6 Tips to Finding Beta Readers Who Are Also Writers

Where do your fellow writers hang out?

It’s much easier these days to establish communication with other writers. I remember back in the 90s, before the internet, when I was a member of a writers’ group in London. There were about eight of us, usually. We met once a fortnight, for a while at a central location, and then for a further period in each others’ homes. In either case, we had to travel, determinedly, no matter what the weather or how tired we were, usually using public transport, through crowds and cold and discomfort, to finally get to that little room, wherever it was, where we could sit down, get all the social banter and the tea making and the rearranging of chairs out of the way, and read our own story and get feedback, and listen to others’ stories and give feedback.

What a lot of effort that seems today.

Today, we sit in our comfortable armchairs or even in our beds, and, using only one or two fingers perhaps, we can have conversations with writers all over the world. We don’t have to move; we don’t even have to speak. Perhaps we’ve lost something in the process; perhaps we value the feedback a little less because it took less effort to acquire it. But the internet and social media have transformed our ability to get hold of qualified and competent beta readers, and to provide the same service to others.

Here are some specific ways in which you can use social media to contact other writers and get them to act as beta readers for you:

1. Join Facebook groups.

This is probably one of the easiest and most useful methods. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of writing groups on Facebook which are probably suited to you and your work. Just type ‘writing group’ into Facebook’s search bar and select which ones seem appropriate. Some you will have to wait for permission to join, some may ask you questions to qualify you, but many are just public groups, open to all. If you engage with the group and follow conversations and threads, are polite and helpful and display some competence, pretty soon you will come across threads in which people are discussing beta reading and offering to provide services for each other.

2. Check out other social media sites.