Friday, May 24, 2013

The Beta Reader

This is a concept I have heard a fair amount over the years as I attempted to get my novels to readable condition. Now that it leers over my head with the edit coming closer to an end, I have to wonder about the beta reader because I would like to have a couple of them.  But how does one find such a reader? hmmm

Here beta, beta. Come here little beta...

No luck so far. But I will keep trying. ;-)

Kidding aside, I do have some wonderings about the beta reader concept that I'm going to ramble about here for your reading pleasure. Because for some the beta is an important step. The test read with people who can give the writer an outside pov on their book. There are others who don't share their work until they submit, forgoing the beta stage for a jump into the shark tank approach (lovable sharks hopefully). But it's a decision we have to make. To find the test readers or not.

What is a beta reader?
A beta reader is a reader who before a books release to the public (or sent out to in hopes of interest from publisher or agents) with a critical eye, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization, and general style.

Okay, there are a couple different types. Some will look at just the overall picture. They will look at the story as a general reader about the overall story and characters. Some of the minor details will be ignore so little comma misses and typos aren't viewed as important to point out. Others (those who have been editors themselves for example) may focus on the minutae and not as much on the overall story. This I notice in particular when looking at single chapters at a time. It's harder to see the overall picture in some cases and the technical notes can be helpful if the novel is ready for that. Some will cover all bases at once, which depending on the amount needed the write has to be ready to handle the information being offered them.

Sounds nice right? Helpful and such. Sure... So once you decide to go with the beta reader, the next question becomes: who?

I don't have that answer. I had a few writing friends that wanted to test read a couple of my novels but that was years ago and now that I'm getting close to having an edit done, those that offered aren't in touch anymore. So, I'm at square one in my search for a couple test readers. I even tried joining this group a blogger had where you could search and email others to maybe find a critique partner/beta reader. Didn't have any luck.

So, now to you. 
Do you have a Beta reader?
Are you skipping the beta step?
What method to you recommend for finding a beta reader?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Money From Blogging Consideration

For a while now, some people have asked me if I have considered trying to make money from blogging. And while I had looked into it a little, I must admit that I never looked too much into the concept because I wasn't sure how. I also have a minor concern about feeling like I'm selling out in a way because the easiest ways to earn a little income is with links and such posted on the blogs to send people to other sites or products. On the other hand, it would be nice to get a few dollars from blogging to help pay for the Internet in order to make the blog posts. I am not looking to make a large income, just a little bit every now and then would be nice.

I'm curious what other people on the blog world think about a couple of options. Here are the questions to consider about them: Does it change how you view the blog you are reading when you see them used? Do you use them and if so what has been your experience?

Adsense - (similar options) This is the advertisements that get placed on the side or different parts of the page. From what I've looked at so far, this is one of the most common options people take. The ads can be geared towards the specific audience but it's still advertisements placed on the page and I know with web sites sometimes those ads can have a negative affect on a viewer.

Amazon Affiliate - This is the link to an item from amazon and you get a small amount of the profit if they decide to buy after following the link. While it wouldn't work for most of my blogs because I don't talk about products and I won't be posting links to items for no reason, it wouldn't be too bad I guess to post a link to a book on the book review blog except I'd rather people buy books from other locations. Amazon has its use but it also has the negative impact on the industry from what has been going on lately in the publishing world.

What do you think?