View Full Version : I need a Beta

Space Author
09-13-2009, 02:53 AM

09-13-2009, 02:57 AM
Space, I've got to be honest with you, you're asking one hell of a lot here.

You say your manuscript is 1200 pages - that's about 300,000 words. And you want this entire manuscript rewritten in fluent English? Basically rewritten from the top down? That's not a job for a beta - that's a job for a ghostwriter whom you're paying, and paying a lot.

I really don't think it's fair to ask a beta to rewrite your entire manuscript for free. Just reading a 300k manuscript is an exhausting task, let alone rewriting every single word.

If you're serious about this, you need to find a ghostwriter, and you need to dig deep into your pocket. Nobody is going to rewrite 300k for free.

Hope this helps.

edit: I just googled "ghostwriter" and picked a site at random for an idea of prices (http://www.pegr.com/ghostwriterpricing.html). These people (whoever they are) are quoting $3000-$8000 to line-edit a completed manuscript. Your manuscript is about four times the length of a regular book, so let's quadruple the price. This service from a professional would cost you upward of $12000.

That's what you're asking a beta to do for free.

Space Author
09-13-2009, 03:14 AM

09-13-2009, 03:20 AM
well, I see "let dialogue"...

I really appreciate your reply.

Glad I could help, Space.

But I'm not advocating that you recruit a beta here on AbsoluteWrite and haggle with them for prices. Most of the betas here (including myself) are amateurs -- and complete rewriting of a manuscript from start to finish is really a job for a professional. Somebody who works in the field, who has a track record and real experience, who can quote you and give you samples of their work.

The expense is likely to be huge, because it's a huge job. And even if you do splash out, your odds of selling a 300k novel to a publisher? Slim. Very slim. 300k is grotesquely huge for a first-time novelist, and the fact that you personally are not fluent in English is a major, major problem. Publishers have thousands of people hammering on their doors with a fluent grasp of English and dinky 80k manuscripts.

It's going to cost a bomb, and it's incredibly unlikely to pay off.

You'd be better off, in my view, seeking publication in your native language. If you're set on publication in the English language, you need to become truly fluent in idiomatic, native-speaker-level English. Either way, you don't pay a penny, and if you can't sell this novel you can just write another.

Space Author
09-13-2009, 03:24 AM
a kickback scheme

09-14-2009, 12:03 AM
a kickback schemeThat's quite the accusation to make, Space Author. And it doesn't make sense.

How is hiring someone to 'translate' your manuscript into idiomatic English, paying the going rate for the ghostwriter's expertise and effort, a kickback scheme? You would be free to select from among all the qualified individuals you can identify, not just here but anywhere in the world, in person and online. You would pay the ghostwriter from your own money. The ghostwriter would not be affiliated with any publisher, or with AW, or with a literary agency, but an individual who works for himself or herself.

AW has few rules, but foremost among them is "Respect your Fellow Author." Your posts are failing to do that. Should I see another one in which you are as disrespectful as you were in this post, I and others will be asking out moderators whether you should be a member here.

Maryn, hoping you can do better when hearing the truth