Feedback from test readers!
But where do you find test readers and how do you find them? If you don’t already have a small squad of test readers for your latest scribbles, it might seem like a daunting task to find some. I’ve collected a few suggestions on how to find test readers right here.
(A test reader comes in different shapes – which kind of feedback are you looking for? It might be worth considering that, before you read on. Have a look at my blogpost on different kinds of feedback and test readers here>>)
There are writing groups both online and in ‘the real world’, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet other writers and authors. For many writing courses for example, you’ll get to automatically be a part of a group, like boarding schools, some residencies or at libraries.
You can talk to some of the others in the group and find out if they’re interested in being a test reader for you. Make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable receiving feedback from. Maybe you can even switch and help each other by being each other’s test reader! There are many authors out there, who are working with their writer-colleagues in this way, while they are writing new stuff. That’s because it’s nice with someone who knows what it’s like to write and get feedback.
Facebook can be a gold mine for writers on all levels. Both when it comes to marketing your new book, but also during the writing process. There are many of these groups where writers help each other, even groups that exist just to help writers and test readers get in touch! So, if you’re on Facebook, maybe this could work for you? Just become a member and write a post about your need of test readers.
Other social media can be useful as well, when searching for test readers. Instragram for example, is full of book nerds of various kinds. It wouldn’t surprise me, if you’d be able to find a few willing test readers through there. You can also make your own post about searching for test readers and see what happens.
Remember that there are plenty of online communities just for writers and authors, where you can meet others like you. Maybe you can swap and give each other feedback?
Friends and family
If you have any friends and/or family already supporting you in your writing career who also enjoy what you’re writing, you could ask a few of them if they’d like to test read for you. It’s easy to find someone you trust when you already know them. Maybe this is where to look for honest and caring feedback?
If you’ve already tried everything mentioned aboved, it’s time to look around you. Are you a member of a chess club, are you on a swimming team or attend toddler-and-parent activities? Maybe there’s someone out there, who you already know, who might want to read your novel before it’s published. Someone you hadn’t even considered could be interested? Maybe it could be a coworker from your day-job, one of your kid’s friends’ parents or someone like that. Look around and ask yourself who in my circle matches my target group and whose thoughts would I be curious to hear. You can start with asking someone who matches your ideal target group.
You can of course, go a completely different way and make a poster to hang up in your local neighborhood or school/university campus or library. You could also attend book fairs and -festivals and network with both readers, bloggers and other writers.
There are so many ways in which you can find your test readers and only you can tell what feels right for you. I hope this has provided you with some inspiration on how to start finding test readers who are just waiting to read your next chapter!
How did you find your test readers? Throw me a comment below and share your experiences!
Would you like to read more about test readers and feedback? Or would you rather try some writing exercises? Then feel free to have a look at my resource library for writers right here>>