Author Topic: beta readers  (Read 1185 times)

Offline pcpoet

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beta readers
« on: December 11, 2014, 04:49:00 AM »
I was just curies if anyone has a suggestion on how to handle beta readers.  I am writing a urban fantasy novel aimed at 8-12 year olds. . I was out today walking my dog and the kids in my neighborhood love to play with my dog. they have gotten to know me because I take my dog for a walk about every hour and a half to give myself a break from writing. the kids in the neighborhood  know that I am trying to write a book. today they found out it was a children's book and they were curies about it and asked when it was going to be in the stores. I had to explain to them that I am new at writing and that it might never get into the stores because I am not done writing it and don't have a publisher. I told them that only one of my chapters is ready for beta reading. I then explained that it meant that if they read it they could tell me what they like and don't like in the book and that if they really did not like something I want to know along with what they really like. I went home and then went through my first chapter trying to clean it up. when I was done I went over to my neighbors house and gave it to there mom to give to her kids to read. my question to anyone here is how do you handle kids as beta readers.
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Offline slrogers

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Re: beta readers
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 02:36:48 PM »
It might be a lot easier to use adults as beta readers, even though your target audience is 8-12. At that age it's the adults that are still likely buying the books for their kids, so they're going to have more pull when it comes to marketing as well. Adults would also be more likely to give you feedback in a way that is much more easily ingested. Perhaps even parents with kids that age might be good. Teachers for kids in that age group might be the most helpful, if you can find some that have the time to help you out.

Offline pcpoet

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Re: beta readers
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 04:10:09 PM »
I plan on using mostly adults as beta readers but when a chapter is at a point that really cant see making to many changes to it with out a complete rewrite I want to use kids because I am hopping that they will see a direction to take my work that I am not seeing or point out something that as an adult I don't understand as having meaning to them.
I am who I am that's all that I am from my head to my toe that's all that I am.

Offline slrogers

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Re: beta readers
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2014, 01:06:44 PM »
So I know of authors that have worked with teachers to use their class for this. The teachers are looking to help students with critical reading skills and thus even help the students to better analyze what they like verses what the didn't like, where they story was more difficult, and so forth. This is usually done, I believe, with the whole book as opposed to just individual chapters. But if you can find a teacher of the age group you're targeting that is willing to work with you, you're golden. They'll probably have ideas as to how it might work best for their class room.

Offline pcpoet

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Re: beta readers
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 02:07:30 AM »
I was out walking my dog today saw the little girl who read the first chapter of the book I am writing. it was great the only thing I could get out of her was that she liked it and she liked the names of the two characters of my story. it is hard to get opinions from the under the age of ten crowd.   I love it...   my goal is to someday have a kid I don't know to ask me to autograph a book I have written.
I am who I am that's all that I am from my head to my toe that's all that I am.

Offline temporus

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Re: beta readers
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 11:10:23 PM »
This is a tough one.  As my older son is 8 at the moment, and quite literate, I'm often tempted to see if he'd read something for me aimed at younger audiences.  On the other hand, while he's quite happy to read any words you stick in front of him, getting useful feedback is a challenge.  He's not unwilling to talk, just, well, eight.  Easily distracted, and more likely to try to do a mash up of whatever I've written and Transformers/Power Rangers/Pokemon, whatever his latest obsession is.

I'd aim for a bit older kids, if you could, as I think you're more likely to get cogent feedback.  Also, I'd try to focus their feedback as best you can.  Kids aren't going to have experience giving feedback.  Make it easy on them.  Like this:  Put stars next to any sentences that you loved.  A smiley face next to anything that made you laugh.  Circle anything you don't understand (words, phrases, paragraphs, etc.)  Put an X by anything you didn't like.  You could also try direct questions about things like: Which character did you like?  Which character would you want to be friends with?  Which character would you want to be?   What you do if you were <character X>?    You can probably do similar questions with setting elements too.  For example, if you were writing Harry Potter, you could ask:  Which house would you want to be sorted into?  Etc.   But I wouldn't go crazy with the questions.  Keeping it short will probably be more useful.

Good luck!