#IWSG July 2014: Good help is hard to find.


Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.


I never seem to be at a loss for insecurities, but every so often I do manage to focus on the positive. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times. My current insecurity, well actually it’s more of a worry, is my inability to find interested and reliable persons to help or support me in my pursuits. You may be thinking that this is simply a small and personal problem I need to overcome, but I’m really not asking that much, at least I don’t think I am.

The problem at hand is finding good help. I have stories that are finished to a point that I can do nothing else with them, but they are not ready for publication. I know enough about my process and my skills to know when my work is ready and when it’s not. The problem that I’m currently faced with is finding beta readers. I have a few, but so far they have been M.I.A. I need feedback and have no idea what to do. I’ve paid for beta services before, but that was only in conjunction with final editing fees. When my work is ready, I’ll shell out the money for professional editing, but for now, I just want…no, I need feedback, and can’t get it.

I wish that was my only problem, but of course, there’s more. I need art work. I’m fortunate enough to have some skills with photography and graphic design. I can do a lot of small things on my own, but when it comes to illustrations, I need someone else for that. I, again, have an illustrator, but he works on a time-table that is beyond my understanding. I don’t want to leave him behind and move on, but I may have to…I just wonder how much it’s going to cost me?

Do you have trouble finding good help? How would you go about trying to find new beta readers and possibly an illustrator? I’d seriously love to know.

After listening to me whine, here’s something that you may or may not be interested in and that may put a smile on your face. I’m putting my indie published short story collection, Unexplained on sale as an Amazon countdown deal. See my side panel for details. I hope everyone is having a lovely and relatively stress free summer.


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:  Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #162).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Published by

Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

14 thoughts on “#IWSG July 2014: Good help is hard to find.”

  1. I feel your pain. I have people offer to read my stuff to tell me how it is, but most of them flake on me. The few who do read it, tell me there is nothing wrong with it. Then when it is released, I get notification in my raitings that there was mistakes. I myself wish I could find beta readers that would give me the hard truth, both positive and negative.

  2. Post your beta/CP needs in the appropriate group here: http://www.ladieswhocritique.com/groups/ I usually find some good help as and when. Although, fitting in reciprocation can be dodgy, though crucial to the process. Otherwise, look at folks who’ve already read your work and liked it. Perhaps go through those who reviewed your work on Good reads? Or check out Goodreads groups. Re illustrators – no idea I”m afraid. 🙁 Doesn’t the IWSG site have a page of links for outsourcing? OR you could try Fiverr or Elance and see who’ll do what for how much? You can often find great work for very reasonable rates.

    Best of luck! 🙂


    1. Thanks for all the suggestions. I probably should have thought of some of these myself, but you know how it is, we sometimes get in our own way. I will look into every option and see what works best.

  3. I’m in the same boat. Trying to find beta readers in my genre: Thriller suspense. Most of my old critique partners are wrapped up in marketing and not ready to switch mss. I can recommend Deadly Prose on yahoo. And Alex is so right, Carrie’s got talent galore. There’s also NovelsL, but they only crit chapters. Good luck. I’m finishing a WIP, then searching for a new publisher, or I’d volunteer. Won’t be available until next year. Did I mention we’re trying to sell our house? This is our 3rd year.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Sounds like you have your hand full, plus you need beta readers. Good luck on everything and thanks for the tips.

  4. There are some illustrators listed at the IWSG site. Or at least a database of illustrators.

    1. Yeah, I guess I to start trying to look into resources that are right in front of me instead making things so hard. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. There is no magic answer. Finding good people is work. It takes time and it takes reciprocation. I’ve found readers through friends on FB, local SCBWI writers, people I’ve found online through blogs and forums. When you do find someone you mesh with, fight like hell to keep them!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I hear what you’re saying and believe it’s true. I help so many people not expecting anything in return, but maybe I should start asking. When I do find they right people, I will hold on to them.

  6. I’m in a similar predicament. But I require somebody to bounce ideas off… like a brainstorming buddy. I’ve heard that it can take a while before you find someone who is the “right fit.”
    Good luck with your search.

Comments are closed.