If you missed it a couple of weeks ago, Harper Voyager, an arm of HarperCollins, is accepting unsolicited manuscripts for a two week period at the start of October. Since the genres they’re looking for includes fantasy, I’m racing against the clock to get Silk Over Razor Blades (more commonly known here as SORB) ready to submit.
Its on this time, in a way it never has been before. The news has lit a fire under me like I’ve never experienced. Part of me doesn’t expect much, since I doubt I can properly guess at how may thousands of people will be racing to take advantage of this opportunity, same as me. But it would be downright stupid not to try.
I’ve had two runs of submitting SORB before. Once in 2010 and again in 2011 and each time, with hindsight, I was far, far from ready. I’m not going to make the same mistake again. Hells no! That means I need to find beta readers. Readers who will take my manuscript, read it quickly and come back to me with frank, honest thoughts.
From what I understand, not everybody is up to a job like this. I’ve done some beta work a couple of times, and I loved being able to help somebody, though I’m sure I could have done an even better work if I was better read in that genre. But I digress… I need people who read in my genre, with some time to give over to helping me make Silk Over Razor Blades as good as it can be.
So this is a request in readiness for when the novel is ready; are YOU able to help me out? Do you have time to spare to read a book and give your opinions? Are you able to do so frankly and honestly knowing that I understand your comments are about my work and not me? Are you able to do all this in a tight deadline?
I realise its a big ask. More than ever, I understand how precious and valuable time is. Next time I’ll be far better prepared to do this within a sensible time frame, but October 1st is really not all that far off and I’m beginning to feel I need all the help I can get. If you can help me, hit me up with a comment here or ping me an email and we’ll chat about how to go about this (and just how many boxes of chocolates you’ll be receiving from me as a sign of my thanks!).
Incidentally, how do the rest of you go about this process? I’ve done a lot of reading in the past few months and it seems people pick up betas through Twitter and writing groups. Some people use online resources, forums and groups. What is your preferred method of huntin’ down a beta reader?