So I finished the second draft of my manuscript today, and it's almost time for betas (probably around the beginning of November). I've never done the whole beta-thing before. With The Hamsa's Song I just did self-edits, read through the story once or twice, and sent it off to my editor.
Sigh. If only things were that simple.
With this story I need betas. I can't objectively evaluate my work at this point and outside opinions would be invaluable. Trouble is, I'm not sure how to go about finding betas, especially people who have the time to turn over an entire manuscript in about three weeks. I want readers who I know and trust. A lot of writers find betas through conferences, or networking at various writing events. With not much experience in the conference department, and as a relatively new face in the Utah writing community, my pool of potential betas is rather small. Obviously I'd be willing to do an exchange of manuscripts. Two cousins (ages 14 and 15) have agreed to read my WIP, but I'd really love to get critiqued by other writers.
So what are your suggestions? How do you go about finding betas, and are you picky about who is allowed to read your manuscripts? Do you choose people you've met in person or look for readers online?
I'm going to go eat chocolate now, because revisions always make me crave sugars and saturated fats. Any advice would be appreciated.