One of the major concerns for indie authors when hiring a beta reader is about the safety of their manuscript. Can beta readers steal my work? Will they publish my manuscript as theirs? Will they rip my beloved characters off me? These questions must plague your mind, and for right reasons.
As someone who is producing digital content on multiple channels every single day, I understand your concerns. I worry on similar lines every night about my posts and graphics.
I get it.
How can you just hand over your manuscript that you have spent weeks and months on to some random stranger off the internet?
As someone who attempted fiction and poetry writing many moons ago and struggled at it, I have a great respect towards you all.
To come up with a plot and an outline is hard. But to sit down and pour the words on a paper (or screen?) is just mind blowing. You don’t deserve getting your hard work stolen/misused by anyone.
So if you are worried if the beta readers whom you entrust your manuscript with, can steal your work, I am here to put your concerns to rest.
The answer is no!
Professional beta readers do not steal your work because their job is dependent on their integrity and trustworthiness.
Things to do to avoid your work getting stolen
That being said, one can never be too cautious right? So here are some things you can do put your fear of getting your work stolen by your beta reader
1) Get to know them
Getting to know your beta reader would be a great way to start a relationship with them.
Go through the testimonials of their previous clients.
Have a conversation via mail or through call. Meet them over a coffee, if that is something you are both comfortable with.
2) Get someone who is not an author
Another way to minimize the risk of your work stolen by the beta reader is to avoid sharing your manuscript with a writer who is writing in the similar genre as you, or just avoid peer authors altogether.
I know this sounds a little too extreme but one can never be too careful when it comes to the internet right?
Many professional beta readers are willing to sign a contract and a Non Disclosure Agreement before they even receive their advance and your manuscript. I sign up these NDA, too
The contract binds them legally from discussing or sharing your manuscript, plot or anything from your work with anyone else or using your plot, character or words for any other purpose.
It explicitly states that the manuscript is for their eyes only.
4) Get a professional beta reader
Many a times, authors share their manuscript with other authors and the members of writing community for a feedback in exchange for feedback on of theirs.
Well, the system works.
But is it the most safe and effective method? That is arguable.
On the other hand, a professional beta reader is someone who has been doing this for a while and they have a track record. This automatically improves their chances of not being professional aka they don’t have to steal your art/product.
I am sure feeling lost when it comes to starting new conversations is pretty common – be it online or in real life. I hope these bookish questions would be help you kick start new topics. Let me know if these bookstagram questions are helpful.
25 Bookish questions for bookstagram
Here are some bookish “question of the day” (qotd) that you can ask your followers on social media like bookstagram or just write a blog post on. I will keep these bookstagram questions coming if they seem helpful to you. So let me know in the comments.
25. Do you read dystopia? If yes, name one dystopian fantasy that you can relate to our current world.
It is no secret that I love talking about books, writing and everything in between. Of course I talk about it on my blog and all over the social media. And in real life, to whomever would listen, including the book club meetings.
So if you are ever looking out for bookish question of the day (qotd) to talk on your bookstagram or blog, you know whom to ask. * wink wink*
With almost 25% of the countries in the world have imposed a lock down due to the Corona virus pandemic, staying in seems the only way to go. And that might be a bit too convenient for us bookworms, right? If you were one of those introverts, you would have preferred to stay in with a cuppa.
For others staying in might be hard and can quickly become too much. But when there is literally no other safe way to get away from it, why not make the best use of the downtime?
Things to do without leaving the house
So, let us talk about the things to do inside the house during the lock down time aka “don’t leave your house if you value it” time, shall we?
Let’s have some fun, first!
1. Bring out those DIY supplies that you have been hoarding all these years now. Knit, draw, color. Whatever is your do, take time to do them.
7. Do a virtual book club meeting. Maybe with some chai. Or wine!
8. Join readathons and read with others to keep your mind distracted from everything else.
9. Finally, dust your book shelf, and those on your night stand, the coffee table, and pretty much everywhere else.
Tidy up your blog
1. Ensure your posts are all on brand. Do they follow the same color scheme and format?
2. Begin by cleaning up your tags and categories on your blog.
3. Next, add Alt text tag information to all the images in your posts.
4. Add a Pinterest sized image to all your posts, or at least the most visited ones.
5. In addition, once you have done adding one Pinterest image to the important posts, add one more Pinterest sized image to them and maybe hide them inside your post. Thank me when the traffic improves!
I don’t read poetry as often as I would like to claim. If you are like me living within the clutches of the social media then you have nothing to worry, you can catch up. Presenting you the list of my favorite ‘new-age poets’ that rule our age! The subject matters they talk about range from feminism to erotica.
