View Full Version : Newbie Question: Do betas ask for a fee or ...

03-06-2011, 08:21 AM
Not quite sure I understand this process.

Do betas just review your MS for free as a curtousy to a fellow writer?

There are people that will help me just because they like to read and help out another human being?

I am serious, I thought that type of behaviour was a thing of the past.


03-06-2011, 08:28 AM
I can only speak from personal experience but I have never paid a beta. I know that there are "book doctors" out there who will go through your book for a fee but I have never used one. I have been a beta for fellow writers that I have met in forums as well as people in my writing group here in Oregon but I have never charged them. I think that its one of the many reasons to establish connections in the virtual writing world, there are a lot of people out there who would be willing to do a beta swap with fellow writers.

03-06-2011, 10:31 AM
I guess I do it for a few different reasons. I enjoy it, for one thing. And I just like being a part of such a neat happening as a book being written. Also, it improves my own writing skills. Last, I might ask them to return the favor some time.

03-06-2011, 12:17 PM
Hi Dave,

This is possibly the only case these days when "sounds too good to be true" actually turns out to be true ;)

Like Fruitbat, I enjoy reading other writers' manuscripts. The grammar nerd in me gets her problem-solving fix and I learn about what works and what doesn't work for me in writing terms.

I've been editing academic work for years, but I wanted to branch out into fiction so Absolute Write writers have provided me with valuable experience through this beta forum. I've been exposed to genres I don't usually read, and I have enjoyed each experience. The writers have all been friendly and professional.

My advice is to try it out, perhaps suggest a beta swap and see if anyone out there is interested in reading your manuscript.


03-06-2011, 06:09 PM
I beta for free, but not for everybody who asks. I limit myself to genres in which I'm well-read, and to writers whose work I've seen in smaller amounts, like a chapter at Share Your Work. And, I confess, I won't beta for someone who's rubbed me the wrong way, even if that's totally unrelated to the work which needs beta-ing. It's a major investment of my time and effort, and I don't hand that to people who have managed to provoke my temper.

I'm fairly fussy; if the manuscript has not been made as good as it can be before I see it, I'll only do a chapter or two, then return it with notes on what it needs. I don't have time to teach grammar and spelling.

What do I get from it? A good read, usually. The chance to contribute in a small way to making it an even better read. The knowledge that I saw it before it reached print. Confirmation that some of my input caused changes. And sometimes--not always, by any means--a beta read for my own work.

There are people here who beta a lot, and they're to be thanked as generously as the authors can manage. I've learned something from every beta I've had.

Maryn, not quite too old to learn, but pretty close

03-06-2011, 06:26 PM
Many people beta read as part of a swap, so they're getting a service equal in value to what they give. It's fun, if you enjoy beta reading. You learn a lot. And there are good networking opportunities if you pick your authors right.

03-06-2011, 07:22 PM
Thanks all.