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Paid Beta Reader Services : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Paid Beta Reader Services

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socialleper
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Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby socialleper » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:21 pm

Are they worth it?
I understand the idea of paying for a proof reader since they are rummaging through the nuts and bolts of your grammar looking for errors. But it seems like there is a growing number of people that want to sell their beta reading skills. I guess in the "shared economy" people are trying to make a buck here and there. Paying for an opinion seems odd.
Charge by the WORD! Well bugger me sideways? If I have a 200k word Epic that's kind of kick in the face. I mean paying someone like $50 or something to read is OK, maybe $100 if they are like super awesome or something. But with anything of any real size you can end up around $300 for an opinion.

If you have experiences with paid Betas, please let me hear them.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:39 pm

I wouldn't pay for a beta reader, and a professional, reputable editor only if I were planning to self-publish. I'm all in favor of getting feedback, but paying for it? No. There's no guarantee that what that editor would suggest would jive with the publisher, and the publisher will do it for free.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

socialleper
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby socialleper » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:00 am


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shadowwalker
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby shadowwalker » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:49 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

socialleper
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby socialleper » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:01 pm


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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby cynicalwanderer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:42 pm

Well the way I figure it, is you get what you pay for. No doubt some of those services may well provide thorough reviews by talented editors, but expect to pay a correspondingly appropriate price. And some of them are probably little more than scammers who'll just run your doc through Word's grammar check and spool back the result verbatim while charging an exorbitant fee for their effort. Sadly, unless you get a recommendation from someone you trust, there's not really any easy way to tell between the two.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

socialleper
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby socialleper » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:52 pm


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cynicalwanderer
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby cynicalwanderer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:00 pm

I haven't personally, but I know a guy who did and he was distinctly underwhelmed by the results. If anything, I'm just making a generous assumption that there are good ones out there.

To do a review properly takes a LOT of effort, so I can well expect anyone doing that for a living would want to charge handsomely for it. I've red-penned 100,000 word first and second drafts of novels for friends in the past - not just grammar, but offering structural changes and thematic suggestions as well - and each time it took many hours of my spare time (not including the inevitable defensive arguments that ensued afterwards!) Also it should be noted that when it's not your own work, it's not always easy to summon up a whole lot of enthusiasm for the task.

Anyway to answer your question, it's a hard call. I don't think I'd recommend using one, as you really don't know whether you'll get your money's worth, but at the same time, that doesn't leave a whole lot of options for getting extended feedback unless you're tit-for-tatting with a trusted friend who's also a novelist.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

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Carly Berg
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby Carly Berg » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:59 pm

I don't think either free or paid is any guarantee of useful help but if you decide to use a service, I'd at least try to test them with a few paid, no obligation pages first before deciding, and also try to see some of their published writing. The writing world is of course full of wannabes who think they know everything but really don't so that would be my only reservation. Good luck, whichever way you go.
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devildogwhite
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Re: Paid Beta Reader Services

Postby devildogwhite » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:40 pm

There is no Miss Zarves. There is no nineteenth story. Sorry.

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