They call out attention to the problems of the LGBTQ to soldiers. Their words do not necessarily follow the traditional rules of poetry or deal with nuances of the writing, but they do strike the chord among the reader and they are here to stay for a long time.
Her poetry draws her poetry from her African culture and her English upbringing. Her poem Home talks about refugees and their plea for help.
No one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
Her poems have been translated into various languages like Italian, Danish, Estonian Spanish and Portuguese and she recites poetry countries like South Africa, Kenya and Germany. She is an active advocate for feminism and gender equality.
Sofia used pigeon blood on her wedding night.
next day, over the phone, she told me
how her husband smiled when he saw the sheets.
She voices for the feminine sexuality, especially among the Muslim women. Her work against female genital mutilation and its risks is based on her ancestors who had themselves undergone it.
Some nights I hear in her room screaming We play Surah Al-Baqarah to drown her out Anything that comes from her mouth sounds like sex Our mother has banned her from saying God’s name.
You can buy the books by clicking on the following links
The millennials do not need an introduction to Lang Leav who has attracted the world of the young and young at heart alike through her social media posts. She may not follow the traditional poetry formats and uses conversational language in her poems.
We may be just two different clocks, that do not tock in unison.
Her poetry is usually filled with melancholy and poignancy that seems to resonate with young and old lovers.
Here and now – I love you, for this moment, you have my heart. But you are not entitled to my future – you have no ownership of my past.
She published her debut novel Sad Girls this 2017 and her poetry books continue to be top sellers worldwide. You can buy the books by clicking on the following links.
And it wasn’t my choice to love you but it was mine to leave. I don’t think the moon ever meant to be a satellite, kept in loving orbit, locked in hopeless inertia, destined to repeat the same pattern over and over – to meet in eclipse with the sun – only when the numbers allowed
She lives in New Zealand with her partner and fellow poet Michael Faudet.
Her debut book Milk and Honey has made this Canadian poet of Indian origin into the best seller list with a whopping 1.4 million copies sold. This first-time poet self-published her book, despite having her friends warn against it.
The thing about having
an alcoholic parent
is an alcoholic parent
does not exist.
who could not stay sober
long enough to raise their kids
Her book is broken into four parts: hurt, pain, breaking and healing. She talks about abuse, feminism, love, loss and everything that would resonate with a young woman.
every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
– to fathers with daughters
Though she published her book in 2014, her moment of spotlight arrived when she posted a picture of her menstruating in Instagram as part of her assignment, and it was removed. She pointed out the hypocrisy and she found her following soon enough.
emptying out of my mother’s belly
was my first act of disappearance
learning to shrink for a family
who likes their daughters invisible
was the second
the art of being empty
believe them when they say
you are nothing
repeat it to yourself
like a wish
i am nothingi am nothingi am nothing
the only reason you know
you’re still alive is from the
heaving of your chest
– the art of being empty
Her second book will be published this October 2017. Click on the links to take a look at her books.
Andrea Gibson is the first poet ever to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam and she leads the spoken word movement.
Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
She provides a strong voice for the rights of LGBTQ and gender equality. She does not believe in identifying herself as a male or female to perform at and often uses her gender neuter name Andrew during her performances.
she’s wondering how many women are walking around this world
feeling the tingling of their amputated wings
remembering what it was to fly to sing
She also believes in using her poetry as a medium to comment on the issues of today’s world. Her works speak about varied topics like war, white privilege, Patriarchy, capitalism, etc.
How many wars will it take us to learn that only the dead return?
You can read more from here and here. Take a look at some of her books.
For a long time, Micheal Faudet was an Internet enigma. He is active and has thousands of followers in all social media network, but there has been not much of a talk about personal life. Even his face has not been published yet anywhere.
When it came to love, she enjoyed the thrill of the search, but seldom stopped to check whether happiness was keeping up.
His writing focuses on love, relationship, loss and lust. Most of his poetry has a tinge of eroticism. He and his partner Lang Leav have a similar aesthetics and language style that have made ripples all over the world.
You can buy the books by clicking on the following links
I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.
I write because you exist.
Not quite long ago, there was a discussion that Michael was just a figment of an imagination of Leav’s, considering him not being “physically” available on the internet. Fear not Faudet fans, he is real. His twitter has been officially verified with the government ID, photograph, etc.
I have made it clear to everyone around me – on online and in real life, that I am besotted with The handmaid’s tale, both the book and Hulu’s teleseries. I have not stopped talking about to anyone who would listen about it. You can read my thoughts about the book version of The handmaid’s tale here. Yeah you heard it! There is a book version and a TV version, and there are a lot of differences between them.
