Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beta Problems

As I previously noted, I've recently started soliciting beta readers for my new novel.  I need to hear from folks if I'm striking the right tone, as well as learning any glaring errors before I get too deep into the story.  Alas, this has been more challenging than I envisioned.

I've gotten plenty of people who've told me they're interested in reading it, so I've sent the first few chapters to many of them.  The problem is that no one is getting back to me.  There has been nothing but silence on the far end.

I wonder if this is because these people are busy(I'd prefer to say that instead of lazy), or if because my stuff stinks and they're afraid of hurting my feelings.  If it's the latter, I really wish they'd get over that.  Not only am I a big boy who can handle criticism, I also know that reading tastes are subjective, so I look more for trends in critiques than I do an overall "YOU SUCK YOU RAT BASTARD" response.  Lots of people won't care for my stuff simply because tastes vary and what one may find interesting, another will loathe.  That doesn't mean I don't want the feedback.

Anyone out there know how to counter this tendency or overcome this apathy?  If it's apathy, I'd like to know that as well so that I can properly re-target towards other beta readers.  No response means I'm the only one looking at my work, and as objective as I'd like to be, none of us is truly objective about our own work.  We need others to see things we can't, as well as let us know if we're having the effect we are seeking.  Otherwise, time spent looking for beta readers could be spent looking for other...beta readers.

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