Watch out Facebook groups, there's a new alpha/beta reader matchmaker in town! Well, that is, if you've written a novel, novella, short story, poem, etc. (either complete or a work-in-progress) and would like to swap reads with a few other like-minded writers/readers. The site itself, CritiqueConnect.com, lets you set up a profile, talk about what projects you would like others to read and how you can be contacted, etc. The key part however is the ability to filter the list of readers and/or writers based on whether they're paid critiques or volunteers. Most of them will eventually come with testimonials and one-word-based ratings of course.
CritiqueConnect lets you connect via your Google account, Facebook or Twitter, or if you prefer, sign up with an email and password of your own. If you've written something and would like readers to critique your work, you can update your profile as a writer, and share work details like word count, genre, blurb, critique tolerance (yeah, we can take the bashing...most times!) and so on. Don't forget to include how you would like to be contacted (as there's no field within the site itself for users to directly private message you yet ... except for a publicly viewable testimonial section).
To find Beta Readers, you do a search by filtering the types of readers you're looking for (paid, volunteer or critique swap, or a combination of these three). You can then look through the filtered list, read up on the readers' profiles, the links they've provided (most will include their websites, Facebook, Twitter links, etc.) and how they would like to be contacted. Select the ones that best fit your readership profile and email away (then wait for their responses).
There are many Facebook Groups and online communities where you can ask for Beta Readers of course, but these are normally similar to tossing a fishing line into a wide pond and hoping a few likes your blurb/story pitch and are interested. On social media, lines of posts and comments do not always just talk and focus about beta readership or critiques so those need some sifting through. CritiqueConnect offers a systematic search and connect platform that lets you choose who you would like to invite as beta readers and what sort of content you would like to read or critique swap with.
It's a matchmaking platform with a very focused intent. You don't post your content or read content on the platform, but match-make, then discuss the amount and level of reading off-site. Most of these projects are hosted on Google Drive, so that's probably where most of the critiquing takes place. Once you're both done, you can then write up a testimonial of the reader on the site once more and put in some one-word feedback like Encouraging, Detailed, Honest, Respectful, etc.
So if you're a writer or a reader, what are you waiting for? Sign up and see if you can find any diamonds in the rough (before these works get discovered and published). Then you'll realize that you played a part in birthing these diamonds before they hit the book-stands or e-stores.
About the Creator
Terry Astrial is an alias I'm using for this website & our social media channels (yep, it's not my real name). I'm born & raised in Asia.