Can beta readers steal your work?

Can beta readers steal your work?

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.

Evaluate their reviewing and feedback style and ensure they fit your needs.

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?

You can still get feedback from friends and family members who read or hire a professional beta readers

3) Get a contract

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 can’t insist more on the importance of reading the testimonials from the past and present clients, if they are available. 

In conclusion

Despite all these precautions, it is true that someone else can steal your work or misuse your manuscript and call them their own. But the chances are quite low. 

I am sure you will find someone whom you can trust to get a relevant and honest feedback from.

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Do you use a professional beta reader? Are you worried about someone else stealing your idea or work? Who is your go to beta reader? Let us talk. 

Can beta readers steal your work?

Bookish questions for your bookstagram

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.

1. If there were one book that you can make everyone read what would that be?

2. What makes or breaks a book for you? Is it the grammar/typos? Badly written plot? Annoying characters?

3. If you can be a fictional character for a day, whom would you choose?

4. Do you like gray characters in a book?

5. Who is your favorite gray character in fiction?

6. Do you read non fiction/ self help? If so, what did you read most recently?

7. Name a hyped book that fell short for you.

8. Which of the usual romance tropes works the best for you?

9. What trope in Young adults books you hate?

10. What are you currently reading these days?

11. Which book disappointed you recently?

12. What are your pet peeves when it comes to romance writing?

13. Name one author who is on your auto buy list. Just one, no cheating.

14. How are you faring on your reading challenges?

15. Which book gave you the longest/hardest book hangover recently?

16. How has social media (Instagram/bookstagram) changed the way you read?

17. Which book did you buy most recently only based on the recommendations on the Instagram?

18. Are you part of any book clubs? What are you reading currently with them?

19. How do you choose your next read?

20. Are you a mood reader? Or you make elaborate plans before you choose reading?

21. What is your favorite mandatory read from school syllabus?

22. Do you sneak a peak into the last chapter to see how it ends?

23. Name that mandatory read that you disliked at school.

24. If you can add one book to the school mandatory read book list, which one would that be?

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*

Do not forget to follow me on Instagram

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Are you on Instagram/bookstagram? Do you ever get stuck looking for questions of the day (qotd) or captions to post? Would these bookstagram questions be useful? Let us chat.

Can beta readers steal your work?

Things To Do Without Leaving Your House

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.

2. Watch the meerkat cam or catch other animals on live camera on Youtube.    

3. Try one of the virtual museum tours if you are into culture and art. Museums of Amsterdam, London,South Koreaand even the Vaticanat your fingertips.

4. Learn a new language or more realistically, learn to say hello in different languages. Duolingo might interest you!

5. Can you name all the countries in the world. Learn with the World Geography games site.

6. Now you got all the time, and there is no excuse to not do those at home workouts. Keep fit!

7. Do a puzzle a day. Suduko or crossword anyone?

8. Do it like the Japanese. Drink or have dinner with your buddies over video call.

9. Bring out those board games and play with your family or friends, whoever is around.

Clean up around the house

1. Do a fashion show and try every one of your dress. Discard or donate anything that do not fit or “spark joy”, Marie Kondo style.

2.  Clean up your media folder on your phone and PC. Delete those duplicates and let your phone breathe a bit.   

3.   Are you one of those oldies that still has music stored on your PC or even CDs? Welcome to 2020, clean that up! I bet Media Monkey is still going strong.

4. Match all your Tupperware lids to the containers. In addition, the desi version of this is pick all the polythene covers lying around the house and collect them in a huge one.    

5. Make a budget and check your finance. We need to ride out this tough times!

Things to do house

6. Get your taxes done early this year! Even though the governments would probably move the deadlines to pay the taxes.

7. Also ,why not catch up on the 8 hours sleep or how much ever you want to finally?

8. Throw out your old and expired make up stuff and clean the vanity table.

Things to do house

Bookish things to do

1. Start by making a list of the books that you wanna read during the Corona virus shut down.    

2. Write reviews on Goodreads for the books that you loved. Authors need you!

3. Clean up your Goodreads virtual shelves. Remove the ones that you no longer wish to read and remove duplicates.    

4. And update your wishlist. Soon this will be over and you will be treating yourself with book hauls.   

5. Pick up a classic that you have been dreading to start. Read 20 or 100 pages, as you choose, everyday and finish the mighty book. War and peace, anyone?    

