how to find beta readers

How to find beta readers? It’s crucial for every writer to get honest and useful feedback, but it’s difficult to find beta readers outside of family and friends.

Today, we talk to Matt Brindley from, an exciting new platform that will match writers with unbiased beta readers. It will not only allow them to receive feedback, but also provide detailed analytics.

Ahead of its launch, is hosting a writing contest. $7,500 in prizes are available across 4 fiction categories: short story, novelette, novella, and novel. This contest is live. is also launching a digital literary magazine which will feature the best work across the platform and reprints from previously published literary works. All authors will be paid for their submissions.

This means writers can upload a story or novel for feedback, enter it into the writing contest, and possibly get published in the magazine all in one submission.

Read on to learn more about this amazing new tool for authors!

Whether an author plans to publish in a literary magazine, self-publish or traditionally publish, we envision as the connector between authors and agents, publishers and editors.

Interview with Matt Brindley, founder of beta reader platform

Tell us about yourself, Matt. You’re a product and software developer. What made you decide to make the transition to the publishing world?

The idea for was the result of many experiences and conversations over several years. I was first exposed to the writing world and the challenges writers and publishers alike face via my wife, Mary, who is a writer and editor.

While researching and evolving this idea, I met some brilliant people who were very generous with their time. One London-based editor took me to see her company’s office in a converted Victorian house. It was a beautiful building with a grand staircase, books lining every wall. She talked enthusiastically but realistically about working in the industry, the challenges and frustrations, the wins that made it all worthwhile, and the joy of reading. Another advisor, a literary agent, spoke of her passion for reading, of discovering authors, and her reasons for switching roles (she had recently moved from a senior editor position at Macmillan). Their passion was infectious!

I also had the opportunity to speak about the project with an author who had published a number of books with Hachette and was working on her latest novel. She walked me through her story of how she first found an agent, the ins and outs of working with a publisher and the feeling of seeing her book advertised on the subway for the first time.

I have a lot of respect for the publishing industry, for the decades of work it takes to succeed in it, but I was intrigued by the ways in which technology could be used to complement both traditional publishing and self-published authors. Writing great software is about empowering others with just the right amount of technology to improve their lives. I’m very excited that we’ve found a way to strike that balance here and genuinely help authors, agents and publishers.

Submit to

Are you a writer?

I wish I had the skills and patience to write! I’m much more comfortable in a code editor than a word processor.

You love a good book, who are your favorite authors?

We Brits love a good murder mystery, so I’d be remiss not to mention the Agatha Christie books I grew up reading. More recently I’ve been reading through everything Ruth Ware has written, Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders and The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

On those occasions I fancy fiction where the protagonist isn’t solving a whodunnit, I enjoy a pretty wide range of genres. I recently enjoyed reading Red Clocks (Leni Zumas), Goodnight Stranger (Miciah Bay Gault), Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens) and Less (Andrew Sean Greer).

What gave you the idea to help writers with feedback on

I’d like to claim it was a brilliant idea of mine that came in a eureka moment, but in reality, the idea was formed over many interviews, much research, and ongoing involvement in online writing communities. I was keen to contribute to the literary world, but the idea took multiple years to fully shape, and will continue to evolve.

How does the platform work for authors?

Authors submit their fiction (of any length) to It should be a final draft, free of typos and mistakes and ready for beta readers.

If a story is accepted, we analyze it to match it to readers who we think we’ll enjoy it to give it the best chance of being well-received. Readers can only see stories they’ve been matched with, otherwise work remains private.

Once reading starts, authors receive detailed analytics on open rates, if and where readers drop off, and ratings. Much like test screenings in film and television, understanding a reader’s behavior can be hugely beneficial in understanding how to improve a story. Readers will also answer more detailed questions about what they liked and what they think could be worked on, as well as join a book club with the author for further discussion and commentary.

Preview of’s story dashboard

How does one become a beta reader on

We’re aiming to open up to beta readers in mid-October, so sign up for the waiting list at now to be first in line!

Tell us more about magazine and the app.

Our reader app has two sections: reader matching and our premium section, magazine, of which Mary is the editor. At launch, magazine will feature hand-picked writing from around the world. After our contest concludes, the magazine will begin including the best work that has come through’s matching service. All authors who are invited and agree to be featured in our magazine are paid, either via payment upfront or via revenue-sharing.

When is the official launch date?

We’re open to author submissions now, and readers will be invited in mid-October 2019. Not long now!

What is the future vision for

Our vision is to create the de facto process for getting great writing out into the world.

Publishing is a tough business, especially for smaller houses and literary magazines. We want to support them all and help them thrive, either by matching them with proven writing or providing additional readers for their own content.

Whether an author plans to publish in a literary magazine, self-publish or traditionally publish, we envision as the connector between authors and agents, publishers and editors.

Submit to

Contest details

About submitting reprints

Become a beta reader