Forum: Beta - Try Before You Buy

Discussing: How it works - beta readers

How it works - beta readers

1. Read the summary information posted before the extract to understand what sort of feedback the author is seeking and decide whether you can offer that kind of beta reading support or level of commitment. Please take note of any warnings of content other members may find objectionable (such as slash, explicit sex scenes, violence, angst) - especially if you are under the legal age to read such materials in your country. 2. Read the extract and decide whether you feel you can offer useful comment on this text and will enjoy working with the subject matter or style. 3. Provide beta comments using the method(s) specified by the author (for example, private email or in the author's thread in this forum). Remember, there are several types of beta-reading support that can be offered, and none of these is necessarily better or more right than the others. For some ideas on some different approaches, please see the research articles Beta reading at HASA and Beta reading samples. 4. You should not be afraid to offer a frank, critical appraisal of the story, but please express your comments with clarity and courtesy. Some resources on providing critiques can be found in the Writers' Circle forum. Please remember that any genuine critique should be aimed at improving the story. It should not be a personal attack on the author, or their abilities. Please remember that everyone can be protective of their "baby", so spend an extra minute to word critiques carefully. 5. You and the author should then discuss the beta comments and the piece generally (and any other issues you find you connect over) to see if you and the beta reader(s) can work together. This may take place either in the thread or elsewhere if you prefer. 6. If the author stated they were looking to swap beta reading, they should invite you to post your own extracts in the same thread, or to link to them in the thread (if the extracts have already been posted elsewhere), or to exchange them privately. Please do not post your own extracts until they have confirmed they are happy to see them, as they may no longer wish to swap beta reading. 7. You and the author decide after sufficient interaction (which may take days, weeks or even months) whether to: a. work as an author-beta pair (one beta may work independently with several authors), whether one way or reciprocal b. work as a beta circle (note - it may take months and some time working as independent pairs before you are comfortable to form a fully reciprocal beta circle with several people) c. part company, with no blame on either side Authors are under no obligation to accept comments or to work with those who submit them. You are under no obligation to continue working with an author if you feel your comments are not proving constructive. Either party may end the relationship at any time for any reason, although a courteously worded explanation of why you wish to end the relationship may be appropriate. If the author continues to contact you after you have asked them not to, please contact the HASA Beta Admin. 8. Authors are asked to inform all members who have responded of their decision to work with particular betas. They are also asked to try to provide brief feedback on what they found useful about your beta efforts, even if you decide not to work together. Please prompt authors gently if they appear to have forgotten to do this. 9. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to contact the HASA Beta Admin (or the HASA Site Managers). Please feel free to post any questions about the process or suggestions for improvements in this thread.



Re: How it works - beta readers

Giving and receiving beta comments is a particularly difficult and sensitive task that can result in upset, even if none was intended. We would like to make this discussion a welcoming place where people feel comfortable to post. To that end, there are behaviours which participants should avoid as they may disrupt the process of authors and betas working together easily. Behaviours that make it difficult or unpleasant to use this forum may result in loss of membership of the Beta - Try Before You Buy forum. The most severe violations warrant permanent banning from this forum. Those violations include: * clear violations of the Member Code of Conduct that keep other members from enjoying the forums. * continuing to direct comments to another member in the same discussion, after being asked not to do so by that member and then reminded not to do so by the member or an admin. This includes continuing to comment on the other member's posts, even if these are not in direct response to those posts. * derogatory statements about other members' comments. Members are reminded that the goal of this forum is to support other authors. To that end, critique should primarily be directed towards the authors' work, rather than to providing commentary on the critiques provided by other members. It is fine to discuss matters of canon, fact and grammar, or to debate other useful points brought up by various commenters, but denigration of other critiques is not acceptable. It is equally unacceptable to discourage an author from accepting another member as a beta reader. * continuing, after being warned over a first offence, to denigrate particular types of content simply because of the type of content, not because of the quality of execution of that content in the story. An example would be attacking a story simply for containing slash, although it is permissible to question whether the slash in a particular story is credible within the context of that story. Similarly, stating whether the poster personally likes stories about a particular race or character is acceptable, as is stating that, in their view, many stories about a particular race or character that they have read seem to be badly written. Making sweeping generalised statements that no stories about a particular race or character are worthwhile (simply because they are about that race or character) or that HASA should not host stories about that race or character is not acceptable. * continuing, after being warned over a first offence, to fail to indicate clearly any threads which contain adult content. We have many members who are either under the legal age to read this kind of story, or who simply don't want to read such material. HASA has a duty of care to label adult or disturbing material as clearly as possible. Remember, this forum is not specifically adult; unless you label your threads as such, members will assume the thread is also general. * refusing to amend a post that the admins consider is a violation of the operating rules for this discussion (particularly when posting story extracts). The admins will give clear evidence of the ways in which the post violates the operating rules, and make attempts to resolve the issue amicably with the member. If the offending post is not altered to conform to the rules of this discussion, the admins may delete it after giving 24 hours notice of their intention. The admins will include the reasons for making the request for amendments in the notice, which will be sent to the e-mail address in the member's user record through an official HASA e-mail address or through one of the site contact forms. * continuing, after being warned over a first offence, to use language which a reasonable person would consider offensive. The Member Code of Conduct requires members to 'treat each other with civility and courtesy, despite differences of opinion'. Further conditions may be added as deemed necessary The HASA admins feel it is very unlikely that members will behave in ways that will merit a ban, and we will always endeavour to resolve issues amicably without the need to invoke a ban. However, any member who is concerned that another member's behaviour in this discussion is inimical to the process of linking up authors and betas should contact the HASA Beta Admin in the first instance (rather than making accusations in the forum). The Beta Admin will be pleased to investigate the issue. As always, we're much more interested in helping everyone enjoy HASA than keeping people from using any part of the site. If you're ever unsure whether you should do something at not, please feel free to ask the HASA Beta Admin.



Re: How it works - beta readers

Just posting to bump this rules thread up to the top of the discussion. Cheers Liz/Tanaqui HASA Beta Admin



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