Beta Reading

 

It’s Done!

You’ve finally finished your book, completed several rounds of self-editing, and sent it off to your beta readers! How exciting!!! [high five]

But… it’s been over a month, and only two people have gotten back to you, and all they said was “It’s great!” and “I’m so proud of you!” Sigh… You’re glad your mom liked it (ha!), but that’s not the kind of feedback you need to hear.

What You Actually Need

You want helpful, detailed advice about how to make your book better from a person who reads your genre. My professional beta reading service will provide you with detailed, in-depth feedback. I am a HUGE book nerd with an editing background.

I’ve been an avid reader ever since I received the first two books in The Babysitter’s Club series at my fourth-grade birthday party. I read all those and then Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Sweet Valley High, Trixie Belden, and pretty much any book I could find in the tiny library in the small Midwestern town where I grew up (population: 863). As I got older, I moved on to romance, thrillers, and crime fiction, and I started reading memoirs and self-improvement when I lived overseas.

Family and friends are happy for you and may not be objective with their feedback. With my professional beta reading service, you will get honest and unbiased advice communicated in a constructive way. You won’t be waiting around and hope I eventually get back to you. I definitely will get back to you because we will agree on a specific due date and have a written agreement.

Professional Beta Reading

You will receive a combination of detailed comments within the manuscript and a letter that gives my overall impression of the book/materials.

The comments and letter will address the following questions, plus any specific questions you want me to answer about your book.

  • Is the reader drawn in right away? Does the reader want more?
  • Are there glaring plot holes?
  • Does the book flow and have an easy pace that makes the reader want to finish it? Are there parts that drag and slow the book down? Are there parts that go too fast and need to be fleshed out?
  • Are the characters likeable and believable?
  • Is the story engaging, and does the reader care what happens?
  • Is the point of view consistent throughout the book and does it fit the story?
  • Are transitions smooth?
  • Is the dialogue natural?
  • Are there inconsistencies with the plot or characters?
  • Does the story engage the reader and make them want to read until the end? If it’s a series, does the reader want to read the next one?

If your book is in the crime fiction/true crime genres, you will also get my expertise in forensic science. I will note and offer advice on your use of forensic science procedures and terminology in your story. My specialty is forensic DNA/biology and crime lab operations, and I have a working knowledge of other areas of forensic science and police and legal procedures.

I also let you know if the procedures are believable and technically accurate. Are you using the correct terminology? Does your writing make sense in the forensic context?

If I see any issues with your use of forensic science procedures, you will also get helpful suggestions on how to approach them.

What You Get

  • 3-4 page letter with my overall impression of the book that answers all the “big picture” questions, plus any specific points you want me to address
  • Detailed feedback right in the manuscript
  • Short summary of major grammar, punctuation, phrasing, word choice, and capitalization issues that you can address when you are self-editing. I do not actually fix the errors. You will get an overview of habitual patterns that I noted when I was reading your manuscript.
  • Basic fact checking
  • 5% discount on my copyediting services
  • Short contract detailing the agreed-upon date that you will receive your completed beta read from me

How It Works

 

  • Go to my Contact page and send me an email, or fill out the contact form. Be sure to include the following information:
    • Title/genre of book
    • Description/blurb of your book
    • Length of book
    • Desired turnaround time
    • Please make sure that your manuscript has gone through several rounds of self-editing
  • I will check my calendar and let you know when I have room for your project.
  • I will send an invoice for 50% of the total. This is a nonrefundable deposit. After the deposit is paid, I will officially add your project to my calendar. You can also choose to pay the total amount up front, which will streamline the process.
  • I will send a short contract that details the start/end dates, payment terms, and scope of the service.
  • I will then beta read your book and prepare your documents.
  • I will send you an email notifying you that the project is complete, along with an invoice for the remainder of the payment. Once the invoice is paid, I release the documents back to you.

Pricing

$4.50 per 1000 words

  • Romance
  • Women’s fiction
  • Memoirs
  • Health and wellness
  • Self-improvement
  • Mysteries
  • Thrillers
  • Suspense
  • True crime
  • Monographs in the biological sciences

 

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