Early manuscript review (beta reading) service for independent authors

What is a beta reader?

Beta readers (or betas) read books before they are edited 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 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 edit. A beta read focuses on the big-picture elements of your book (plot and characters), whilst a edit focuses on the smaller elements (spelling, punctuation, grammar and flow).

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, action adventure and thriller.

Early manuscript review (beta reading) service

As part of my early manuscript review service, I offer to review your first chapter for free so that you can evaluate my services with a real example, and for both of us to see if we would be a good fit. I will provide a quote when I return the first chapter review. I will provide an analytical, objective and honest opinion of your manuscript.


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 (PDF)

  • 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)

  • answer any list of questions you have in as much detail as possible

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.

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

How it works

The first step is to send me (tori@seymourproofreading.co.uk) the following:

  • a description of your book and exact word count

  • your schedule/deadline and budget

  • the service you require (beta read)

  • the format of your file (Word or PDF)

  • the first chapter of your book (in Word or PDF format)

I can then let you know if the work can be fitted into my schedule. If so, I'll work on your sample and return it to you within two days with your quote. If you would prefer not to send a sample until I can confirm availability, then please send details of your work, word count, deadline and budget.

"This is the second time I've worked with Victoria, and as always, her beta reading services are exactly what I hoped for them to be.  She is very thorough in her feedback. After receiving her feedback, I have a clearer vision on what needs to be done with my manuscript, what needs fixing, what works the way it is. Not to mention, Victoria is a very patient, passionate and kind person. Working with her has always been a delight."