Tuesday, September 1, 2020

#IWSG Beta Partner Author

ISWG

September 2 question - If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?


The first thought I had was to define beta partner:


"Beta readers are, first and foremost, readers. They look at your manuscript as if it were a book they just took off the shelf and aim to answer the question “What did you think?” They are big-picture readers, focusing more on the feel of the manuscript than the nitty-gritty of grammar and phrasing."


"A beta reader is usually a test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing, who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author."


"A beta reader is a reader, usually one who reads in your genre and is a member of your target audience, who gives you feedback based on a reader's perspective, not a writer's perspective."

My next thought was to look at an Amazon list for books in the same selling category:

Best Sellers in New Adult & College Fantasy

Vampires, werewolf/shifters, witches, detectives, academy -- none of these will match well with what I've written.

David Estes seems promising. Though the Fatemarked series doesn't seem to be an urban fantasy.



Maybe I should look at what other categories Amazon has book 1 of my series in right now?

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 

Well, that gives me some more options. (Though Fractions of Existence really isn't a Fairy Tale.)



I didn't write about teenage witches.

As usual, I don't feel like my series is similar enough to any other books in my categories.

So I'm going with an author that has a series I like. Though what we've written isn't overly similar, there's enough in common with our characters that I believe she'd "get" what I'm trying to do.

๐ŸŽ‰Victoria Aveyard is my answer for the September 2020 IWSG question of what author I would choose to be my beta partner. ๐Ÿ† (Especially for future books in my Existence series.)




The September Co-Hosts are:


Natalie Aguirre http://www.literaryrambles.com/
Kim Lajevardi http://kimlajevardi.com/
Louise - Fundy Blue http://selkiegrey4.blogspot.com/
Deniz Bevan http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/
PJ Colando https://pjcolandoblog.com/
J Lenni Dorner https://jlennidorner.blogspot.com/ Hey, that's me! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Much love to our leader:
Alex J. Cavanaugh
http://alexjcavanaugh.com/
http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club group is reading this book in August/September. I've rarely seen my fellow Native Americans written well, so I'm somewhat curious about the book.

And don't forget that the IWSG Annual Anthology Contest closes today!
Genre: Science Fiction
Theme: Dark Matter
Submissions close on September 2, 2020

And if you have a query letter, check out Operation Awesome for #PassOrPages this month. Last one of 2020.
If you know a 2020 debut author, have them contact me. 10 interview spaces left this year!

66 comments:

  1. You took an interesting approach, but it made sense.

    Before writing my post I looked up to find a precise meaning for the term. Didn't find any definitions or descriptions as good as the ones you found. But I've found you to be the consummate researcher who would spend more time finding the best meanings. Your compilation of ideas paints a great picture of a beta reader.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  2. I agree with your approach: finding a beta partner who writes similar books is my choice too. I've just joined IWSG and look forward to reading more from you! :)

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  3. Funny, you wouldn't think it would be that difficult to find someone who writes what you write in your genre.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. My characters are based on a lesser-known legend from my tribe, so right off the bat I've got folklore that isn't from Europe. Then the characters fall into the definition of Urban Fantasy, but aren't written from the same angle as any other story I've found thus far. (For one thing, they aren't the villains. The Thor and Aquaman comic books are sort of the nearest comparisons to what I have.) But to make it worse, the perceived age puts them in the New Adult category. Especially Wend, who is a college student.

      Several of my reviewers have commented that my book really is different from the others in the category. That's actually why I self-published. None of the agents who liked it knew what to *do* with it.

      Thanks for stopping in!

      Delete
  4. Hi,
    It is so interesting to read the IWSG blogs and discover all the authors that I don't know anything about. I never heard of Victoria Aveyard.
    Thank you for co-hosting and all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. The Red Queen series is fantastic. You will know her soon, as the movies are in the works. (If Covid ever relents, that is...) I suspect the fandom is going to explode in the next three years.

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  5. You were smack-on to insert a description. It's amazing how many writers don't know the difference. A beta-reader isn't someone to be afraid of. It's who we should be writing for. Thanks for co-hosting, J. Much appreciated.

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  6. Thanks for co-hosting this month. I can relate to your search to find another author who writes what you do.

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    1. I had one editor who had never read any type of fantasy. She didn't understand what was going on with my book half the time. Oddly though, the thing she most didn't believe was an object that really exists. Really. I can run over to Cabala's and buy it right now. The lesson I got from that experience was to pick Beta readers who could understand my characters.

      The upside was that they were mostly MMORPG fans, so they knew fantasy and got a lot of the underling stuff.
      The drawback was agents who weren't, and thought that one character didn't show up until Chapter 3. Actually, she's hinted at on page one and is in the story early on- but with her handle instead of her real name.

      Thanks for stopping in.

      Delete
  7. Great definitions of what a Beta Reader is. I have critique partners who travel with me through the WIP stage but use Betas for a "cold read" insight. Their help is invaluable!

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  8. Thanks for the info on beta readers. Using amazon tags is a good way to find comps. It's been a while since I've had one. And thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. When using that for comp titles for a query, always remember to scroll past the top five. Agents roll their eyes if you say you've written a book like any of the top five best sellers in a category.
      #querytip

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  9. The Amazon categories often don't do justice to the books, do they. I have some of mine listed as horror, despite being cosy and cheery, just because I have a few ghosts.

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    1. They put mine in fairy tales because the word fairy is used in "CHAPTER 4 — FAIRIES AREN'T REAL." (Which is something proclaimed by a minor character.)

      I agree with you that ghosts do not a horror make. Look at Casper!

