15 Places to Find Your Next Beta Reader

15 Places to Find Your Next Beta Reader

15 Places to Find Your Next Beta ReaderWhere can I find a beta reader or critique partner? Without doubt, that’s the second most frequent question I receive from writers (right after where do I find a good editor?).

This can be a tough question to answer for the simple reason that a beta reader or critique partner isn’t someone you simply vet and hire, like you would a freelance editor. Rather, this is (ideally) a relationship you build, just as you would build any important friendship.

7 Things to Look for in a Beta Reader

There are several keys to finding the right beta reader (and it is important to find the right one). You want someone who:

1. Enjoys your genre.

2. Understands your intentions for your stories.

3. Likes your stories, in general.

4. Isn’t afraid to tell you what isn’t working.

5. Is an experienced reader and/or writer (both bring important insights to the table).

6. Is reliable and trustworthy.

7. You like–and who likes you in return.

In short, when you’re looking for beta readers, what you’re really looking for is “your kind of people.”

How to Find a Great Beta Reader

Where do you look for these peeps? Local writing groups sometimes offer possibilities. But the Internet is by far your greatest beta reader resource.

Honestly, my best advice is to simply go where writers go (Twitter, Facebook, writing blogs, writing forums) and start making connections. When you find someone who you feel will be a good fit, offer to trade critiques. Eventually, the right person or people will rise to the top (and when they do, make sure you treat them right).

Still, that’s not the kind of answer most writers want. It is, after all, kinda vague–and there’s a lot of time and a little bit of luck involved. So I decided to take this whole game up a notch. I conducted an informal poll (via my daily Writing Question of the Day–#WQOTD–on Facebook and Twitter)

Following is the list of responses I received, in alphabetical order.

Top Recommended Beta Reader and Critique Groups for Writers

10 Minute Novelists (Facebook Group)

Absolute Write

Agent Query Connect

Beta Readers and Critiques (Facebook Group)

Christian Woman Critique Partners and Beta Readers (Facebook Group)

Christian Writers

Critique Circle

Critters Workshop (for Speculative Authors)

Indie Author Group (Facebook Group)

KidLit 411

Lit Reactor

My Writers Circle

Writer’s Carnival

The Writer’s Workshop


Now What Do You Do?

The only one of these sites with which I have any personal experience is Christian Writers, and that was many years ago. You’ll need to do some research (aka, poking around) to discover which site is the right fit for you. Some of the Facebook groups are invitation-only, so if they interest you, you’ll need to submit your application for approval.

Remember, finding a good beta reader is often as much about being a good beta reader yourself as it is anything else. Be prepared to give generously, use wisdom in selecting appropriate groups and partners, and take advantage of this resource to help you polish your writing to the next level.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! Do you have a beta reader? If so, where did you find him? Tell me in the comments!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I belong to and am one of the moderators of a critique group. We meet every two weeks to review two works within the group. We’re not afraid to tell one another what we think, which is important. I’ve walked away, licking my wounds while holding my humility in my hand but have become a stronger writer because of it and have also developed a thicker skin, too. To me, the idea of meeting with the same people has its ups and downs. While I like having that face to face interaction, I do think it can sometimes be a curse, because as we become so familiar with one another, a certain nepotism, if you will, can start to form. We’ve had this group for three years and although I and the two other moderators have been in it since inception, we’ve had a lot of change which creates fresh eyes. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Reading and critiquing other people’s work and having my work vetted by extra eyes, has been an invaluable experience. And while it may seem overwhelming to have eight to ten different people tell you eight to ten different things about your piece, you’ll also find trends (good or bad) within your writing that you wouldn’t have necessarily seen had you only read it yourself.

    It’s funny, because this group of people is often the collective inner voice that exists in my head now as I write. I’ve embodied a lot of their spirit which has made me a much stronger writer and am blessed to have this group.

    What I’ve found (based on what others have said in this group) is that good critique groups can be hard to come by. A lot will charge a fee and some consist of people who only give glowing reviews for fear they may offend. This doesn’t help. As a writer, I need to know if my stuff isn’t cutting it, and as a writer, I need to develop a thick skin, two things out of many the critique group I belong to helps me with. While I mentioned that there are a lot of ups and downs to having a critique group, I think the ups have far outweighed the downs and if you can find a good group, stick with it.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Great points here. It’s valuable to maintain steady beta readers, since they’re intimate with your style and intentions–and your weaknesses. But fresh eyes are *always* valuable. Familiarity can breed, if not contempt, then at least a little bit of blindness. Also, the better you get to know someone, sometimes the harder it can be to be “mean” about their story problems.

