Since I left my writer's group out of personality issues, invariably somebody becomes a know-it-all, it's been a real struggle to find people willing to invest time.

The friends/acquaintances I have who are generously giving time for my last project are likely to be a bit burnt out since it is a 160,000-word epic (which probably has no chance of being published at that level, so I'm going to have a lot of follow-up questions).

Indeed, my current novel of 80,000 words, give or take, may be ready before the epic gets back into my hands leaving me bereft of a readers' group. So now I don't know where to turn.

Any ideas on "hiring" free labor for beta readers? I imagine I can offer trade, but one of my problems with the writer's club was the expectation of 4-6 books/year, and I'm not sure if I can commit to that.

Edit: There is an answer from 5 years ago listing two websites. However, considering the explosion of self-publishing and the growth of electronic media, could I leave this open for a few days to see if there are new ideas?

  • There are other users here who swear by Critique Circle critiquecircle.com , although I've never tried it myself. Feb 29, 2016 at 15:35
  • 1
    I also agree that this question should be left up. Online writing communities have changed and there are potentially much better/more relevant answers now than there were five years ago.
    – M Lizz
    Mar 1, 2016 at 2:13
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    The way to handle that is to add new answers to the existing question, not open up an additional question whose answers will immediately start rusting :P This is actually one of the reasons that "what's a good site for--" questions can be problematic; they're a form of shopping recommendation question.
    – Standback
    Mar 1, 2016 at 13:08
  • Closing this as a duplicate. If you'd like to draw attention to an old question, I'd suggest placing a bounty on it.
    – Standback
    Mar 1, 2016 at 13:09
  • That's an interesting idea. ... I'll see what this current crop looks like and get back to you.
    – Stu W
    Mar 1, 2016 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


As a previous answer mentioned, fictionpress.com is one site that offers connection to beta readers. Outside of that side though, there are plenty of places that offer beta services.

With this, networking will be your best friend, even if it is just within your community. Social media sites can advertise your need for a free or low cost beta reader. Many places have local writing groups (who I find often meet in local libraries) that you can probably join and make a "mutual beta relationship" with another reader.


You could try https://www.fictionpress.com/betareaders/. You'd have to have a fictionpress account, but there's a long list of betas to choose from with their list of strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and they are reviewed.

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