I can’t stop smiling right now. So many of my favorite things came together yesterday: the writing community, the revising craft, helping others, and one simple exchange at the speed of social networking. And in the end, I have something to show for it. It’s just a seed right now, but soon a community of writers and non-writers will grow to help each other better craft the written word. Introducing:
Readers Aloud is an open exchange project, pairing willing voices with revising writers or others who need read-aloud versions of written work.
Writers, join the group to take your manuscript to a whole new level – HEAR your latest revision from a reader’s voice. More than you ever could before, you’ll pick up on subtle, nuanced changes you should make.
How Readers Aloud makes it happen:
1. Those who want something read aloud leave a post on the wall describing their project (genre, word count, etc).
2. Volunteers comment on the projects they’d like to lend their voice to. Every little bit helps – even just a chapter. More commenters can chip in, crowdsource-style.
3. Writers and volunteers decide amongst themselves how to exchange text and audio files.
4. Give what you get! If you get help with your read-aloud project, help someone else with theirs – anything from a chapter to a whole book.
(Non-writers can post projects, too!)
I’m excited to help my fellow writers – starting with the group’s co-founder, author Kat Yeh. Kat’s work-in-progress will be the FIRST Readers Aloud project. After all, it helped inspire the group (see the story below)!
Enter our Charter Member Contest!
Join Readers Aloud (for free, of course!) and leave a comment below. For every comment from a new member, I’ll read aloud & record 250 words of Kat’s book. So challenge me – if 200 new members leave comments, I’ll read the whole thing!
Writers, get a chance to win!
Writers with a work in progress: tell me in your comment. We want to help! If you’re our randomly selected commenter, we’ll read aloud and record three chapters of any WIP to give your revision a boost.
To qualify, join the group and leave your comment by 11:59 CST on Monday, July 9. The winner will be announced July 11.
And do your writing community a solid – send your writing buds to http://bit.ly/ReadersAloud. Building our numbers will make it easier for all of us to get read-aloud help!
So… where’d this group come from?
My author friend Kat Yeh asked a question of her Facebook friends last night:
Does anyone else read their manuscript aloud during revision?
Kat wanted to know if she was the only one talking to herself. Of COURSE not! (Gosh, you’re silly!), the internet said. Harold Underdown, legendary editorial consultant and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, commented,
“It’s a technique I recommend. Even better is to have someone read it to you.”
Many other writers echoed this, in the 37 comments Kat’s thread collected. At one point, she lamented that her manuscript was probably too much for one reader to take on – 53,335 words. So, my unthinking brain (it does that sometimes) typed “Crowdsource it!” in the comment box. But then I thought, Yeah – I could read her a chapter and record it. That’s easy! 10, 15 minutes tops. So in another comment, I offered to read a chapter. And then the two of us got to talking about the idea of an exchange… And that’s how Readers Aloud was born.