  2. I discovered the ChickLit Goddesses on Facebook from a writer I “met” on Goodreads. They’ve become dear friends and wonderful sounding boards for my work. It’s been awesome. They haven’t read what I’ve written (except in blog format), but hopefully soon. 🙂

  3. I’m currently looking for beta readers, so this came up at the right time. I am wondering, is there specific questions to ask beta readers? It would be great to see a blog post on that. Thank you

    • I can’t speak for our hostess (or anyone else), but I think the questions you’d ask would depend on what you’re most concerned about: Typos? Grammar? Or, are you concerned more with plot, characterization, or continuity issues?

      To me it’s great if you catch a typo, but I really want to know if the scene is boring, or if I have a character getting soaking wet in the rain when I mentioned she has an umbrella with her in the previous chapter and so on.

    • What about a read for a read?

      I am looking for beta readers also so for my dystopian novel, Fear.
      Fear by Mike Lee

      Imagine a future filled with fear as you step into this dystopian nightmare. In 2020, terrorists are suspected of a killer robot attack against Chicago, followed by a dirty bomb that initiated the Nuclear Third World War. No one knows who started it, but North Korea or Iranian sponsored terrorists were the most likely suspects. Whoever caused it, it was the end of the Modern Era, as the U.S. Government became more and more ineffective, so that it gradually turned over all functions to a huge corrupt private FEAR Corporation. Then the world returned to a more primitive society, one in which the middle class no longer existed and only the poor, (subversives) and the rich, (citizens) now inhabit post-war America. Nuclear fallout and gangs of mutants made the surface of the planet uninhabitable. The only cities remaining are the three land-based floating cities of Sanatorium, Palladium, and Gymnasium and the three sea-based floating cities of Reagan, Nixon, and Kennedy. Then, Fear Corporation a seemly beneficent entity seeks to remain in power. as it began a constant bombardment of propaganda, gradual starvation, kidnapping slaves, referred to as the Disappeared, and introduced RAGE, a highly addictive and dangerous drug, that intensifies people’s fears and is used to enslave the poor by segregating everyone in Fear colors and Fear Camps. Fear paralysis is the norm as people hide behind thick and tall concrete walls. Fear then takes a Five Year child from his or her biological parents and gives them to a rich couple who have no children and the biological parents may only see the child on a Reality TV Show.

      This book is not all doom and gloom, it has humor and a whole lot more.

      • Abigail says

        If you have not found a beta reader, I would like to read your novel. It’s a good concept and I love anything in the sci-fi/futuristic/apocalyptic genre.

        • Abigail, are you interested in reading an almost 5000 word document which is a sort of manifesto essay accompanied by illustrations? Serious reading about patterns found in the universe with an apocalyptic edge. Mostly concerned about typos, grammar and continuity. Also have a short list of questions if you prefer. I’d be happy to acknowledge you in the book and on my website.

    • I am days away from publishing, and I used quite a number of beta readers. I’ve just posted an article on my blog, https://johnrichmon.com/beta-readers-what-i-learned/ on what I learned about beta readers. I’m here because I wanted to include a resource for free sources of readers. My next article will be about how I would do things differently next time. In it, I plan to touch on your question. It’s obviously too late for you, but someone else may find their way here and benefit.

  4. This is a great resource! I haven’t heard of several of these before, so I’ll have to check them out. In the past, I’ve had luck with Ladies Who Critique and with Camp NaNoWriMo cabin mates. My best resource (and one that I’m well aware is very rare) is my writing classmates from my MA. We never stopped workshopping after our classes and degree ended, and I still talk daily with several of them about writing progress and questions to get their feedback.

  5. I found six very helpful beta readers through my blog. I have an extremely small following, but I wrote a post one day asking for interested volunteers. Some followers must have spread the word because I got a few from outside my blog followers.

    The most important thing I did before giving them each a copy of the mss was to send them the first three chapters so they could determine if my story was something they would, at least, be able and willing to slog through. To my surprise, all said yes, so I sent then the full mss along with a detailed questionnaire asking for specific feedback (very important).

    I didn’t force them to stick to the questionnaire format, so some wrote essay-style critiques and still answered my questions.

    For their efforts, they will each get a signed copy of my novel, and I mentioned them by name in the Acknowledgements page. Those six will be at the top of my list of potential beta readers for my next novel.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      That’s great! Most of my beta readers are people I’ve met through my site and social media. Gaining a following is definitely a great place to start, especially since it allows you to form relationships with people who are genuinely interested in what you’re writing.

