Hi everyone. We've had a lot of new sign-ups in the last few weeks (thanks, Jane!). We're here to help writers who have beta readers, want to share their work, and make the most effective use of the feedback they receive. Our goal is to provide the best method of organizing feedback from your readers, helping our members on the track to publishing.
However, we wanted to impart some encouragement for those of you looking for readers.
We creative types often doubt our own creation. We're not sure that what we've made is any good, and we're afraid. We're afraid that we will waste people’s time, that they won’t like what we have made, and that, by extension, they won't like us. So we don’t want to ask them to read our work, watch our play, see our improv, listen to our remix, come to our gallery show, watch our dance piece, see our band, etc.
I know how that feels.
I'm increasingly convinced that what many people want from BetaBooks, maybe without even knowing it, is for someone else to tell people to read their book because they afraid to ask themselves.
They'd like a 3rd party reference, a stamp of “this is good enough.” Some kind of credibility they feel that only an impartial third party can provide.
If you're a writer, and that's what you're looking for, I want you to stop and ask yourself why. You've done something awesome! You wrote a book! Be proud of that. Or you've written short stories, or a whole series of books, or an article, or whatever. Whatever it is, we want you to be proud of it.
More importantly, we want you to be a successful writer. For that to happen you have to ask people to read your work. You have to be brave enough, or diligent enough, or just plain motivated enough. And we aren’t going to do that part for you. Sorry.
Now, this theory certainly doesn’t apply to everyone; maybe you're out there pounding the pavement, asking everyone you can. But if you're someone who “just wants someone to give them readers” I would encourage you to take a moment of honest self-assessment and see if maybe your problem is that you are not being brave enough to ask.
If any of that rings true for you, then please take a deep breath, then start asking people to read your book.
Some folks are going to love it, some won't. Some are going to quit, and some are going to give you great feedback and help you make a better book. The very worst that can happen is no one will take you up on the request and your book will remain unread, but if you're not asking people to read your stuff, then that's where you're stuck already! So, go ask! Be brave! Be awesome!
You might just be surprised by the wonderful people you meet along the way, and maybe even find yourself wondering why you wanted someone else to do it all for you :)