Looking For Beta-Readers

Hello, dear readers! This week, I finished the third draft of my novel, The Loss of Our Mothers, set during the Great Blizzard of 1888. Which means that I am now looking for beta-readers.

Hey, Leanne, what are beta-readers?

Beta-readers volunteer to read a manuscript between drafts. The book is complete, but still in progress. My favorite things about being a beta reader are:

  • You get a sneak peek at an author’s work
  • Your suggestions may influence the final draft of the story
  • When the book finally comes out, you get to see how it’s changed
  • You’ll often get a “thank you” in the acknowledgement section of the book

But how do I know if I want to read the book? 

Well, I wrote it, and you probably wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like my writing, so that’s a start! Here’s a synopsis to pique your interest:

The Loss of Our Mothers

On the morning of March 12, 1888, the people of New York wake to the start of a freak three-day blizzard that nearly shuts down the city. In the Allen home on the Upper East side, Flora Allen finds herself trapped alone with her despised new stepmother, who is giving birth weeks ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, Flora’s older brother Calvin braves the storm to save his job as a journalist and ends up on a collision course with an elevated train, while Flora’s younger brother Ben runs away to join P.T. Barnum’s circus, which is in town for one night only.

While Flora assists with the birth of her stepbrother, her fiancé Henry treks forty blocks downtown through waist-high drifts of snow and icy wind to a business meeting at a high-class hotel, where he discovers Charlotte, the girl he’d almost gotten engaged to seven years earlier, before his entire family perished in a freak house fire.

The three Allen children, Henry, and Charlotte, navigate the dangers of the greatest blizzard New York has ever known to chase dreams, heal relationships, cope with loss, rekindle romance, and learn that a family, once broken, can only be put back together with sacrificial love.

Okay, this sounds cool. What will my responsibilities be?

It’s pretty basic. You read the book and then answer a few questions that I’ll send you along with the manuscript. The level of detail in your answers is entirely up to you. I’ll appreciate any and all feedback, and take criticism in the spirit in which it’s given. (After all, I’m asking YOU for advice!)

There’s no timeline for reading, but I plan to start draft 4 by mid-August, so it would be most helpful if you could read and respond by then.

How do I sign up?

Either leave a comment on this post, or email me: If I get more requests than I need for the current draft, I’ll take the first group of responders and ask any additional responders if they’d be willing to wait until I’m finished with draft 4. I will certainly need beta-readers again!

Last question. Are you nervous about sending your “baby” out to be read?



Thanks in advance!


5 Responses to “Looking For Beta-Readers”

  1. Amanda says:

    Hi Leanne! Exciting phase! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and would be delighted to serve as a beta reader.

  2. Funny, because I’d been meaning to get back to you about the first chapter critique I owe you. 😉

    I’d be happy to do a full beta-read in place of the single chapter. (There’s only one donor left on my list besides you, and she still wants more time to work on her manuscript.) And if we agree to this, I’ll do my best to get it back to you before August begins.

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