    • Great ideas, and great techniques. Thanks for sharing. BTW this is also a great thread. Thanks@KMWeiland

    • Hi there,
      How did you get on. With your manuscript I mean? I just came across your info on how you sent out ms to 3 beta readers, and really just wanted to know how you got on. Ive found that finding Beta readers is next to impossible even when Id make a good one myself for someone else. Is it possible to have a read at what you’ve written so far.
      Do let me know if you’re still looking for a good wholesome beta reader.



  6. While I understand how important the Internet can be in finding critique partners, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel it’s safe enough to send my work out to a stranger. After all, we can never truly vet the person on the other side. How do you know if you can trust the people to whom you send your work?

    • If you’re worried about theft, you might want to join closed writing groups, where you have to log in to see the stories in the first place. But why would you trust a classmate? Or someone in an off-line group? Apply your criteria to the web.

      The advantage of an online group, I think, is that you have the option to observe behavior before deciding to team up with someone.

      • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

        Jamie’s advice is good.

        I’ll add that while theft certainly happens, it’s rare. In the webinar I hosted last week, Bryan Cohen put it really well when he answered this same question and said, basically, “There are more important things to worry about.”

        I’ll also be frank and say that theft happens less frequently than people think, simply because few stories and ideas are truly worth stealing.

        Even if you should suffer a theft, the chances of your career or ability to sell your own story being negatively affected are minuscule.

        In short, you have to ask yourself, which is more important: Using beta readers to help improve your writing into something publication-worthy–or sitting on a non-publishble story out of fear it may be stolen?

      • It’s not necessarily that I worry about theft, it’s more the idea that I don’t know anything about the person on the other end; I can’t even picture their face. I don’t know. To me, if I can’t observe, not just what you say, but how you say it, or have no idea about what kind of person you are without the computer screen, I don’t want to hand you one of the most important things to me.

        I do agree that it’s better to risk opening up to a faceless stranger than sit on something unpublishable though, and your idea about a closed writing group would certainly be better than posting something that anyone could read without me even knowing about it. Thanks 🙂

        It’s also good to know theft is rare. My friend had her writing stolen off her own website. Someone copy/pasted it onto theirs and gave no credit. I don’t remember why, but she was unsuccessful in court when she tried to do something about it.

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          Two thoughts here:

          1. I totally get where you’re coming from in disliking the idea of a faceless connection. This is one reason I encourage readers to not just *trade* critiques but form *relationships.* Your critters become more than just voices in the dark; they become friends. And the blessings are compounded.

          2. Regarding theft. I’ve had things stolen off my site too and posted elsewhere without credit. It’s stinky, but it can happen. However, to be honest, I’ve yet to run into a situation that was significant enough for me to get my knickers into a twist. It’s easy for an author to get all in an uproar over the injustice of the thing (and it *is* unjust), but usually the stress simply isn’t worth it. The only time I would actually sweat this is if the plagiarism were actively hurting me in some way. Some random unethical person posting a blog post here and there is not going to hurt me or help him.

          I can’t speak for your friend’s situation, obviously, but as regrettable as these things are, the number of times when they’re actually *damaging* are, I think, relatively few–as long as you don’t *let* them become damaging by getting unduly stressed about them. That’s my take anyway.

        • There are some etablished critique sites- I use critters.com (scifi and fantasy, tho the Critters have sites for other genres too). They have pages to train new members in how to give comments that are both useful and diplomatic , and you can contact the site host if anyone trolls you to get themejected.

  7. This post is right on time. I’m looking forward to seeing suggestions here. I was part of a critique site a decade ago that I don’t think is around now, and I’ve been wondering where to go now.

  8. Thanks Katie for this helpful resource. As always you provide valuable information to the rest of us who are still dreaming of that day when we can work for ourselves.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I hope you do achieve your dream! But I will also say that there are a lot of great things about *not* writing for a living. So enjoy them while they last. 🙂

  9. For me personally, I find them on Fiverr. It’s easier, but I’ll check this list. Thanks!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Everybody’s on Fiverr!

    • Great conversation here, Ms Weiland!

      As a beta reader on Fiverr, there are a lot of opportunities to find good connections. I encourage writers to reach out and ask questions. A beta reader on Fiverr is working for you. I am a teen guy and specifically like to offer a teen perspective to YA writers. I welcome answering any questions.