6. It is a good time to do those Bookstagram shoots that you have been postponing for a while.  

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.    

Alt text blogging terms

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!    

6. Respond to all the comments on your blog. If you are on WordPress self hosted, this plugin will help you filters out all the comments that are missing replies. Thanks to Avalinah for the recommendation.

7. Clean up your blogging feed and follow only those who matter and interest you.

Things to do house

8. Create a course/ebook or anything to build that damn email list.

9. Join that e-course that always wanted to but didn’t “Because TIME”.

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Let’s chat

So how are you doing during these trying times? How have you been distracting yourself? What are the things that are on your to do list? Let us talk.

Can beta readers steal your work?

Sunday Musings #19: One About Illusions And Horror Movies

Hello new week!

Last week turned out super fun. My cousin had to my city on official grounds and we got to hang out a bit in the evenings and on Friday (being a weekly holiday).

On Friday, we went to the Museum of Illusions. It had lots of puzzles to be solved and its main attraction was the optical illusion tricks. We ended up clicking many pictures. 


She is cooking my head!
No clue what we are doing!
And we are upside down. 

On the other news, I finally got back to running, thanks to the pleasant climates that gets me going. But I am not going to talk more about it, lest I will jinx myself. Right?

What I read this week:

I didn’t read at all this week. I am surprised, shocked and guilty about it. Until now I hadn’t even realized that I hadn’t picked up a book. 

Sigh.

I will rectify the situation this week.

What I watched this week: 

In the spirit of Halloween, I watched (or re-watched) three horror movies and ended up freaking myself. 

  • Annabelle Creation
  • Annabelle and
  • Lights out

              

Out of the three I think Annabelle Creations has lots of jump scares and they definitely spooked me out. 
What are your favorite horror movies?

On the blog

I didn’t do bad this week, though I wrote only three posts instead of the target four. But I am cutting myself some slack.

Around the blogosphere

While I have not caught up with everyone’s blog, I promise I will definitely do that soon. Here are my picks from the bookish world.

I will be linking today’s post with Caffeinated reviewer’s Sunday post Meme.

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Let us chat

How was your week? What are your Halloween nights like? Horror movies – yours picks? Let us chat.

Horror Movies
Can beta readers steal your work?

6 new-age poets you will fall in love with

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.

This Somalian poet hit the poetry world with a bang with her debut book Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth. Warson’s poetry has been featured in Beyonce’s film Lemonade, making her the talk of the town again.

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

2) Lang Leav

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. Simply an alcoholic 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 like you – 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 is simple believe them when they say you are nothing repeat it to yourself like a wish i am nothingi am nothingi am nothing so often 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.

Clementine is the founder of Where Are You Press and she still enthusiastically takes part in word slam worldwide. This 24-year-old writer and publisher is based in Portland, Oregon.

All this time I drank you like the cure when maybe you were the poison.

Her words from her debut book Mouthful of Forevers has often been quoted in wedding vows and even tattoos. She writes about love, loss, uncertainties and beauty in life.

But my heart is an old house (the kind my mother grew up in) hell to heat and cool and faulty in the wiring and though it’s nice to look at I have no business inviting lovers in.

Like many of the other new age poets here, she uses a conversational language which bodes well with her audience.

He used to love me, and now he’s just a stranger who happens to know all my secrets.

You can read more from on her tumblr. Click on the links to take a look at her books.

New-age poets
New-age poets
New-age poets

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

New-age poets
New-age poets
New-age poets

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.

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Did I miss any of your favorite “new-age poets? Let me know what your favorite quotes are and why. Click here if you would like to read more quotes.

Can beta readers steal your work?

What changes Hulu made to The handmaid’s tale, my favorite book

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

Pic credit

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

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.

The Handmaid's Tale - Book Vs TV series

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.