In the Hulu version of Gilead most things are the same as in the book. It is essentially about the fertile women called handmaids who have been rounded up and sent to the houses of its high ranking officials to bear the barren couple a child. With Margret Atwood herself on board as an Executive Producer, this tale of feminists’ nightmare has made a few but significant changes. Read on to know what Hulu has done to one of our favorite classics. Plenty of spoilers ahead, be warned.
1) The tale is timeless
Hulu’s series is set in the present age with current technologies like access to Tinder and Uber. The handmaids have a red tag on their ears which serves as a GPS tracker. This makes the series more relatable to us, the . The technologies used by the Atwood’s dystopia set in 1980s like Compubanks, Compucounts (read as electronic banks and credit/ debit cards) etc are pretty usual for us. Of course there are lot more swearing and nudity involved considering the again the age we are in.
2) Gilead is a diverse society
Atwood’s book starts with Gilead where the children of Ham have been relocated and the sect war had solved the problems of the Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, and other religious sects. Our present day Gilead is a multicultural society. They still are against the gender traitors, ie, the LGBTQ but there are a lot of openly gay and non whites characters in the series including Moira, Nick and Luke.
3) The bolder, less rigid Offred
The difference the two Offred begins with their name. While the readers are left to make their own deductions about Offred’s before name, Hulu’s Offred makes it clear from the start that she was June. Another drastic change is in the character of June/Offred is that bookish June was a passive character who craves for language, books and words, she never took part in any protests before she was captured and whatever we learn about herself and Gilead is through her strong inner monologues. But Hulu’s June, portrayed by one of my favorites Elizabeth Moss of the Mad Men fame, is a bold lady who even attempts to manipulate the Commander. The Season Finale even shows her as a rebel when she defies Aunt Elizabeth against stoning Janine.
4) We know The Commander
Like June, the Commander’s name in the book had been left to the speculation of the readers. But the Hulu’s Commander is introduced as Waterford and is repeatedly mentioned. Oh, the new Commander doesn’t look anything like the ‘Midwestern banker’ we were used to, he is leaner, younger and much better looking. The Commander is nicer to Offred, letting her meet Moira at the Jezebels and even is a little remorseful when Serena is not let to make her speech, making us like him more than his counterpart from the book.
5) Serena Joy is nothing like we read
The character of Serena Joy gets a complete overhaul by the Hulu’s team. She is nothing like the old, limping, detached ex-televangelist that Atwood had in mind. She is an ex-marketer much like her husband and she played a mighty role in creating Gilead. Hulu’s Serena is not passive about Offred, she is indignant that Offred is taking her place. She is not the one who takes his husband’s affair with June slightly. She gives him a piece of her mind and physically hurts Offred, until she learns she is pregnant. She is passionate, strong and woman who knows to get things done.
6) Ofglen is a gender traitor
How could we forget the brave Mayday supporter Ofglen? In the book the last we hear about her was that she hangs herself when the vans were coming to get her. But Hulu has turned her into a gender traitor and has her even punished for that. She is punished for that severely for having an affair with a Martha. She even drives a car around the market. The show ends up saying more than Ofglen than the book and she is taken in a van much like Offred and her fate is to be certain.
7) Luke survives, so does Hannah
Yes Luke lives in Canada in the Hulu series, whereas his whereabouts are unknown in the book. He is a colored man who divorces his wife to marry June. While the latter fact remains unchanged, the diverse world of Gilead is new. The series also doesn’t speak about the reason behind June’s marriage with Luke is invalidated. Also June’s meeting with Luke has a cutesy story involving Moira and Tinder. I like the TV series’ Luke better than the book’s.
8) Moira escapes the Jezebels
In the book Offred gains her strength from Moira. Moira is a rebel by heart and escapes from the Red Centre alone, not with June as in the series. One of the major change from this theme in the TV series is that Moira is broken down and has lost hope while at Jezebels and Offred is the one who is strong. Moira is seen lastly at the Jezebels by Offred according to the book, whereas Moira escapes to Canada and reunites with Luke.
9) What else has changed
June’s mother plays a bigger part in making up for the courage June lacked, in the book. She is a feminist who fights the system and sent to the Colonies. Cora is a friendlier Martha who finds fainted Offred. Both of these characters are missing in the television series. Likewise Janine’s character is a lot more developed than it is in the book. The time lines are also a bit changed to make it more interesting. Even Aunt Lydia seems to have a heart for Janine, unlike the book.
Have you watched the series? What do you think of it and did you like the changes made by Hulu? Let me know in the comment section.