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Willing Beta Readers Volume III

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

ubriel

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Ubriel Reads

Availability:
UNAVAILABLE FOR NOW
Preferences:
I am a fan of plain language or thoughtful word choices and sentence structures but not really interested in a book length poem.
Yes, please.
(YA or adult) Sci-Fi/Fantasy with all the tropes or none. I even like the incredibly hard to swallow stuff.
Human interest stories, horror and mystery are fun too.
Sorry, no.
Nothing that is specifically romance please.
Not gore, not who-dunnits, not crime.
What I write:
Mostly adult sci-fi/fantasy and human interest, social interest with the occasional mystery thread.
Beta Style:
I am comfortable with MS Word using track changes, just comments, or both; google docs shared projects with commenting; or PDFs that I can comment into. I can even print a copy under 300 pages total and hand write notes.
Experience:
Amateur only beta reading up till now, in fan fiction and writing circle projects, but my day job is as an editor of legal code. I do it every (week)day.
Timeline:
I will respond to inquiries within 24 hrs as long as the subject line is findable with a search of my inbox.
Completed notes depends on what shape the writing is in and how long the project is. I can usually get through a rough and dirty story at 100 MS Word pages in 3 or 4 days. Cleaner is faster. No matter what notes I have, you will get at least weekly updates on my progress.
I will only take on what I can do in under three weeks unless you don't mind waiting in silence during my deadline week at work each month.
Contact:
[email protected]
EMAIL-I prefer everything to be through an email chain.
-with the subject: [your name] Beta reading [genre][working title][MS Word page count total]
-with a body containing: your best contact email or phone number and the best time to reach you
 
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thegirllikeme

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Availability: Will take one at a time. CURRENTLY FULL

Preferences: YA, Dystopia, Science fiction, fantasy, and thriller are my favorites, but I will accept queries on most things. Erotica is not my cup of tea, so I wouldn't be the best person to give feedback on that.

What I write: Both YA and Adult dystopia/fantasy/science fiction/thriller. I have dabbled in lit, but generally just for short stories. I have published a couple of short stories, but nothing other than that.

Beta Style: I have worked as a nursing teacher for the last couple of years, so I'm used to giving feedback, feedback, feedback.
I'm tough, but fair; bluntly honest, but encouraging. I point out the bad, but also the good. If there are things that you want me to specifically answer, let me know.

Experience: I beta read for a while on another forum about ten years, and I currently read for my best friend who has published multiple short stories.
I am graduating with a doctorate degree in nursing in May, so I can write academic level papers in my sleep. I consider my proof-reading skills to be pretty on point, and I'm pretty good at both sentence and paragraph structure to make it read stronger. I will also give honest feedback on plot, character development, and whatever else you need.

Also, I can recognize medical errors ten feet away, in fiction or television. If your story has that in it, I may be your lady. Or, even if I'm full in beta reading, feel free to PM me any questions. Like how long must sutures stay in? Or how do you treat a dog bite? Or how likely are you to survive a gunshot wound to the chest? I'd be happy to help!

Timeline: A single chapter I can turn around in a couple of days (if during the week, weekends will take more time). A full book, I will have it done within a month, depending on length and how depressingly bad my insomnia is. I will give you a better estimate when I look at your book.

Contact: PM me a description of your story, and I think that I can help you we can proceed. I will be honest if I think I'm not the best fit for your story.
 
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RenRyder

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Availability: Available, (Seeking 1-3 Betas) [OPEN]
*Please provide some form of blurb or short description of your novel, whatever you have. I'll probably end up skimming your writing style when making my final decision. Any context or additional information you want to provide is nice to hear.

Preferences: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, you get the idea. Looking for most all flavors of fantasy, besides, say, paranormal romance.
*I'd prefer to receive a second draft to beta (AKA, you've gone through your MS once or twice already for SP, Grammar, Flow, etc). I'll also probably end up line editing your book because I don't see why not.

What I write: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy, Celtic Myths & Legends, Dark Fairy Tales.

Beta Style: I'd prefer to get a second draft. I feel that every writer has their own personal style, and I try to respect that. I may provide alternates for consideration on sentences I feel could be made stronger or would flow significantly better another way. Take or leave my suggestions.
- I write on a Mac, and so will probably be doing editing in Pages with track changes on. If you give me a .DOC / .DOCX that's fine, I'll return it in the same format I receive the MS in.

Experience: I've written 6 or 7 full-length novels over the past 8 years. I read a lot. Plus, uhm, college and things?

Timeline: I've never done a beta as involved as this, sooooo. Just assume it'll take me a couple-few weeks, and if you get it back sooner, hurrah. I'll update this when I have a better idea of the time investment.

Contact:I'd prefer to be contacted by email at [email protected]. If you PM me here as well, that's fine.


Looking forward to doing some light reading. Maybe this will get me out of my slump.

Warmly,

Ren Ryder
 

Ari Meermans

MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter
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I'm currently available to beta a UK or Canadian mystery/detective novel. I usually beta by invitation only but I'm suffering a dearth of new reading material right now. I prefer a polished story and if it isn't ready for beta, I'll tell you that, too.

Availability: Now until about February 1, 2020, when my beta-reading year starts to take off.
Preferences: As above: my current preference/open slot is a UK or Canadian mystery or detective novel
Beta Style: LBLs and editorial notes. On a personal level: I can be ruthless but never unkind.
Experience: 7+ Novels (all genres) per year (depends on the size of the project); haven't counted shorts and novellas but the number can be considerable depending on the year.
Timeline: Expect up to 3 weeks for feedback; usually, the time is shorter.
Contact: Send a PM and we'll arrange for you to send the first two chapters to determine if I'm the right beta for the book.


