• Hayley, Developmental editor

Get ready to get Beta Reader ready

Updated: Feb 23

I often receive manuscripts that are not beta-reader-ready. For me, that is fine, it is not a problem. I can take your 15k sample and point out some areas to help you self-edit a little more. Additionally, I can help you through the entire editing process of beta reading and developmental editing, line editing and proofreading.

However, if you are approaching free beta readers, and you want them to tell you how they feel about your storyline, your characters, or whatever else you need to discover, then you need to make sure you are beta-reader-ready.

An alpha reader is the first person who reads and provides feedback on your manuscript, brave soldiers who read your first rough draft, work in progress, or opening chapters. If you are a novice author, and very unsure if you even have an idea to float, this is the place to start, but they are not beta readers.

Beta readers

Beta readers review finished manuscripts before they're published, (or sent to an editor or proof-reader, more on this later) providing the author with feedback from the reader’s point of view. They are not alpha readers, so do your very best to offer them a manuscript that has been through several rounds of self-editing and is polished to the best of your ability and resources. This is the very best way to get a clean read of the substance of your story, so do not rush through the self-editing process and get your book in their hands too early!

Gaining free betas can be quite difficult, so do not waste the opportunity they graciously offer. Betas need a polished manuscript to sink into. You want them to focus on your story, your plot twists, your pace, and those heartfelt characters you’ve spent so much time creating.

You may still find your betas pointing out editing errors that you have missed. This is actually very helpful if you are self-editing, though may not gain you the information about your actual story that you wished to know. So self-edit, study up on self-editing; it is worth the effort. Additionally, the cleaner your manuscript the lower the cost in editing fees (most editors work on an hourly rate based on a timed sample) if you are planning to send your work to a paid editor.

How I can help.

As an experienced beta reader and developmental editor, my service is a tier higher. I welcome submissions of 15k words initially. This provides me with most of the information I need to help you, and my free evaluation and sample line edit can often help writers push their work to the next level of self-editing. So, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to me and I am very gentle; I know how much your work means to you.

I am always open for 15k sample submissions of adult or YA science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Drop me an email to with your 15k manuscript sample attached, preferably as a Word doc. Include as much information as you would like about your requirements.

I work only in adult or YA science fiction, fantasy and horror.

I am genre-specific, because these are the fantastical worlds I love to get lost in.

Allow me to get lost in yours with you.

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