What is a beta-reader?
A beta-reader is a professional reader who goes through an edited, unpublished version of your story before it goes off to publishing/pitching. It’s basically a critique on all things that your reader would or wouldn’t like in your work. For example, the protagonist changes drastically through the story–without the character development. Bam! Now you know what you need to work on.
Why do I need a beta-reader?
Unless you’re the most perfect person on Earth (which I strongly doubt) you need a beta reader. While an editor can fix all your typos and sharpen your sentences, they won’t look at your manuscript through a reader’s eye. You wouldn’t know that the protagonist is the most underdeveloped character or worse, no one believes in your villain’s motive. The readers would tear this apart once it hits the shelves. Allow me to do that beforehand and polish your baby for the real world.
Why do I need you as my beta-reader?
I’m an avid reader who has been reading for quite some time now. Considering myself an eclectic reader, I have come across varied genres and the numerous tropes/cliches accompanying them. This gives me an insight to what has been done a ton of times and what you can do a ton of times. Plus, character development, overall plot, pacing, and genre relativity among others are areas I strongly critique on. You can get a hint of those in my reviews. In fact, I’m a writer myself and have a gist of what a story needs more or less of.
What can I expect from you, as a beta reader?
- When you hand over your manuscript to me, you can be assured it won’t be disclosed (not even the title or author name) unless you give me the permission to do so. I’m also up for signing an NDA if that’s more like you.
- I do sound conversational and a bit humorous in my writing but I can assure you, I work as professionally as a person being paid is supposed to. I’m also easy to communicate so you can expect exactly what you want for your project. Work flexibility is my trait so things can always be worked out.
- I will read your MS from a reader’s viewpoint and give a detailed, in-depth feedback on what was excellent, what was lagging, and what is strongly suggested to be done.
- Pacing, plot holes, character development, world-building and overall plot will be analysed.
- Specific solutions and creative input will be provided without changing the author’s vision or voice.
- The feedback can either be as a chapter-by-chapter or a general, comprehensive take on the manuscript. I’m also open to answering specific questions.
- While I won’t be diligently proofreading your work for grammar, spelling, and punctuation (that’s a job for the editor) I would certainly point out consistent errors or errors that might’ve missed the eye of an editor. For example, using an Oxford comma for the first half of the story and not the other half.
- I will not provide a line-by-line critique. That’s something I offer in my critique services if that’s what you’re looking for.
- I will not ghostwrite bits and pieces of your story. I do provide creative suggestions but they are not something you’re forced to accept.
- All my feedback will be delivered in a constructive manner and would, in no way, be intended to belittle you or your writing.
What books would you read?
Like I said, I’m an eclectic reader and would read almost anything. Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Non Fiction, Graphic Novels, Comics, and others. Specifically, I won’t read: Hard Erotica, Religion/Spiritual, Poetry and Children’s Fiction.
How much do you charge?
On a base line, I charge $1 for every 1000 words with a minimum of $5 to start with. For example, if your MS is of 2000 words, it actually costs $2 but it would be costing $5 since the word count is lesser than the minimum.
Once the MS crosses 100K, the price would be reduced. I would then charge $1 for every 2000 words. So if your MS is of 150K words, your total cost would be: $100 + $25 = $125. I also offer discounts for repeat buyers and those who order an additional revision.
I will offer a deadline to you according to my free slots but if you’re on a rush deadline, you can book a date with a minimal extra cost of $30.
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the above cost, feel free to still send me a mail and we can work things out. Like I said, I’m flexible in terms of working as a creative enthusiast and would love to help out an author.
All payments are non-refundable and will be made through Paypal. Payment will be done before commencing the beta read because this virtual world can be pretty bad when it comes to freelancing.
What format would you accept my manuscript in?
Anything except for a print copy. Shipping can be a hassle and I don’t like to delay a committed work so I prefer a .doc or .pdf file. A .mobi or .epub or .acsm is also fine but less preferred.
Is there anything I should not do with your feedback?
You will never publish my feedback or use it as a justification for any changes made to your manuscript. For example, if I suggest you to change a few characters’ dialogue to make them sound more distinctive, you cannot use me as an excuse to justify your action if someone ever questions why your characters sound so awesomely different and real. *wink, wink*
Alright, I’m sold! I want you as my beta reader! What should I do?
That’s great! Just fill out this form and wait for my reply with the quotes and confirmation. If you wish to discuss the rates or any other specifics, you can mail me at email@example.com first. But please make sure to add ‘Beta Reading’ in the subject of your mail so it doesn’t go unnoticed. Looking forward to working with you!
If you’re someone who prefers to work through third-party platforms when it comes to such services, I also offer my beta reading service as a gig on Fiverr.
Fanna did a great job in beta reading my light-hearted contemporary romantic novella. Her feedback was honest, thorough and covered all such aspects as storyline, story flow, characterisation, writing style, POV, dialogues, pacing and so on. I’m sure her comments will help me a lot in improving my novella. Thank you, Fanna!
[ON FEEDBACK FOR A ROMANCE NOVELLA]
Fanna gave me some great insight on my book “Deceitful Survival” and I was able to make changes to my final edit.
[ON FEEDBACK FOR A HISTORICAL FICTION]
A great reader who did a superb job: read carefully, gave honest opinions, and did so in a very timely manner. Everything one could hope for in a beta reader!
[ON FEEDBACK FOR A FAIRY TALE RETELLING]