amazingly helpful insights.

 

Beta Reader 5

I met this lady through – you guessed it – a Facebook writing group. She sent me a friend request after we’d exchanged comments in the group. I had a favourable opinion of her; plainspoken and insightful. I accepted though we never actually chatted after that … until I saw a status update from her one night as I was about to shut down my computer for the night. She seemed to be in distress and I was worried that she was suicidal. Facebook had just implemented its suicide prevention feature, which was totally useless. So, I sent her a message which led to a conversation that lasted several hours (until I felt satisfied that she wasn’t going to do anything harmful to herself). Being writers, we naturally talked about books and writing. I told her a bit about Eyes of the Hunter and it was apparently up her alley of interest. She told me that she beta reads, critiques, and reviews. So, I asked if she’d like to beta read it for me and she said, “yes.”

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And, there you have it: My amazing beta team for Eyes of the Hunter <3

Finding quality beta readers is a long process:

  • I observe the feedback a person gives to others and what they contribute to conversations in groups.
  • I build a sincere rapport with them. (Note the word sincere. I care about these people and they care about me.)
  • I find out if beta reading is something they’re interested in and what genres they prefer.
  • When I ask them to beta read, I give them just enough detail about the story to hook them, but not enough to ruin the fun.

Some people I asked were swamped with other projects or felt the story was not quite to their interests. No problem! I’ve asked enough people that a couple of “no’s” still leaves me with a fair size group for feedback. Plus if anyone has something come up where they can’t follow through, I wouldn’t be stranded for feedback.


Want to know what guidelines I give my beta readers?
Read my follow-up article, Beta Reader Checklist for Useful Feedback.

How to Find Your Facebook Page Followers List (Excerpt)

It’s important for the Admin of a Facebook Page to keep track of Followers. So, where the blazes did Facebook move that list to!?!?! Here’s the answer …
Find FB Follower List - Header | I Am Rosa
 
When you’re responsible for the the Administration or Moderation of a Facebook Page, it is vital to keep track of Followers. The analytics section provided by the hard-working folks at Facebook is a great way to track numbers and stats, but what about when you need to actually see who those people are? Their names and faces?
 
It used to be easy to do this; a quick link on your Page would take you straight to the list. But, when Facebook got all sophisticated with the stats and graphs, that list link vanished. Luckily, we still have the ability to see the list of Page Followers. It’s a little more involved to get to that list, but this quick tutorial will to help you get there and get business done efficiently … Read Full Article
Find FB Follower List | I Am Rosa

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How to Make Facebook a Positive Experience

As much as we love Facebook, we sometimes walk away feeling like we’re in an unhealthy relationship with it. Here’s some easy tips on how to keep Facebook a positive experience …

Make FB Positive | I Am Rosa

I love Facebook. I love being connected with people from all over the world; sharing laughs, interesting facts, and goofy memes. As a Work-From-Home Mommy and Goddess of Owie Kisses, Facebook is the salvation of my sanity. But, this was not always the case.

For a while, my news feed was flooded with angry rants from gun-fanatics, bigotry, ignorant memes, mindless sheeple reposts, and just plain stupidity. The negativity was overwhelming, and sometimes I’d log off Facebook feeling like I was in an abusive relationship that I didn’t want to go back to.

Here are some really simple things I did to remove the negativity and make my FB experience less nasty …

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True Story Tuesday: Cry Baby Wah Ad

I just came across the BEST ad. Laughed for 3 minutes straight, then couldn’t get through reading it aloud to Jade Arcade without choking on my spit cuz I was laughing even harder at the horrified look on his face. I had to share.

cry baby wah | I Am Rosa

The ad reads:

“You know that sound you hear when you listen to a really good band? One that really captures the essences of the night? Well the cry baby wah is the sound of the terrible band that opened before them who still live in the 1980’s.

I’m selling this perfectly functional, minor cosmetic nicked cry baby wah because in my opinion the wah is the single worst guitar pedal anyone on earth can own. Maybe you like the sound of arrogant, pompous guitar and need a way to show your wife’s friends just how cool you are. Great. Buy my cry baby wah and try and have a threesome.

Yes, the pedal works fine. It’s just that “works fine” and “makes a sound that I actually like” are two very different things apparently. It doesn’t come with a 9V adaptor because I could use those for a better sounding pedal, like a mute pedal. Silence is preferable to the sound of a wah.”

 


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Alternatives to Giving Candy at Halloween (The Teal Pumpkin Project)

Whether you’re concerned about allergies or you’d like to include more than just candy to treat bags, this list of alternatives will help you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

header_teal pumpkin | I Am Rosa

In 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project was launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) as a way for people to offer non-food items or allergy-safe treats to children with food allergies. By putting a teal-coloured pumpkin or Teal Pumpkin sign outside your home, you can let trick-or-treaters know you offer safe alternatives.

As wonderful as that sounds, the first reaction to the concept of the Teal Pumpkin Project is often:

“What am I supposed to give instead?”

This is where the real fun begins for those who stay at home to hand out the treats. Whether you do the “by the handful” method or give out treat bags, you can be creative!

I took this question online to Facebook to find out what others have given as non-food and allergy-free treats at Halloween. Here are some great ideas to get you started …

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