  10. Hi, Alex from Scribophile here! I wanted to pop in here to make myself available to answer any questions about Scribophile your readers might have.

    We’re an award-winning community with over 8+ years of service helping writers from around the world achieve writing success. With tens of thousands of members and over half a million critiques served, our community is very large and very active. We even have a free membership that writers can take advantage of for as long as they wish.

    Our system can require significant participation, so it’s not for everyone. But we do pride ourselves in our friendly and open atmosphere–as I’m sure our many, many happy members would agree. We wouldn’t be around today 8 years later if it weren’t for our awesome, inclusive community.

    Please ask away!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Thanks for stopping in, Alex!

    • Jocelyn Babcock says

      I was surprised Scribophile wasn’t on the list. I started there around the first of the year and the feedback is… well, I’m lost for the perfect word to describe how helpful the beta readers have been. Especially in chapters where I knew something was off, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I wish I had found this group years ago instead of asking friends and family to bata read.

  11. Also be sure to check out http://onlinewritingworkshop.com/ for an excellent place to exchange critiques with people at all stages of their craft and career.

  12. PM Carson says

    I was very surprised that you chose to leave Scribophile off your list of places to find beta readers. Not only is Scribophile an excellent source for betas, it is by far the best site a serious writer could ever hope to find. What is more surprising, is that of all the sites you mentioned, Scribophile offers more. More members, more critiques, more contacts, more groups, more for writers who want to learn, grow, and network. All genres and sub-genres, screenwriters, poets, novelists and would-be writers are there. Many come to the site, make friends, trade critiques, discuss and sometimes disagree and this makes sense. For a site as large as Scribophile, with so many different styles, cultures, countries, and opinions, you can expect differences. You can also expect intriguing, thought provoking, helpful and encouraging insights for a great community. Writing is about experiences, observing, creating and producing. It’s life. Anyone who joins today would get a warm welcome.

    I have read your blog for some time and purchased your books. I wouldn’t make a judgment of you based on the negative opinions of a few. If you decide to ignore the best site for writers on the planet and leave it off your list, I am hopeful that you will change what comes across as a negative statement as to why you decided not to include Scribophile. Perhaps it is more professional and less hurtful to remove the statement altogether. I would certainly speak up if someone made a negative statement of you as I respect your work and your books. Writers struggle and you have done incredible work out of compassion and a desire to help them. This is what Scribophile does every day, only for millions.

    Please allow the vast numbers of happy and grateful Scribophile members to be represented rather than a few who may be discouraged today, only to re-join tomorrow because there is absolutely no place like Scribophile. By and large, the site is well-loved and it saddens me that the spirit of Scribophile and all the work that goes into such a wondrous site, should go unrecognized. The site should certainly not be mentioned with a cautionary note that is completely undeserved. Writers need each other and serious writers need Scribophile. It is my hope that writers who need all that Scribophile offers will not turn away from a great writing community. Thanks for taking the time to hear from a long-term and happy member.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      PM, thanks for sounding in! After exchanging a few emails with Alex from Scribophile (his comment, above), I have decided to do just as you recommend and remove the reference to Scribophile altogether. Since I have no personal experience with the site, I’m unable to offer either an affirmation or a refutation of anyone’s experiences (whether positive or negative), so I’ll leave it that.

  13. I would like to give my opinion re: Scribophile.com. I’ve been an active member of the site for about a year now and I’ve found it to be a wonderful place to receive feedback and network with other authors, both wannabes and published. As Alex said above, the more you put in, the more you get out of it.

    I would also like to echo Alex’s statement of Scribophile being a warm and open community. Scribophile isn’t for everyone, but we have a lot to offer. And yes, it is a wonderful place to find beta readers. I’ve found several betas via the site and managed to develop long-term relationships with them. And all of my betas have been very helpful in giving me feedback on my writing to make it better. Everyone on Scribophile is very warm and open to newbies.

    I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to join a writing community. We offer a free membership that can be used for as long as you want, no time limit. If you want to get feedback on your work, Scribophile is the place for you. If you want to network and build readership, Scribophile is the place for you. If you want to just hang out and chat with like-minded people, guess what? We’ve got you covered.:)

    I would encourage anyone with any questions about Scribophile to contact Alex, who is the moderator of our site. He’s very helpful and always willing to answer questions. Us Scribophlians are very proud of our community. I’ve read some of the “negative reviews” about the site, but I’ve never seen any of the problems that are talked about in those bad reviews. I’m very proud to be a member of Scribophile. I’ve made some amazing friends, met some great betas, and would highly recommend any writers looking for feedback to try joining as a free member and see if it works for you.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Corinne, also appreciate your feedback about your positive experience with Scribophile.

