Writing is a solo act but there comes a time when help is needed. There is no doubt that some of us are superstars at character development or quite possibly we have the gift of grammar. None of us can truly do it all... I know, I know, we think we can but when we've spent hours, days, weeks, and months on this story. We become bias and can no longer see big or even the smallest of issues. Our minds become jaded. We bring in the next experts... our critique partners, but the same thing happens to them.
That's when it's time for the BETA READER (or what I like to call our SUPERSTAR).
How does one choose the genius who gets to hold that masterpiece in your hands?
Do you write YA?
Middle school and High school students are your target audience. Don't know any? Not a problem...
1. Social Clubs - Go to a local high school and speak with a writing/reading group. Find an English teacher and ask if her students would be interested in reading a rough draft of your work. You'd be surprised how attentive these teachers will be to the idea. Gives them a chance to liven their students moods for a love of uniqueness.
2. Libraries - You'll have avid readers. Stalk the young adult section and see if there aren't any regulars you bump into. When you create a relationship with one of them they'd be honored to read your work.
3. Parents/Relatives - My number one hot spot is family. Cousins, nieces, and friends children, one of them is bound to be a reader. Talk to the parents to get their approval. You'd be surprise how much support they show.
4. Online - I think most of us use this because it's where we feel most comfortable. Emailing teens that obsessively read are sure to gobble up that story of yours!
I've tried all of these and was successful with each or I wouldn't have suggested them! How about you? Did you ever try to go offline to find yourself a beta reader in your target audience?