Seeking Beta Readers….

Hi folks.

Sorry I’ve been a bit absent in recent days – just had to power through a second draft of my newest novel that was in rough shape after the first draft. That’s done, now, though, so I will be posting a few poems soon, and I have a guest on Tuesday, but in the meantime, I’m looking for beta readers….

That’s beta readers, not better readers – though I am looking for some of those, too! Only kidding. But what the hell is a beta reader, you ask.

It was a new term to me, too, not so long ago and I’m not sure I really understand it all that well, so to give you a clearer idea and to get it straight in my own mind, here are the advantages and disadvantages of being a Beta reader for someone – particularly me.

I will start with the disadvantages, though that’s not the way an opinion piece should be – I want to make sure everyone is on board with the thing, so while I want to convince, I don’t want to sell you a used car here.



  1. You get the book NOW – before even my publisher sees it.
  2. You get it before the public and you get it for FREE
  3. You get to tell me what’s good and what sucks. And you get to call me out on my grammatical errors!
  4. You get to shape – if only a little bit – what the final edit will look like.
  5. You get my thanks, and an acknowledgment in the book, if and when it’s published. And it will be eventually, even if I have to do it myself: but I’m sure it won’t come to that!



  1. You have to read it. All. Now. And get back to me in a matter of weeks. No “Yeah, no, I haven’t gotten round to it yet – been up to my eyeballs.” It’s now or never – sorry, I mean now or buy the book and read it at your complete leisure!
  2. You have to read the book in its unfinished, unpolished, imperfect state. Sure, you can read it again – lots of folks read book twice or more, and yes, I’ll spot you a free polished copy, so you can spot the differences, see where you made a difference.
  3. You can’t tell anyone about the book. You can say, I’m reading David J. O’Brien’s new novel. It’s not out yet.” But when someone says, “Oh? What’s it about?” you cannot reply: Nothing, nada, nout can come out of your mouth about it. Not a word: no, “Ah, it’s about dragons, but that’s all I can say.” Not even vague shit, like when some asks you to “Just say yes or no” and makes random guesses.

You can only say what I am going to tell you about it right now, so that you have some kind of idea what type of book you’re signing up to read.

It’s set in Scotland in the present day – say between 2012 and 2014. It’s not about dragons. And it’s got biology, and romance of course: there’s kissing, but not heavy sex (just in case that’s a dealbreaker for some:-) ).


So if you think you’d like to do me the favour – and, really, at the end of the day, there are 5 advantages over just 3 disadvantages… then drop me a line however you want – comment here, davidjmobrienauthor@ or at my facebook page – like button is across the screen on the right…

About davidjmobrien

Writer, ecologist and teacher

Posted on November 2, 2014, in Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good luck David

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