  14. Scribophile is the best site for critiques, beta readers, and connecting with other authors! There is no other website out there like it. It may seem overwhelming and hard to navigate at first, but the karma system has been refined again and again that it is now fine tuned like the parade routes at Disneyland- It’s pretty much flawless.

    It’s the best place to make connections with other authors. All of my best friends who are writers have come from Scribophile.

    Not only that, but Alex (the moderator) really values member’s feedback and works tirelessly to upkeep Scribophile’s high standards.

    Scribophile.com really should be included in your list. I’m surprised that you made a list of so many sites you haven’t had experience with. I recommend checking out Scribophile as well as all the other sites you listed.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Alex’s interaction with me today has been an incredible display of sterling professionalism.

  15. I’d also like to chime in about Scribophile! I’ve been a member for 5+ years. I’ve tried many other writing sites, and Scribophile is the best I’ve found for getting meaningful, supportive feedback.

    It uses a unique point system that guarantees writers at least 3 “long” (ie, more than 125 words) critiques on every piece posted, and writers can only earn those points by critiquing the works of others. This system quickly builds a network for writers that can easily lead to beta readers for whole novels.

    The site bills itself as a place for “serious writers,” which translates to people focused on writing, not drama (a team of moderators ensures that forum threads are kept positive and on-topic). It also means you have to put in effort to get the most out of the system, which doesn’t work for some people. The help people have received at the site has led to thousands of published works, both traditionally and self-published. Scribophile is definitely a resource that should be on this list.

  16. Zeta Lordes says

    I would like to add my voice to others here in appreciation and complete support of Scribophile.com as an outstanding feedback resource and community for serious writers trying to develop their skills.

    Not unsurprisingly, Scrib is where I was first introduced to the K.M. Weiland Site. Your excellent books and articles are often linked and recommended reading in any number of threads and posts on craft, and even the occasional critique.

    While it’s disappointing Scribophile may not have been given fair consideration in your current list, I do appreciate being given the opportunity to comment positively about a truly exemplary on-line community dedicated to helping writers.

    Scribophile.com, with Alex Cabal’s leadership, is definitely worth exploring as an excellent resource for Beta Readers and solid critique feedback.

  17. Hello K.M. Weiland! You have a great blog! I stopped by to briefly discuss Scribophile with you. I noticed in one of your replies you said you were not a member of Scrib. I would love to extend a welcome to you to join. It is free and being a member first hand might give you a new perspective on the chatter that’s been going on about the site. I’ve been online as a website owner since 2001 and I’d like to mention that if I believed everything I heard online, I promise you I wouldn’t have held on to my site this long.

    Sadly there will always be negative responses to everything because that is the nature of the Internet. For a tool that can be so positive, the Internet can also bring out the negative. I ask you to take a few minutes, join Scribophile, and take a look at the community first hand. As a online blogger of the written word, you understand the power of words and people value your opinions and I would think follow your suggestions just as they follow your blog.

    So join Scrib and honestly I’m sure you’ll include it on your next list for helpful sites to writers because that’s what is is, an invaluable tool for writers. Best wishes on your online endeavors and I’ve now subscribed to your blog.

  18. Hello everyone,

    Late to the party I suppose. This topic sounds like a great thread. I’ve heard of scribophile but never been there. Don’t really need beta readers just yet, and I don’t want to over commit myself in too many areas. Thanks for the list Kate, looks like a good resource.


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Yes, I don’t recommend looking for betas until you’ve finished the first draft. Too many cooks can spoil the broth!

  19. Thanks for another incredibly useful post! I’m fairly new at this, and didn’t even realize such resources existed out there online. I’ve been benefiting from an in-person critique group for over a year now, but membership is dropping off and I’m not getting as much feedback as I’d like. Now I’m signed up for Critters Workshop and already loving it!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’ve never been a part of an in-person critique group, but I would think it might be more a personal commitment–and therefore harder to keep people invested in. Still, it does provide more accountability.

  20. I just found you on Twitter. Thank you for this post, very helpful! I’m looking for beta readers for my memoir and now I have places to research.

  21. I see I’m not the only person surprised not to see Scribophile on this list. I’ve had personal experience with a couple of the other sites you recommend, and Scribophile tops them by far.

