What does this service consist of and what does it involve?
Beta reading refers to someone reading a draft of a complete unpublished manuscript and giving you feedback from a reader’s point of view, in a more or less detailed manner – depending on the nature of the agreement between parties involved. I offer what I describe as medium to detailed feedback of quality.
It’s not developmental or any nature of editing; it does not focus on editing but on giving feedback. For editing services please hire an editor! I might give you some personal comments on one thing or another, maybe more editorial than reader-experience in nature, but never think of this service as an edit. You as the author might revise your work as a result of receiving beta reader feedback.
The beta reading service involves private communication between the two parties. This means my feedback on your manuscript is confidential. I ask that you treat that information as I do: for your use only. This means no making it public as a quote, for instance, since it’s not. By no means is your use of my beta reading service a secret, unless you want it to be! But the nature and content of the information traded is between us, as a professional courtesy.
There’s no need to give your editor my book report, since your editor knows full well what your manuscript needs, depending on the type of service you’ve hired them for. If your editor needs pointers from you, then you’ve hired the wrong one, in my opinion… A beta reader’s feedback is meant to help you improve your work on key points, not in any way replace or be part of your editor’s later efforts regarding the manuscript.
Beta reader feedback relies on the reader’s subjective views, tastes, and reading experience. I see myself as no expert in anything, mind you. I simply have amassed some reading experience, know what I like and why, and am able to express those ideas in a way I believe is helpful to a work. And my whole life, personal and professional, pretty much revolves around books: reading them, writing them, translating then, sniffing them…(too much information, right? Lol, sorry!)
It is understood that beta reader feedback is critical in nature, and points of view expressed might be uncomfortable perhaps or even unpleasant to the author. Please keep in mind this is a critical reading and a kind expression of points of view on the matter of the work, and confidential in nature. If you want to see how I approach such matters, please look over my DNFs on the blog, for instance.
My beta reader feedback is a professional service in that I treat it professionally and expect you to do so as well.
Fiction genres the Butterfly (meaning Livia) will Beta on:
Urban Fantasy and subgenres (romance, mystery/suspense/thriller, and so on)
Romance and subgenres (contemporary, historical, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, erotic, romantic suspense/mystery/thriller, and so on) except inspirational/Christian/faith-based
Other fiction genres might be accepted on a case by case basis, depending on a number of factors. If your work is another genre of fiction than those listed here, but you would like to maybe hire me as a beta, contact me about it and we’ll discuss things.
Age Groups the Butterfly (meaning Livia) will Beta on:
What you get for your money
A book report for your complete, unpublished manuscript that touches on:
Main genre traits
Secondary genre traits (mostly in the case of romance)
Age group traits
How the manuscript does on 5 key points: worldbuilding, character(s) – main character and/or main couple -, plot, writing, curb appeal
There may or may not be a Personal Comments section at the end
This implies that once you’ve contacted me, you can clearly describe your manuscript as pertaining to one of those age groups, main genre, secondary genre (mostly in the case of romance, but I encourage having a clear sense of direction for any manuscript).
Price: $2/1000 words
Applies on any length of work, short story to novel
I ask for a nonrefundable 50% advance via PayPal when I start work, the rest to be paid when I contact you with the complete book report but before actually receiving it from me. Should you at any point cancel the service after the advance has been paid, it will be payment for my work that far and we’ll part ways as friends 🙂 But I ask you to notify me as soon as you decide to cancel the service, regardless of the reason.
When & why to use the Beta Reader Butterfly service?
This is a service you make use of after you’ve completed your draft of the manuscript – whichever draft it may be, 1st or 3rd or so on, but before you give your manuscript to your editor (mainly for independent authors) or enter it into submission (for agent/pub). Beta reader feedback is part of the creative process in that once the work’s draft is complete, it can suffer major or minor revisions as a result of feedback the author receives, and only after that would it go on to the next stage of the publishing/submitting process.
Why is my feedback relevant?
I’ve been a book blogger since 2011, reading and reviewing mostly in the romance and mystery/suspense/thriller genres – you can read my reviews here on the blog and on Goodreads.
I’m a freelance translator (English – my first language / my first language – English) since 2014. I’ve translated works by: Agatha Christie, Sophie Hannah, Mary Balogh, Joanna Shupe, L.S. Hilton, Valerie Bowman, and a Star Wars edition published by DK Children, all for a major publisher in my country.
I’ve self-published (New Adult Erotic Paranormal Romance) in 2013: Gargoyle Addition, Dragon Craving
I’ve published with Crimson Romance (New Adult Erotic Contemporary Romance) in 2013: Blietzkrieg Love
I’ve published with Dreamspinner Press (MxM Adult Erotic Space Opera, Mystery Paranormal Romance) since 2013: The Heracian Affair, Sandstorm Heart, A Tooth for a Fang, A Counselor among Wolves, A King and a Pawn (to be released in June 2016)
I’m going to publish with Harmony Ink Press (New Adult Steampunk with strong FxF romantic elements) as of 2017: Thirteen Mercies, Three Deaths
Contact me about your manuscript, filling in all the details required by the form below. Depending on my schedule and availability and your time frame, we’ll work out if & when I can offer you this service. I will let you know either way.
If our timetables work out, send me the first chapter of your work (no longer than 1000 words; if it is longer, send in only the first 1000 words). I apply my Butterfly approach and book report structure to it, as a sample free of charge. Keep in mind though that feedback on a tidbit is different in relevance & nature to feedback on the whole work. It’s only meant to illustrate my MO and help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
If the sample book report is satisfying, you send over the nonrefundable 50% advance and I start working. Depending on our agreement in this regard, the process can take up to 4 weeks. Fee does not depend on speed of work.
Once I’m done with the book report, I contact you to let you know so. At that time, you send over the rest of the payment and I send over my report.
If once you receive my report, you have any questions and are unclear about anything, formulate your questions in one email and send it over to me. It doesn’t have to be immediate, but I will only respond the such questions within 1 week since I’ve sent you the report. Said questions need to target the actual content of my report, such as points you feel I wasn’t clear on, or can be a manuscript-related questionnaire of no more than 30 questions (you can find such questionnaires online, for instance, or come with/add your own, if you feel my book report didn’t answer some of the things you want to know in terms of feedback).
General Terms & Conditions
I will beta on only one title at a time. If you want me to beta on an anthology or series, I will do so one title at a time, and not as a pack.
I reserve the right to choose what projects I will work on, based on the sample sent in.
Titles I beta on will only be made public with the author’s explicit consent.
My feedback will never be shared with anyone but the author it was commissioned by. General thoughts or ideas regarding the process of our interaction are confidential only if the author so desires.
With the respective author’s accord, a list of titles and/or authors I’ve worked for as beta will be made public here. Testimonials are of course welcome 😀 , but not necessary.
No title I’ve worked as beta on will be reviewed by me on this blog or anywhere else. Any other services my blog offers – ads, book promo campaigns – are separate from the beta service and will be purchased separately with no bearing on my final book report.
If and when the title I’ve worked as beta on appears on my blog, as part of a spotlight, guest post, interview post, I will disclose in the book info the fact I’ve worked as a beta on that particular title.
No part of my book report will be used by the author or affiliates as book promotional material. The fact my beta service has been used upon said title is only confidential if the author so desires – meaning you can make public the fact I worked as a beta on your title, you can talk about the experience of it – good or bad, just not revealing the actual content of the report.
Ready for The Butterfly to flutter her wings? Contact me about your project and I’ll get back to you!