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authorMAF
08-13-2017, 07:18 PM
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 (https://betabooks.co/onboarding/start)

Harlequin
08-13-2017, 08:26 PM
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.)

Jeff Bond
08-16-2017, 06:38 AM
Thanks for the link! Signing up ...

Jeff Bond
08-16-2017, 07:20 AM
The folks over there asked me to update the link to their new application page, here: https://betabooks.co/onboarding/start

authorMAF
08-20-2017, 01:56 AM
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! :)

sobellejanet
08-24-2017, 08:11 PM
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.

AR_Kingston
08-25-2017, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the share. I'l be needing beta readers in a week or so, might be another great option along with this site.

Felix
09-11-2017, 05:42 PM
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 (https://betabooks.co/) 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

Harlequin
09-12-2017, 12:52 AM
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.

VeryBigBeard
09-12-2017, 01:01 AM
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.

Sage
09-13-2017, 05:11 PM
Yes, the thread was merged.

noranne
09-19-2017, 08:03 AM
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.

EmSalah29
09-20-2017, 10:36 AM
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