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Thread: Website to Beta Read (BetaBooks)

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW stormowl7's Avatar
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    Post Website to Beta Read (BetaBooks)

    I've started using a website that makes it easier to have people beta read your manuscripts, and I thought I'd share it here

    Betabooks
    Last edited by stormowl7; 08-20-2017 at 02:26 AM.

  2. #2
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Hiya, I've used beta books. I'll try an answer your questions.


    How is it more private and safe? Can you explain what are the safety precautions used to ensure the ms is private? Does the website have access to my ms, or is it restricted? When signing up, are the terms that ensure the website can't share my ms?


    It seems fair private and safe, but I mean, I tend to use Google Docs otherwise.


    - When beta readers read the uploaded ms on BB, can they make notes directly on the document? And just so I'm sure I understood, they can't download the ms - it just stays on the website and they read/edit from there?

    No, they can't download, and no, you can't make line by line. For me this is a deal breaker as a reader, though not as a writer. I almost always do line by line.

    I do enjoy that you can easily read on your phone, loading a chapter at a time.




    - So they can't make notes as they read on the document? (for example, on word when you can highlight a sentence/word and comment on that specifically, or when you strike certain words and recommend another word instead)


    Uh, nope, sorry.


    There are two main reasons to use betabooks imo.

    First: it gives you access to the monthly beta swap group if you sign up. That means you get 3-4 other people who you're agreeing to swap reads with. However, the one downside is they try to pick different genres, so YMMV for how useful that feedback is. Suffice to say my philosophical high fantasy went down like a bucket of sick in my group of Thriller, Inspirational Romance, and Chick Lit writers.

    Second: Gives you access to the Betapool where if you ahve a completed book, you can get up to 15-20 readers of it, usually. This is very valuable, though I've never done that because I prefer a bit less feedback.

    Also as before it's easy to read on the phone and update with different versions (keeps the old versions.)
    “Is it possible that the relationship between humanity and evil is similar to the relationship between the ocean and an iceberg floating on its surface? Both the ocean and the iceberg are made of the same material. That the iceberg seems separate is only because it is in a different form. In reality, it is but a part of the vast ocean.”
    -- Liu Cixin

  3. #3
    figuring it all out Jeff Bond's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link! Signing up ...

  4. #4
    figuring it all out Jeff Bond's Avatar
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    The folks over there asked me to update the link to their new application page, here: https://betabooks.co/onboarding/start

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW stormowl7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bond View Post
    The folks over there asked me to update the link to their new application page, here: https://betabooks.co/onboarding/start
    Updated my link as well - thanks!

  6. #6
    Old Party Girls are more fun! sobellejanet's Avatar
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    I also joined and really like the sight. I am beta reading a very well written sci-fi thriller for a writer. It's not my genre or interest, but the writing is great and makes it a worthwhile read.
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  7. #7
    figuring it all out AR_Kingston's Avatar
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    Thanks for the share. I'l be needing beta readers in a week or so, might be another great option along with this site.

  8. #8
    figuring it all out Felix's Avatar
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    BetaBooks Beat Reading Software: Thoughts?

    I stumbled upon a bit of software that was created to help authors share their manuscripts with beta readers without the side order of fear. Has anyone used it? Any feedback?

    BetaBooks costs about $15 a month. For readability, they claim that it is similar to iBooks or Kindle. To get started, you upload your ms and you can choose to share it with someone by adding their email address - similar to Google Docs. But it allows you to track their reading and it keeps their feedback organized.

    Here's what it says it offers for your $15 / month.

    • Track reader progress
    • Collect reader feedback
    • Reply and discuss feedback in-app
    • Triage and categorize with our feedback marking system
    • See all your feedback in one screen
    • Unlimited Books
    • Up to 20 Readers per Book
    • End of Book Reviews
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  9. #9
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Has the thread been merged?

    I used betabooks when it was free. I'd use the free version and not the paid one.

    To clarify, they were supposed to be launching a free service alongside the paid one. I would stick with free if they are still doing that, or not bother if paid.
    Last edited by Harlequin; 09-12-2017 at 01:37 AM.
    “Is it possible that the relationship between humanity and evil is similar to the relationship between the ocean and an iceberg floating on its surface? Both the ocean and the iceberg are made of the same material. That the iceberg seems separate is only because it is in a different form. In reality, it is but a part of the vast ocean.”
    -- Liu Cixin

  10. #10
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Yeah, $15/mo is high for an app, I'd say. I mean, it depends what you get, but I don't like the idea of paying for betas and I'm not sure I like the idea of paying for access to betas either.

    Also, the standard warning with any online service should apply: if the app fails and the company disappears from the face of the earth, what happens to your info? I'd ask that question with extra frequency for a service that only just left beta and is now charging $15/mo. It's a big jump for any app to the land of premium and not all business plans make it there in one piece, so to speak.

    You can (and should) learn to create a pretty decent feedback system yourself. It's not especially hard, and also gives you an ability to take feedback in holistically. I'm a big fan of testing methodology and I know how to apply it, but the idea that I need every comment helpful or otherwise laid out in a big list and tagged is kind of missing the forest for the trees, IMO. You can go into granular detail or you can figure out what you need to do to fix the book.

  11. #11
    Prepared to sing! AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    Yes, the thread was merged.
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  12. #12
    the possibilities are endless noranne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    Yeah, $15/mo is high for an app, I'd say. I mean, it depends what you get, but I don't like the idea of paying for betas and I'm not sure I like the idea of paying for access to betas either.
    You're not even paying for betas, you're just paying for help managing betas you already have.
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  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you guys for all this information. This is very useful, especially since I am soon going to be in the process of needing beta readers/critique partners for my Fantasy story.

    -Emma

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