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Early manuscript reviews (beta reading) for independent authors

What does a beta reader do?

Beta readers (or betas) read books after they’ve been (thoroughly) self-edited by the author but before they are professionally copy-edited, proofread or published. You could ask friends and family to beta read your story, but it is better to find someone who can give an objective and unbiased opinion. Picking a beta reader who is familiar with your genre can also be very helpful. They can give you an insight into the minds of your potential readers.

Please keep in mind that a beta read is not a professional copy-edit (or proofread). A beta read focuses on the big-picture elements of your book (plot and characters), whilst a copy-edit focuses on the smaller elements (spelling, punctuation, grammar, clarity, consistency and logic flow [in text, not in content]).

Early manuscript review (beta reading) service

An analytical, objective and honest opinion of your manuscript. I will work with you to ensure there are no plot or character inconsistencies in your book. I’ll also tell you if I found your story compelling, if I liked the characters or if I figured out the plot twist before chapter three.

To ensure that your story gets feedback of consistent quality I will:

  • provide a thorough review with the help of an early manuscript review form

  • provide feedback and offer comments and suggestions about the strengths and weaknesses of your book

  • make comments in your manuscript using Word Track Changes (or the Adobe commenting tools on PDF if you prefer)

My feedback covers:

  • opening scene

  • character development and motivation

  • plot and conflict (including any plot holes)

  • pacing and flow

  • setting and worldbuilding

  • dialogue (including any head hopping)

  • craft

  • my overall impression

  • any additional questions or comments that I may have

What’​s my turnaround time?

I prefer two weeks for an early manuscript review (dependent upon the length of the work submitted), but I can work with you if you need it done sooner.

First chapter reviews (samples)

If you would like to see an example of the feedback I provide, please request a first chapter review. Youll be able to evaluate my service with a real example and both of us will be able to see if we would be a good fit.

 

I charge a nominal fee for first chapter reviews, which would be deducted from the final invoice if you were to proceed with the full manuscript review.

My experience

I’ve been an avid reader since the age of five. Without giving too much away about my age, that​’s more than 30 years of reading, on average, two to three books per month. I have experience beta reading YA (young adult), MG (middle grade), fantasy, romance, thriller, action-adventure and women​’s fiction. I am happy to work on other genres, but I​’m more familiar with the above.

For a list of my training and CPD, please visit my qualifications page.

She was thorough [...] and her feedback was clear ...

“I was very happy with Victoria’s beta reading service. She was thorough – even checking the accuracy of date stamps – and her feedback was clear. She kept to the deadline agreed and, in general terms, was highly professional in all my contacts with her.”​

Joanne, author

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