Oh agony. I am suffering from Beta Reader envy but (maybe) finding a cure

Frog gate at Los Angeles River

Why the Frog Gate in Studio City? Well, key scenes in my new novel are set along the Los Angeles River.

I have been following the posts of author Sherri McInnis who, after publishing two novels through traditional publishers, is venturing into self-publishing and telling the world about her experiences step by step.  Recently, she reached the Beta Reader stage and, through a friend, reached out to the 900 members of the Toronto Book Club and Brunch group. 900!!!!  Can you imagine having 900 potential beta readers?  Way way too many. Stephen King recommends having 10 people read a MS and then pay attention only to issues that more than one reader points out.

Well, as it turned out, McInnis had 30 book lovers volunteer to beta read her new novel. As she reports in her blog, she was overwhelmed when the replies poured in. In one of her most recent posts she writes that she’s doing a major re-write, including a new ending.

Now this is where I tell how I am curing my beta reader envy.  I don’t have 30 beta readers–and actually don’t want that many.  I don’t have 10 either.  I have two: one is an online seller of children’s books, the other a playwright.  The bookseller I met at Sisters in Crime L.A. recently.  I beta read the playwright’s most recent play a couple of years ago and she volunteered to read my newest novel two days ago. I am also hopeful that I can convince my two sisters to beta read for me. None of these four lovely ladies, however, are part of my target market: 30-50 year old women who like romances that include mysteries with a rough collie dog as a character, too.

So I asked for advice about how to find beta readers at the two online authors groups I belong to and several people mentioned just throwing the request out onto Twitter and Facebook. Well, asking for beta readers on the wild world of the Twitter feed is scary, so I haven’t done it yet–although this post will go into the Twitter feed. Goodreads was mentioned by one person, but, alas, some of the beta readers on Goodreads have turned out to be trolls, according to a couple of reviews I read.  I still may go the Goodreads route for at least one beta reader though.

I am now seeking a solution on Facebook.

At this point I have to confess that although I have published several books, including 2 (‘Working After Retirement‘ and ‘New Vampire Online‘) that made it briefly to best-sellerdom in Amazon sub-categories, I had never done much with my FB author page. So I set up a promo for my Annie Carroll Author  page with a budget of $4 a day for 10 days. It’s now day three and it appears that each ‘Like’ is going to cost me .90-$1.

Okay. The next step in my plan is to spend a little money–less than $30–promoting a post asking for Beta Readers.  Hopefully some of the women who ‘Like’ me during this current promotion will be willing to volunteer to beta read.

If you are interested in beta reading my novel, contact me by using the Comment section near the top of this post.

I will let you know how this works out.

Before I do that, however I have to put on my Grammar Nazi hat and finish revisions of the novel.


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