So I’ve been aiming high since I was about 13? cough Pre-Internet. Incidentally I have a history of publishing in my head.
I’m really good at finishing stories, getting alphas to read the story, but when it comes to getting the final polish on the story… welllllll…
Finding someone who wants to do this is hard.
So, there are critiquing websites, but then it’s still hard because people don’t particularly tend to crit PoC (not that other diversity is that much better either…) books that much, and anything over the third chapter, gets fall off. i.e. the critiquers are less likely to show up because no one keeps track of them. On these platforms it’s usually short stories and books that do well.
On doing a swap, often the person wants an alpha, but I’m a terrible alpha, and the level of critique I need back is a beta. It’s NOT that I hate their comments, etc, but it’s often that I’m looking for something deeper. Someone who will slash it to pieces if need be.
One book I did critique, where the person was serious, quit the exchange, since she stopped posting chapters anymore and then she got published. (We’re still friends and I still promote her book). I encouraged her to push towards getting published. I hope she does her next series soon. I did buy her books, too… (She managed it with a difficult to market book too).
There is also the revenge critique in swaps, which I dislike… you know it, the one that goes, you picked on me for this, so I’ll also pick on you for that too.
I’m willing to put the work into the exchange, that’s not the issue. The issue is finding that perfect someone to both finish the book in question, give it the edits it needs, and finding their book and attitude towards me professional enough that I can also finish their book.
So how do you get past the 10% drop off rate for betas and find decent ones that will complete your book without having to pay them and still get it to that final polish state for the traditional publishers?