Thursday, September 21, 2017

Finding Unbiased Beta Readers for Your Manuscript

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Looking for Beta "Stranger" Readers for your manuscript.
Last year, I wrote a series of short stories. I wanted to self-publish them in order to build my newsletter mailing list, but I needed to find unbiased Beta readers who could give me “real” feedback.

I didn’t want to ask my friends and family, for fear they would give me the standard pat on the back or false approval.

I wanted raw feedback.

To make my story as strong as it could be, I wanted someone who didn’t know me from Adam, to forsake my feelings and tell me the truth. But that type of person can be hard to find.

Even the best critique partner can have too much familiarity with your content and/or story to give you the most beneficial critique. But a Beta reader “stranger” doesn’t have to worry about being sensitive. He or she can cut right to the chase and be as honest and forthcoming as possible.

And that’s just what I wanted.

So where do you find that kind of person… we’ll I have just the place—The goodreads Beta Reader Group.

For this to work, you must have a goodreads account, and you need to ask to join the forum. On this closed forum, you can create a post about your book and ask complete strangers who like your story idea, genre, etc. to read your book, chapter, or story and give you detailed feedback.

I’ve acquired Beta “strangers” on the forum multiple times and their feedback has always been PRICELESS. I love my friends and family members who read my books and share their insights, but my Beta “strangers” have proven to be a step above.

I caution you, their feedback can be brutal at times. Many won’t pull their punches either, so make sure you have thick skin before you work with certain Beta “strangers”.

But if you need new input, a different perspective, or just a whole new pool of potential Beta readers, the goodreads Beta Reader Group is for you.

As an added bonus, most of my Beta “strangers” went online and review my stories once they went live on Amazon—and they did all of this for FREE. You just can’t beat that kind of situation.

Give it a try, today!

Have you ever used Beta “strangers” for your book?  If so, how did it turn out for you?

Finding Unbiased Beta Readers for Your Manuscript - @CyleYoung (Click to Tweet)

Looking for Beta "Stranger" Readers for your book - @CyleYoung (Click to Tweet)

Cyle Young is a force-sensitive dragon rider trapped in the modern world. When he and his three muggle padawans aren’t racing chocobos, they search for a magical wardrobe or time stone that may help them return home before The Nothing, Skeletor, or Skynet takes over this dimension. Cyle credits his 20+ writing awards to his discovery of the One Ring to Rule Them All. He lives in the Midwest and when he is not shopping manuscripts for Hartline Literary Agency, he can be found pastoring a growing church or lounging in his hammock beside the tranquil Grand River. More at


  1. Cyle, I was about to give up on goodreads for several reasons, but your post has changed that. Valuable information, thanks!

  2. Rita,

    There are so many amazing hidden nuggets on goodreads... you just have to look deep. :)

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