Alpha Beta Reading Services is where authors, emerging or tenured, can request one of our power readers to beta read their manuscript and offer feedback on plot progression, character development and overall tone and pacing of the manuscript.
Okay, now that I’ve got the important, corporate-y, brand-y, copy out of the way, let’s talk!
You’re probably asking yourself WHY you need a beta reader. Well, do you? Do you need a beta reader?
The answer? Yes and no.
But let me tell you a little about me and beta readers and then we can go from there.
Just about every piece of fiction I have published, or in the process of publishing, has been beta read. It did help that most of my works started off as fan-fiction and released in a community setting where I had a platform with each chapter being scrutinized to the nth power (fanfiction readers are…meticulous).
Without the “Oh, this part is great!”s and the “You should probably delete this and start over, except when you delete it…just keep it deleted”s, I would have never pushed myself to be a better writer. That’s what criticism does for you.
The difference here is with beta-reading, you take that and you spit shine it to focus on not just criticism but actual details and critique to make your manuscript better.
Here are some of the benefits of having your manuscript beta-read:
Waaaaaay less money
I am really, really, really invested in saving other writers money. Do you know how much an editor cost?! Not only an editor, but a developmental editor and a line editor and whatever else kind of editor? And they charge for revisions after a set number has been reached! You do NOT want to send off a glanced over manuscript to someone charging you two cent A WORD without having someone look it over first. TRUST ME. I KNOW. (It still hurts.)
Faster turnaround time
Most editors take from a few weeks to a few months to get your manuscript back to you. It causes a lot of anxiety to know your baby is probably somewhere cold and dark being ripped to shreds slowly and exactly. You can get it rushed, but it’s gonna cost you. If you just need someone to tell you you’re heading in the right (or wrong) direction, getting that answer back in a few days rather than a few months is a LOT better.
You’re going to eventually NEED an editor
This is just a reiteration of the first point because it’s important. This DOES NOT eliminate the need for an editor. You will MOST DEFINETELY NEED AN EDITOR. But there is a specific time in your manuscript’s life when you do. It isn’t after draft #1 or #2. It’s like…draft #10. In the early stages, beta-reading offers more developmental than perfecting.
Relying on friends and family is…uhm…
I’ve tried it. I thought why PAY when I have 10-15 friends who told me they were DYING to read my next manuscript. Ha. Your friends and family mean well. They really do, but your schedule as a writer is different than their schedule as a reader. Your priority on your writing is different than their priority as a reader. You can give them a schedule and a deadline and still, more often than not, you’re not going to get anything back.
OR You MAY get something back from your friends and family…
Feedback such as “This is really great!” and “Wow, I really like this!” and “You should be a best-seller already!” goes a long way in feeding our egos but does nothing for your manuscript’s improvement.
Writers understand writers. Avid readers love writers.
Duh. We do. We understand the grind, the first draft depression, the existential crisis when Word coats your entire manuscript in red. We also get the exhilaration of a plot actually getting from A-Z, we understand the attachment to characters we’ve created, worlds we’ve built. Writers generally know how to take care of other writers better than those who don’t.
Avid readers love their authors, especially when they invoke something powerful in them. You’ll want someone who is hungry for your work, eagar to read it, and because they love you (not you personally, that would be creepy) give you what you need to make it better.
The above is all cool and everything but you don’t need always need a beta-reader. I want to be honest with you. Very seasoned (like fries) authors who have mastered the art, probably don’t rely on beta readers as much–although I’m sure they still have someone look at it. For authors like me? I need it. I don’t know where I would be without it. I gladly fork over all kinds of money for someone to be honest with me. I need someone to act AS a reader.
So here is what AlphaBeta Reader Services can do for you!
· Our readers are either avid readers with a keen eye and an extreme love of book and prose, or writers, like me, who get it.
· We are diverse, inclusive, well-read and knowledgeable across many genres and styles of writing.
· We love details, so that’s what you’re gonna get, details on what’s working and what isn’t.
· Leave your author voice alone. We aren’t editing your book, we’re loving it, like…I love funnel cakes. I can tell you if it’s a good funnel cake or a bad one, but I’m not going to swan dive into your food truck and tell you how to correctly apply delicious confectionary sugar dust over each delicious fried morsel. You’re a good duster, you’ve got this.
· Give you in-depth constructive criticism on characters, plot, pacing and any plot holes we may see.
· A fast turnaround. This is depending on your word count but we want to get your ‘script back into your hands as soon as quality allows. We know you want to get back to work!
· None of your critique is public. Your intellectual property is safe with us. We won’t attempt to rewrite your story and we’ll give you what you need…HONESTY.
Here is how it works
$1.00 per 1000 words up to 50K
$1.50 per 1000 words between 50K – 100,000K
$2.00 per 1000 words over 100,000K
Rushes can be done and discussed.
We are accepting mostly fiction books. Non-fiction books can be discusses based on subject. Non-fiction books are very serious business with facts and figures and...yes, let’s talk about it!