Monday, February 6, 2012

Asking Friends to Beta Read

I'm seriously reconsidering my policy of accepting beta projects from friends that I know in real life. The thing with beta reading for friends is they see you all the time. The excitement causes them to ask "Have you started yet? How far are you?"

Which is fine. Sometimes. If you're asking every five minutes, you're causing me to take time away from your WiP to answer your questions on how far along I am.

Five guidelines for asking friends to beta read:

  1. Don't constantly ask about progress/what they're thinking right then
  2. If they don't have time to beta read for you, accept it.
  3. Books are subjective. Remember that.
  4. If you're looking for specific feedback, tell them that.
  5. Give them adequate time.

Beta reading takes time. I've done projects in anywhere from a few hours to a month. It all depends on the depth of the critique, my personal schedule, and (frankly) how much the project sucks me in.

Do you ask friends to beta read for you? If a friend came to you with a novel, would you read it?