  22. I tend to find two types of beta readers, those who provide valuable insight but don’t finish the manuscript and those who read the whole thing and return vague, general comments such as “I liked it,” which don’t help much at all. When I serve as a beta reader, I try to be the type of reader I want for myself, detailed and candid. A dedicated beta reader who’s detailed, candid, and insightful and who finishes the manuscript would be wonderful. If it takes lemonade and cookies to keep such a person happy, then you’ll find me busy in the kitchen.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I find cookies are always a useful bribe. 😉 In all seriousness, though, you’re on the right track. Just keep being that good beta reader yourself and keep looking for the beta reading relationship that gives you back what you need. It’s kinda like falling in love. :p

  23. Scribophile isn’t on the list? This surprises me, as when I was doing research into an online writing community that would suit my needs, Scribophile was one of the first options to pop up, and after signing up (the site is free to use), I ended up upgrading to a Premium membership within a month (which simply means a few more formatting options and you can post more chapters at once–you still have to critique for Karma, and that’s a very good thing!), simply because the feedback I was receiving was so amazing. I’ve been with Scribophile for over a year now and it’s definitely the best writing site I’ve ever had a personal experience with.

    I can see others have been extolling Scribophile’s virtues, but I wanted to add my two cents in that the Karma system, where you must critique in order to post your own works for critique–is the best system I’ve ever seen. Not only does it ensure that you are actively participating, but I’ve learned a lot from critiquing others as well as from critiques on my own work.

    To other writers out there in search of a online writing community, definitely check out Scribophile as well as the sites that KM listed! You may find it’s as perfect a fit for you as it is for me. 🙂

  24. Kim Daniels says

    Thank you for sharing your resources on Beta Readers. I’m a relatively new Beta Reader at the age of 50 and got involved after noticing a Beta Reading Group on Goodreads. One of the moderators who is an author provides a Beta Reading Worksheet as an aid for providing detailed and useful information to the writer. It’s available free on her website. I’ve found it be a wonderful tool.

    I appreciate websites such as yours that offer guidiance and past experiences from writers. I recently got my adult son into Beta Reading and it was such a pleasure to see how mutually beneficial it turned out for both him and his writer.

    • Dave Pettegrew says

      Could you send me an idea of what you would have a beta reader read? I am very new at the idea and have never heard of it before.

    • Robert Plowman says

      Hi Kim,
      I am looking for a beta reader for my WIP. Are you still interested?

      • Kim Daniels says

        Hi Robert,

        I’d be happy to beta read for you. I have 2 I’m working on right now. I primarily stay with writers I’ve read for before and wouldn’t be ready for about 3 weeks. If that works for you let me know.


        • Robert Plowman says

          Hi Kim,
          Thank you for your offer and prompt reply. The end of August is fine for me, no rush at all. My email address is:
          azfrey123@gmail.com. Email me when you’re free, and we can chat some more.

          Thank you, Robert

        • Aleksander Vezuli says

          Hi Mrs. Kim,
          I would like to know if you are available to beta read my autobiography. I really appreciate it.
          Kind regards!

  25. Nice list of seven. I was wondering, too, if perhaps , when looking for a beta reader, it might be beneficial to look out for someone who would really fit your ideal reader persona; someone who represents well the intended audience you write for.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Definitely. These are the betas who will be able to give you the most accurate feedback. However, it’s also useful to throw in a reader or two who aren’t as in sync with what you’re doing, since they can provide valuable perspectives as well.

  26. Thanks for the list. I wish I had found it a few weeks ago when I was looking for beta readers.

  27. It has been SO long since I’ve BETA read and I miss it a lot. I took a break around a year ago to concentrate on publishing my first novel. The only problem is, is that all of my beta reading was very freelance and so I don’t have any credible references. Most of these people, I can’t even get in contact with anymore. So whenever a website asks for credentials I feel like I’m starting from scratch but I’m really not.

    • Robert Plowman says

      Hi Lilly,
      I am looking for a beta reader for my WIP. Are you still interested?

      • Hi All, while this article is fab, there seems to be a lot of confusion on different editing types, beta reading, and developmental help. While writers often have the impulse to want feedback on their first few chapters, that isn’t beta reading. Often that falls into the category of developmental edits, which helps you find out whether what you’ve got is enough for a full book. That’s not beta reading.