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  10. It's nice to dream that we could be beta partners with a best-selling author. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  11. These categories irritate me. I know they're necessary for marketing and sales, but they don't always hit the mark. I'm of a mind that a good book is just that regardless of its category. Haven't heard of your beta patrner choice before, so thanks for the introduction here.

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    1. You're welcome. The Red Queen series got a movie deal, so you will hear about it more in the coming years. They're great books. Excellent twists. I think you'd enjoy them.

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  12. You picked yours just the way I would have (except I dodged this question--I had no idea). Nicely done.

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  13. Love the analytical approach. :) I might have to check out this author. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. You really should. The Red Queen series is great.

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  14. Great descriptions of a beta reader! I haven't dived that deeply into the definition and have been a beta reader for others. I may now have to make sure I am following through on the complete requirements of a beta reader!

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  15. That's a clever way to look at it. My books don't fit in the genres it's in, either, but then again, I don't think it will help me to be your beta reader!

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    1. The book of yours that I read and reviewed (The Perihelix) was definitely speculative fiction. I can see why finding the right sort of beta would be hard.
      I do read books from many genres. But I know that I can offer better insights to the genres in which I also write.

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  16. I manage a small writer's group. One a month two or three writers submit a 500 word piece for comment. Comments include a critique style other more on a Beta Reader level. I treasure the comments because they apply to my work. Not a theory or how to lesson.

    We have guidelines: the author can accept or reject the comment. The person offering the comment is not to be challenged or asked to justify. This allows for honest opinions to be expressed.

    Are those guidelines typical in most groups where folks comment on an author's work? In other words the author is discouraged from challenging or justifying?
    Thank you for co-hosting and enjoyed reading the different definitions.

    Lynn La Vita blog: Writers Supporting Writers

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    1. I believe it depends on the individual Beta as to if they're willing to expand upon their reason for comments. But just telling someone they are wrong for their opinion, well, that's as useless as the pineapple pizza debate. If someone doesn't like something because they just don't, there's nothing to do about it. But if they don't like the pineapple pizza because the crust is still raw and the cheese expired a month ago... well, that's not really about the pineapples, is it?

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    2. Thanks for you input. I've been struggling with this issue. I love your pineapple explanation. Cheers!

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  17. Victoria Aveyard is a great choice. And BTW, I really like how Operation Awesome helps writers. Thanks for being a co-host with me.

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  18. I like how you really researched this before coming up with your answer.

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  19. I hope you connect with just the right Beta reader!

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  20. Categories drive me crazy as they seem so limiting. I appreciate the research you did for this post and tried to come up with an answer as I read. Nothing seems to fit, exactly. Now that's the story of my life - ha!
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  21. Victoria Aveyard! Fun choice. It's smart to narrow it down within your genre, too. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  22. Thank you for co hosting today. As for Amazon, I don't understand them so I just don't pay any attention. Have a good day.

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    1. I had to look somewhere, this seemed like a good spot.
      http://216.164.218.250:8080/?config=default#section=search&term=fractions+of+existence
      Shelf Location
      Fiction - F Dor

      While I appreciate where a nearby library keeps my book, the category of "fiction" was a bit too wide for this activity.

      <3

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  23. Hi, J. Thanks for co-hosting today. I liked the process that you shared. When I joined the IWSG, I had never heard of a Beta reader. Live and learn, I guess you're supposed to have them! LOL Good luck with your books! Have a great day!!!

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  24. Good choice for your beta. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  25. What a neat process to come up with someone :-) @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  26. Looks like you gave it a lot of thought. I was a bit more spontaneous.

    :-)

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  27. I'd be lost without my critique partners, not so much betas.

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  28. That's quite a bit of research you did there!

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  29. This is a really good, well-thought-out answer to the question. I tend to rebel against any and all attempts to answer any kind of "favorite" question, but this was awesome. Thanks for visiting my blog, and - Team Jacob forever. ;-) Anne from annehiga.com

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  30. You really thought that out! It's tough to think who of anyone you could have to be a beta reader. If I'm writing something scary, I'd pick Stephen King. Since the newest trilogy I'm working is is LitRPG/GameLit, it would be cool to have Felicia Day read it. :) Hope you're doing great!

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  31. You put a lot of thought into your choice. I just picked my current favorite writer. :)

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  32. I totally agree. I chose my beta partner as someone whose writing as well as writing genre have both inspired me. I liked your approach.

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  33. I never researched anyone in one of my genres, but that's a good way to do it. I just went with one of my favorite authors whom I admire their storytelling skills. Fun blog post. Thanks.
    JQ Rose

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  34. I like the amount of thought and research you put into this. And I agree: it's important to find someone who "gets" what you're trying to do with your story. If your beta reader doesn't get what you're trying to do, the two of you will be working at cross purposes, and that just isn't helpful.

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  35. Wow, you took a much more thorough approach than my "show me the money" lol way to be indeed.

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  36. I love your beta description! Thank you so much for cohosting this month.

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  37. Thanks for all the clarification on beta readers. And thanks for co-hosting the IWSG question for September. This seems to be my first time here. I've followed your blog and will try to connect with you online. All best to you!

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  38. I love how you've answered this month's question with research and digging to the bottom of it! Despite not knowing who Victoria Aveyard is.

    I took the easy way out... I'm not well-read enough to find/know a favorite, so, as a travel memoir writer, I just focused on travel writers from past books I loved and who I know are great examples. :-)

    Thank you for co-hosting this month and I will check out your interview series, because I am (will be/hope to be) a debut author of 2020. :-)

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  39. Very interesting answer to this months question. Thanks for co-hosting this month and visiting my blog. junetakey.com

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  40. Oh great idea to link to your chosen partners' sites! I can add them straight to my wishlists!

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