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Beta Reader Basics:

Beta Readers offer an assessment of books prior to them being submitted for publication. As a Beta Reader, you give feedback about any issues in the work relating to the plot, structure, characters and pacing of the work. You are not expected to edit copy or correct mistakes such as typos or punctuation, so please do not do so unless you want to.
As a Beta Reader you are agreeing to freely give up your time to read a writer’s book offer assistance, so please respect that agreement and ensure you do deliver feedback, whether it is good, bad or indifferent.

Are you Qualified?

If you read, you are qualified to be a Beta Reader, plus it’s good fun. You get to read free books and might find something that really stands out from the crowd. You do not need to be a writer to be a Beta Reader, but many writers find the process of Beta Reading to be helpful.

Please be fair to the writers, don’t over-commit and ensure that you offer feedback in the agreed manner and timescale.

Difficult Content:

Sensitive themes like rape, domestic abuse, etc have a natural place in fiction, but because a work will be at beta stage where it requires readers to see if it's portrayed accurately, it will need readers who are prepared to handle this content at 'testing' stage. Authors recognise that they don't always get it right and that it can upset.

Accepting a Beta Reader Request:

Please ensure you only respond to Beta Reader Requests via the forum section, unless you are providing personal details to the writer for delivery of the MSS (book). If you do not wish to pass on personal details, request that the MSS (book) is made available for download.

You will need to consider the following when accepting a Beta Reader Request. Please ensure that you are able to meet any commitment you make as there is nothing more dispiriting than silence for a writer.

  • GENRE (Is this a genre you would typically read, and are you familiar with other works in this space? If not, you probably cannot offer feedback that is pertinent to the writer)
  • WORD COUNT AND TIMESCALE (Have you got the time to read the work and comment in the requested timeframe?)
  • POSTED BLURB (This should replicate typical back cover text. Would you pick up such a book with an intent to buy and/or read it?)
  • AUDIENCE DESCRIPTION (Do you fall within the typical reader profile?)
  • EXPECTATIONS (Consider how you are going to offer feedback and ensure that the process suits how you want to work)
  • AVAILABLE FORMATS (Is there a format you are happy to read?)
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