I want to post somewhere the pilot chapter of my planned book, to earn feedback and tips what should I improve. Kinda when a TV orders a pilot and then reviews it, if it will attract people. Could you please advise me about websites that exist for that purpose?

I know about fan fiction websites, but these ones usually include weird spin-offs of Harry Potter or Twilight, which are already finished and no feedback is awaited. My books are not based on those stories.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate: writing.stackexchange.com/q/1529/23927
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 17:50
  • On Goodreads, goodreads.com, there's a Beta Reader Group where you can post requests to have your work (alpha, beta or whatever) read and critiqued.
    – Zan700
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 23:24
  • @F1Krazy That "duplicate" was posted more than nine years ago. Isn't it possible that things have changed in a decade?
    – Zan700
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 22:02
  • 1
    @Zan700 It's entirely possible, but that would warrant new/updated answers to the first question, so that everything's in one place. In any case, the OP cast the final vote themselves, indicating that they agree the duplicate answers their question.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 0:08
  • @F1Krazy But the only reason I came across the question was because it was a new question. Unless I personally was seeking the information in the old question, it wouldn't have occurred to me to suggest Goodreads to the poster of the new question, or to add the information to the old question,depriving the new poster of that information.
    – Zan700
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


Frame shift - Challenges Ahead:

I think what you are looking for is an alpha reader. You'll find different interpretations of an alpha reader, but MY understanding is that it's typically someone who reads your material while you are still writing it, and gives you chapter-by-chapter feedback. Some people find this helpful, while others feel it is invasive to the process. An alpha reader is almost a co-author in some cases.

It's usually very personal, and I wouldn't recommend just going on a public website and leaving your ideas out where people can pick at it. For questions on sites like this, they are very directed. Internet culture is a funny thing. Also, if someone loves your idea, there is nothing you can do to keep them from taking it and rebranding it as their own (especially at the early stages where the final destination is unsure). But maybe I'm paranoid. What IS or ISN'T seen as dependable on the internet is highly variable and subject to opinion. Don't take any one person's word about what is good or right, but look for a consensus. That's why recommending specific sites is a bad idea (IMOHO).

If you are willing to pay money, you'll have no trouble finding people to do it, but validating their qualifications is hard. If you have a local literary group/club (here in Minnesota, there's a group called the Loft, but there are similar groups around the country/world) they often have resources available and can vouch for folks to contract work through. Some writing conferences will have someone who will do an analysis of a part of a book, and a lot of these conferences also have many helpful classes on things you didn't even know you needed to know. Naturally, most of them are on-line in the land of COVID.

I personally have lots of vision (which needs toning down), and would find the judgement of my stories early-on confusing and upsetting. But if you'd like an alpha reader, find someone you know and trust. This can be a friend who shares common literary interest or a teacher or professor willing to put in some time. Really close friends and relatives aren't so good - you can't trust them to be impartial. On the other hand, a close friend could be more like a collaborator, and the fun of something together might be a great experience. The closer a person is to you, the more likely they will be willing to make a commitment to working with you and stick with it. The most important feature in my mind is someone who will follow through, so pick a dependable person.

Hopefully, someone has some great advice about websites, which I can't/won't suggest.

Beta readers, on the other hand, read after you've written, and look mainly for structural problems with the story (things that don't make sense, characters that disappear inexplicably, boring parts that don't contribute to the overall story). While looking for an alpha reader, those same people are the ones you are likely be looking at as potential beta readers. These folks read your story/book and give opinions. You will often give them a list of your questions/concerns about the story and ask them to answer them. There is some commitment for all this, but less than an alpha reader.


Best is subjective and there is no best site ever, just the one that is least bad for you at a given time. Assuming that any such site exists at all.

Like @DWKraus noted, you could use alpha readers and beta readers. Local writing groups are the best place to find them. There are some websites that may offer that ability if someone is willing to read your work at all. But whether they are good folks guide your stuff as to marketability I would say not likely.

And from the OP you really need an editor or book shepherd to give you guidance.

At the level you noted, you really need a high-level editor that does development editing. Or you need an agent to sell your script to producers to tell you if your stuff is any good. They would want to see a logline and an elevator speech before reading even chapter one.

Writers Digest used to have a forum with a section that allowed posting BRIEF excerpts for comments. But they are RIP now.

Your best bet is to learn how publishing works and what is the proper way to market a book then send a query to an agent with the materials they specify exactly how they say to do it and see if they have any interest.

Warning! Many of them may want several chapters or a full mss and may not want to just look at one chapter to see if they are interested. They will also care as much about your writing as they do about the story you are writing.

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