        Think of it this way:
        1. write your 0 Draft. That’s you telling yourself the story.
        2. If you need help with 1. you are learning about writing, and may need developmental edits. Those are normally paid, and you can search and find a suitable editor on, i.e.fiverr.com
        3. you edit your own draft from 0 draft to #Draft until you are happy with plot, character developments, and pace. this may involve putting the manuscript aside for a while to be able to look at it with fresh eyes.
        4. Once you have tweaked and optimized as much as you can, you send a fairly clean version of your manuscript to your beta readers. Ideally those will give you honest feedback and span different genders, socio-economic and age groups. otherwise you get a skewed feedback. Beta reader can but don’t have to be paid. Depends on your specific arrangements.
        5. based on the beta-reader feedback you edit again. Also include your front matter and back matter now in the drafts.
        6. that version goes to your copy editor, who helps with line by line editing, inconsistencies, and last pitfalls. Again this is a paid job.
        7. You implement your editors feedback.
        8, Off with the draft no.1million to the proof reader, who will pay attention to your grammar and punctuation. Again, this is a paid job.
        9. Get that version to your formatter/format it yourself for eBook and paper back publishing. If you are having it formatted, this is a paid job.

        Writing is a craft honed over years and by practice. But don’t confuse the different types of editing, proof reading, and beta reading with each other. You may end up paying for something you you didn’t intend to buy/aren’t ready for.
        Love & Peace Out,

  28. I found this post, I think, through one of your tweets. I’m currently, slowly, looking for critique partners / beta-readers for a story I’m writing. I hope to have it finished by the end of NaNoWriMo’s April Camp. I read somewhere that the best critique partner would be someone who’s not in your genre, for several reasons (I hope you don’t mind me quoting another blog here):

    1. There is less chance of affecting each other’s voices.
    2. You’re never in competition with each other.
    3. Writing in different subgenres decreases the probability of unconsciously borrowing from each other’s work.
    4. You probably aren’t as well versed in your partner’s subgenre so you’ll question details another writer or reader in the same market might take for granted. For example, my CP writes historical and sci-fi romances. I’m not much of a historian and I tend to be pragmatic so suspending my disbelief doesn’t come easily. Therefore, when the history begins to take over my CP’s story or her world-building stretches plausibility, I’m the first one to notice it. As a contemporary writer, I’m more likely to question whether a term or phrase is anachronistic.
    From: http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/the-great-cp-search-is-on-reprisal-from-2011/

    From what I understand from your post, you think finding a beta-reader/critique partner in your own genre is, on the contrary to the above believe, important.
    What is your stand on the above four points?

    Personally I’d like someone to read my story because they like it. Of course, the technical part (plot development, characterization, etc), is something that can be done by anyone from any genre, but knowing if this story will be interesting in your chosen, genre, knowing if it misses these typical fantasy things, for example, is something someone from a modern day chicklit novel will have a harder time, I can imagine.


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I definitely think it’s great to get non-genre beta readers for all of the above reasons. However, I would never rely *solely* on non-genre readers. We also need those familiar with our genre to help us make sure we’re fulfilling reader expectations.

  29. I have a question about turning readers down. Some of the people who’ve known for 2.5 years that I’ve been writing a book have been asking when I’m going to let them read it. They’re not big readers, and I don’t know that they’ll provide super helpful feedback (won’t say anything bad). I also know they probably won’t ever read it again afterwards, and I want to give them the best possible reading experience.

    But I don’t know how long it’ll be before the book is ready for the public.

    So do I make them keep waiting until the book is published, or go ahead and let them read it now?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Honesty is always the best policy. Tell them the truth, and don’t feel ashamed for enforcing necessary boundaries until you’re truly ready to share your work.

  30. K.E. Mehndiratta says

    We are a startup located in the Boston area serving writers in the English language all over the world and we are currently seeking the following:

    – Writers with completed, revised, but not necessarily polished novel manuscripts IN ANY GENRE of fiction to utilize our beta reading service up front FOR FREE at this time.

    There is no catch. We are not looking to steal story ideas, but are looking to grow our client base and network by offering a beta reader service up front for free as we grow. We see it as a win-win: helpful feedback on your manuscript while we can serve you. Our beta readers hold bachelors or advanced degrees in English, writing, literature, and communications and have publications of our own. We are dedicated and passionate readers of the written word and want to offer feedback on your manuscript that is both honest and constructive so that you can revise your manuscript and ready it for publication as needed.

    If you are interested in the service we are now offering to ‘beta test’/read your manuscript FOR FREE at this time, will you please contact us at betasolutionsboston@gmail.com?

    Thank you, and looking forward to hearing from you!

