THE BETA REVIEW EXPERIENCE
Have you ever read a beta review and just been like, THANKS FOR POINTING OUT ALL MY FLAWS, YOU JERK.
Or received something back and all it said was, this was really awesome…maybe increase the action on page 45.
Yeah. If you are an indie writer and trying to self-publish, some days it sucks. All you want is a fresh pair of eyes on your book, for someone to give you legitimate feedback, to let you down gently and help you brainstorm some solutions to help you get back up and running and you want it for free. Is that too much to ask?
I get that. And I can help. (with almost all of that).
I’m not your average beta-reviewer. I use a guide I’ve created that asks hard questions because I want to see better quality books coming out of the indie and self published world.
But not only do I ask tough questions about your book, but I give detailed, actionable answers. I’ve found that the majority of my feedback - both constructive and positive- is largely appreciated but it still really sucks to hear the negative stuff.
Everyone feels that way. That’s because this manuscript is your BABY. And everyone thinks their baby is the most beautiful-est baby in the world.
But if you want to make your book baby better, you have to be willing to consider the feedback someone gives you. Many authors want to try and argue that a beta-reviewer missed the point or want an opportunity to explain what they were trying to say.
Now, I have to say that, fortunately, I haven’t experienced this very often but the first time I did, it was really quite frustrating.
BUT THEN I realized that this is a common problem in the beta-review world and in order for authors to really improve, they needed to DIALOGUE in a safe place in order to hear the heart of the feedback. Dialoguing allows the author to consider because a text PDF doesn’t always convey tone. CAPS ONLY GOES SO FAR. And beta-reviewers are human. They can mis-read things as well.
But going even further, I realized that email also doesn’t always convey tone nor is it the most efficient use of our time.
So when I charge for a beta-review, that includes a review AND a 2 hour Beta-Read Coaching Call. This is a face-to-face video call that is recorded so that you and I can dialogue about the feedback (that I’ll have already sent you in a PDF) in a relaxed manner and you can refer to the WHOLE conversation and PDF later. There’s no need to franticly take notes. And talking things out allows us to come up with better solutions for YOUR unique manuscripts obstacles.
I can’t always know your motives for writing the way you do. Perhaps you plan to follow up in a sequel or it could purely be a loose end. Sometime beta-manuscripts are still in a largely exploratory stage. But by talking about it, I can adjust my feedback to be more helpful.
This video call is revolutionizing the power of the beta-read. Beta-reads at this time are often solution less critiques that end up leaving the author feeling discouraged about their work and unsure about where to start fixing it. Reviews can come across overly harsh, or entirely unhelpful.
This method allows you to digest what I’ve said and come to the table ready to dialogue and find solutions.
And it’s a private and appropriate place to spill ALL your feels about your characters. If your mom/spouse/best friend isn’t able to get why your dragon’s internal conflict is affecting your overall main character's arc in relation to the sub-plot of a garden gnome revolution, you don’t have to get upset. I’m hear to listen and help you find a way to save the day.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out what these debut authors are saying about this new style of service.
HOW IT WORKS
Here is the overall process for getting a Beta-Review with me.
Apply - If I think your book is a good fit for me as a reviewer, I’ll accept the application and request you to send your manuscript. If I don’t think your book is a good fit for me as a reviewer, I’ll let you know as well. Often times, I try to recommend you to another reviewer I think will be a good fit for your premise and genre.
Send Your Manuscript- Upon receiving your manuscript, I will confirm that I have received it, and put you in a 2-3 week review slot on my calendar. You will receive an invoice based on your word count, to be paid after you receive your video call.
I do one complete read-through making general notes as I read and a second read-through answering the guide questions. My betas are thorough.
Receive Your PDF Review - It's best if we can schedule the video call soon after I've finished your review so that the material is fresh in my mind in order to best serve you. I ask for authors to create a 2 hour window sometime within one week of receiving their Review PDF from me.
Join a Video Call - After agreeing upon a date and time, you just need to show up to your inbox with a cup of your most favorite drinkable liquids, ( I prefer chai) and headphones (I’ve found it’s better for the audio). You’ll receive a link to join the video call in your inbox and since you’ve already read the PDF review, we can jump right into it! On average, the call last between 1.5 to 2 hours.
Payment and Improvement - This is where we both win. You walk away with solutions and I walk away with cash. Both parties party.
The video call beta-review is the only package I’m offering because I believe it is so valuable. Authors are benefitting so much more from this style of review that I believe it’s almost a crime to just do the PDF anymore.
I still operate on a sliding scale based on word count:
I charge $ 0.001 per word. So that means 105,000 words x $.001 = $105. The video call portion is $50.
Therefore, your price is $155. Pretty competitive and affordable considering all that you get in comparison to larger companies.
Payment is due after the beta-read service has been rendered.
And sure, you can get beta-reviews for free via new book bloggers and other authors willing to do swaps. In fact, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET MORE THAN ONE BETA-REVIEW. You should probably get 5-6 from a variety of sources to cross examine the feedback you get.
However on average it takes me 3 hours to read an 80,000 word manuscript and roughly 4 hours to critically review the same book. Plus a 2 hour video call. Plus time spent emailing That’s almost 10 hours.
10 hours x $15 minimum wage for any service rendered is $150. My beta-review service is $155 for 105,000 word manuscript.
I’d say that’s a fair shake for all the work I’m investing into your baby. And I’m not just investing your book. I’m investing in you. This is also a COACHING call. I’m there to cheer you on, help you find solutions, help you set goals and think about things you probably haven’t thought through yet. Not to mention getting a vote of genuine confidence in either your writing style or character development is often times, priceless.
I’m in this business because I love reading, discovering new authors, supporting side hustling dreamers, and coaching those with an teachable, entrepreneurial spirit.
You’ve never experienced Beta-Reviews like this before. If you are an aspiring author, check it out.
I absolutely don’t accept horror, dark fantasy, erotica, vampires/werewolves, non-fiction, or autobiographies.
Everything else is open for consideration.
I most appreciate a blend of romance, sci-fi and fantasy-preferably all three in one.