What is Beta Reading?
Beta reading provides an author or writer the opportunity to have a manuscript or other work read by someone else as a reader, and not as an editor or proofreader. The beta reader provides feedback for the author to use while they polish their work before it goes to publication.
Some people volunteer to beta read. This is great, and within the writing community, I support volunteer beta reading as a way to give back and support other writers, especially indie authors.
Beta Reading Will Not Include:
- Line editing, copy editing, fact checking, or proofreading. No editing at all. I won’t tell you what to edit, though I may give examples. Spell check and grammatical issues are the writer’s responsibility. Editors edit, readers read.
- Changing your author voice.
- A rewrite of your story. This is a different service.
- Reviewing your book on a sales platform (Amazon, etc.)
While Beta Reading, I will not proofread your manuscript for spelling, grammar, correct facts, or edit anything. I may give examples of obvious errors, or point out an erroneous fact if I happen to spot it.
Beta Reading for you means you get the manuscript back exactly as you sent it with zero changes. Instead, you get a detailed report of anything that I think you need to know. I’m glad to address any concerns that want me to include in the report. Please ask at the start of the process, not the end.
My report and comments are for private communication between myself and the author and not meant for publication. If you want to share praise with friends and family, by all means, but don’t go posting anything I wrote in my report as part of a review on Amazon or other platform.
Beta Reading Includes:
A complete read of your manuscript from the perspective of a reader to:
- Provide honest, objective, and respectful feedback in the form of a report to help you polish the manuscript. The report includes what I thought was great, not so great, and what I felt was awful.
- Offer constructive criticism and advice about your characters, the story arc, dialog, pacing, plausibility, and plot holes or inconsistencies.
- Give respectful and thoughtful comments on your writing including common style issues, general construction, and storyline.
- Point out structural issues that detract from the reading experience.
- Determine readability from a reader’s point of view.
- Do you have a great hook?
- Ease of reading
- What did I think of your plot, characters, and style?
- What did I like, dislike, hate, or love?
- Did you leave me with questions or wanting more?
Beta Reading Process:
It starts with your manuscript in the final stages before publication. You wrote the entire story and then edited it. After it sat for a short period, you edited again. You should not ask any beta reader, including volunteers, to read an unedited manuscript.
At the very least you have:
- used an online grammar checker and did your best to resolve differences between actual problems and the imperfect algorithms that any grammar checker must employ. The English language thrives on inconsistencies.
- employed a spell checker. Try to remember that a spell checker can’t spot a correctly spelled word used incorrectly. “Its not always obvious.”
- whittled conversations down to dialogue.
- no inappropriate tense changes.
Your book manuscript fits a genre that I can look at objectively as a reader.
Accepted Fiction Genres in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult: Dystopia, Apocalypse, Science Fiction, Thriller, High Fantasy, Fantasy, Crime, Romance.
Also accepting memoirs of Pioneering and Homesteading or similar stories of personal achievement.
Send your manuscript in .doc .docx .ods .epub or .mobi format along with a signed copy of the Author – Beta Reader Agreement and any particular aspect of the manuscript you want me to give special attention. I will review a random chapter or two and decide whether to dive in or not. If I do, you’ll receive notice via email. At that time your payment is due via PayPal.
Note: I won’t accept manuscripts that are unfinished. No first or second drafts.
After receiving payment, I will read your book from beginning to end and write my report (view sample report) which you will receive via email. Afterward, for a week or so, I’ll answer general questions via email.
Fees are non-refundable unless for some reason I am unable to complete the work. You are asking for my opinion. I will give it as honestly and respectfully as possible. We are all different and cannot always agree. Just because I suggest a change, doesn’t mean you must use it.
Basic Beta Reading Fee includes a complete report about your book and starts at USD 10.00 for the first 10,000 words, rounded up. For example, an 83,000-word MS and an 87,000-word MS both cost USD 90.00.
Basic Beta Reading includes a standard turnaround of three weeks from date of payment.
Rush Service: 1-week turnaround. USD 60.00
Super Rush: 3-day turnaround. USD 120.00
Video Report / Discussion
After you receive your report, we can discuss via Skype or Teams using screen share to examine the manuscript or the report, or both.
30-minute Skype Report – USD 30.00
60-minute Skype Report – USD 60.00