    Beta Testing Solutions Boston

    • Hi, I have only just come across this post and your comment.

      Although it was almost 2 and half years ago that you put out that call for finished works from budding authors to give to your beta-readers, are you still in need?

  31. I like the article, and my most recent work-cooperation was with 3 critics per story, over at https://www.scribophile.com/authors/andre-michael-pietroschek/

    Having seen the day my own words became too educated & too polished for my main readers made me decide to fall back. I am one born into the underclasses way of life, and I know the joy & pain of not being able to ever make it into overpaid jobs.

    Same on refugees, who are not informed about the language courses costs before they arrive in our oh so flawless, ever-tolerant revision of a nation.

  32. Jonas Frid says

    Great post! Nowadays, you can also find beta readers and critique partners over at BetaReader Connect – Find beta readers & critique partners (Facebook), and BetaReader.io, who runs the group 🙂

  33. I desperately need a Beta writer-and it’s my first time asking anyone to read outside of the people I know. I’m wondering if anyone would want to read my novel. it’s the first of a series, a historical novel with fantasy elements. I can be reached at mommytocats@gmail.com


  34. A warm hello, I have written a narrative nonfiction ebook about State & Federal Government Contracting. What prompted the writing of my ebook? I posted a comment in a discussion on LinkedIn “What kind of work skills do we need to be a qualified Business Developer?” It received 11,000+ likes and an avalanche of emails asking me to tell them more.

    Since the pandemic and with so many small businesses losing their livelihood and flocking to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to become certified – I studied the terrain of books currently featured… there is nothing out there which describes true life happenings.

    My narrative is focused on multiple target audiences… those seeking to become entrepreneurs (business developer), those who are already involved and failing to cull contracts and those seeking ways to develop multiple revenue streams.

    Back Cover reads.. “If the silence residing deep within the crevices of your mind has ever entertained the notion that you can run a business, better than your boss… BEWARE! Swells of tauntingly performed sirens have taken root in your souls’ compass.” To own your own business you must first be a Business Developer. The same appears to be true about writing.

    Moliere wrote about “writing” being like prostitution…
    “First, you do it for fun.
    Then you do it for a few friends.
    Finally, you do it for the money.”

    I am teamed with a Woman Owned Business (WOB) who was driven into bankruptcy by a large federal prime contract. Happens often. Our relationship began as a Mentor Protégé relationship when she contacted me through LinkedIn to ask how she could get started in federal contracting. Alice was well experienced and thrived in running her industrial business in a heavily male dominated industry.

    Her keen perception and opinions upon entering the federal arena became a confirmation for me to finishing writing my ebook which had lain dormant for two years. Upon entering the federal arena Alice spent a great deal of time, money, researching, attending conferences and reading countless books on federal contracting, none of which satisfied what she was experiencing in the process. After reading my rough draft and at her insisted she believed the ebook could help others like herself.

    I would like to find a Beta Reader but reluctant due to the lack of time I can dedicate to reading manuscripts of genres outside my field of interest. Doesn’t seem fair but I’m being honest. I do feel I need a competent Beta Reader but one who understands the government contracting area.

    I am currently into my 4th edit… reaching out to you and would most sincerely appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you for listening,


  1. […] Cooper talks about lessening the pain as you cut words you have crafted, K.M. Weiland shares 15 places to find your next beta reader, and Roz Morris discusses how much to budget for […]

  2. […] 15 Places to Find Your Next Beta Reader […]

  3. […] 15 Places to Find Your Next Beta Reader – Another helpful article from K.M. Weiland. A big part of the reason I joined PNWA was to try and find a critique buddy and I’ll be sure to be implementing many of Weiland’s suggestions as I try to find my beta readers. It’s always nice to have friends and family tell you how wonderful your writing is, but it’s not very helpful. I’ll be checking out some of the groups linked in this post for sure. And I’ve also been reading up on how to be a more helpful, effective beta reader. I’ll link to some resources for that in a future post. […]

  4. […] betas is one thing, there are many fantastic blogs that discuss this including Small Blue Dog or Helping Writers Become Authors, but what I found much less of is advice as to how to handle this period when your book has been […]

  5. […] freelance writer, a published writer and a journalist—do not use your friends or family as beta readers or proofreaders. Why? Because you’re likely to get these […]

  6. […] honest opinion, unclouded by personal relationships. Instead, reach out in online writing forums. This list can help get you started. If you have ARC copies you can send out, use those, but online readers […]

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