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Beta readers are ordinary people who love to read and a fresh pair of eyes to read your precious manuscript just to tell you everything that you did wrong. It is one of those tortures that all authors must, or at least they should, endure. We become so involved with our manuscript that we no longer see straight.  We see our characters and events as friends we have lived with for the past several months, maybe even years.  Beta readers help the author see the book as it really is, and they give us ideas to improve our manuscript.

So if you are an author, how do you find beta readers?  Well there are many groups of authors where you can submit your manuscript such as the Beta Reader Group on Goodreads. Goodreads is a social network for book lovers. LibraryThing is another such place to read and talk about books.  There are hundreds of groups and millions of readers.  Some things to keep in mind when looking for beta readers can be found in this
 If you are looking for beta readers for your manuscript, this is a must read.

So if you want to become a beta reader, how do you find authors?  Basically at the same places as I mentioned before – Goodreads and LibraryThing are two great places to start.  Also on Facebook, many authors have an ‘official’ author page.  This may a good place to start looking as well. It really is really cool to read a book before anybody else and to be able to give your feedback that could be used to mold a masterpiece.  Or it is just as amazing to help make a dream come true!

There are so many genres of books that a beta reader can really pick and choose.  It is usually best to beta read in a genre that you regularly read and enjoy.  But it is also nice to read something new and exciting.  I primarily read romance but I have wandered off into some paranormal, autobiographies, mysteries, and true crime novels. There really are so many talented authors out there.

Novels in a Polish bookstore

I love reading because it takes me places I have never been.  I have gotten to live vicariously through the heroes, heroines, and villans of many novels.  My life is pretty mundane (although I wouldn’t trade it for a minute as long as I have my books!) and reading allows me to escape and pretend.  Even non-fiction books lets you learn new things even if you never plan on actually doing what you are reading about.

As a budding author, reading non-fiction helps to develop characters that are more realistic and believable. I developed my love for reading from my mother.  I can remember as a kid going to the library every week with my mom.  We each got five books. We had a very small library in our town and it did not take long to run out of new books to check out.

My dream house would have a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves on three walls.  The fourth wall would have a bay window with a seat.  I would have a desk and a comfortable couch in the middle where I could read and write.  Right now I have two 6-foot by 3-foot books shelves in my living room that are overflowing.  There are many books in bags stuffed in corners in my bedroom until I get a place big enough to add another bookshelf or two!

Have you ever been a beta reader? Tell me what it was like.  Have you ever used beta readers with your manuscript? What was that experience like?  Please leave me comment with thoughts.