ETA: Availability as of 02/23/2020—Fully booked (I'm sorry.)
 
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shanthini

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Availability: Open

Preferences: I primarily read Mystery, Thriller, YA, MG, Fantasy, and light SF (or any combination of those). However, I will read almost anything. Sorry, but Historical fiction, Romance, and Erotica are not really my thing.

What I write: Fantasy, Thriller, MG fiction

Beta Style: I prefer to work in a Word/Google document by suggesting changes. I will suggest grammar/syntax corrections and word choices, and comment inline if I find something confusing. I also provide a general summary of my impressions.

Experience: A lot of writing of my own, avid reader, several years of tutoring middle school through college students, and a degree in English that’s not otherwise doing me any good.

Timeline: Largely depends on the length of the work and what’s on my plate otherwise, but would feel comfortable committing to a month for most manuscripts.

Contact: PM me
 

mentacle

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Graphic novel scripts

Availability: Available for a month or so. I'll update this.


Preferences: Graphic Novels- scripts, outlines, pitches, or illustrated works- a chapter or 22-page issue max at a time. Let's talk if you want me to beta longer works. Prefer Fantasy and younger markets, but I'm familiar with direct market and adult material too. Please send me drafts that you consider relatively finished?- I'd appreciate it! It would be harder to beta unfinished works, or first drafts. I used to be an avid Marvel reader, but not anymore, so I'm probably not the best candidate for cape fiction in the Brian Bendis/ decompressed style.


What I write: Graphic Novels, YA and MG. Illustrate, too.


Beta Style: I can edit a Google Doc or Word Doc (using Libre), plus a few paragraphs if you want developmental feedback, or to indicate points of confusion. I can discuss possible publishing avenues for your work, and advise on the pitching / query process. No line or copy edits, please. if you have illustrated thumbnails or name, I can edit those for storytelling clarity.


Experience: I've been a graphic novel illustrator, mostly for MG and YA, for 12 years, and a reader long before that. Recently I've been transitioning to the trade market. As for beta-ing, I'm relatively new. This is my first foray into making formal beta offers. Please take that into consideration.


Timeline: A week. Sometimes two.


Contact: PM!
 
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A S Abrams

Bananas are my favorite animal
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Availability: I am currently full.

Preferences: Please contact me only if your latest draft is finished -- so, no 'I'll have it ready in a few days / weeks / months.' Also please have your work formatted properly (e.g., readable line and paragraph spacing)


  • 10,000 to 90,000 words please (What if your draft is 92,000 words? Either edit it down or look for the beta readers who will read above 90,000 words)
  • The work needs to be somewhat polished (is not a rough or 1st draft, reads like a complete story, has fewer than 3 or so copyediting issues per page, has no known missing parts of the story, etc.)
  • Work for adult audiences in most genres is fine
  • But no erotica
  • No YA/NA or children's
  • But middle grade is fine (yes, I know -- weird)

What I write: I write short stories, novellas, novels, and scripts. The stories I've completed fall into fantasy (high, portal, urban), science fiction (steampunk, parallel dimensions -- no 'hard' science fiction yet), mainstream, cozy mystery, chick lit, thriller/suspense, and horror.

Beta Style: I am not a copyeditor. I am not a proofreader. Looking at grammar, sentence structure, and so on is tedious to me.

If you don't actually want to make changes on your manuscript, I'm definitely not the reader for you because of the time and effort I put into beta reading. If you ignore most of my feedback, that's fine. But if you ignore all of it? Hmm...​

Most people I've beta'ed for have suggested that my feedback is blunt... I don't agree, but hey... They also ask me to beta for them again. I strive to never be tactless, rude, or attacking.

I ask the writer what feedback style is preferred. Some writers hate for beta readers to give suggestions, tips, or resource links, and if that's you, I will certainly respect that. Other writers request that I give them examples of how they can fix issues I come across.

Please be honest about how positive you'd like me to be. I generally highlight what I've had a strong positive reaction to, which means sometimes I don't point out a story's strongest areas because my reaction to them was weak.

The amount of feedback I can give could be overwhelming for you. No one has complained, but a few writers have commented on how much I've provided.

I expect the writer to share their preferences so that I can see if we are compatible. If you've never received feedback before, I suggest posting a snippet in SYW, or at the very least, simply reading the feedback there while paying attention to your own responses to particular kinds of feedback.

My typical style is to provide in-line comments (Word or Google Docs). I don't usually suggest specific changes through tracking (for example, inserting a missing word into the text. I'll point out that kind of thing in a comment). At the end of a scene or chapter, I'll summarize what's working and what's not for me.​

Experience: I've given feedback as a beta reader and critique partner for about ten years now. I'm good at assessing characters (development, arcs, characterization), genre, structure (story and scene-level), plotting, pacing, theme, worldbuilding, point of view, logical gaps, timelines, exposition, reader orientation (establishing pov, tone, location, time, and character positions), and inconsistencies.

Timeline: For stories 40,000 words and above, expect a 2 to 3 week turnaround. For fewer words, I might be faster, depending on the needs of the story.

Contact:
PM me with your

  • genre,
  • word count,
  • goal for your story (agent, self-publishing, contest, Wattpad, etc.),
  • what draft your story is in and what you've already strengthened
  • feedback preference
  • one scene (for a shorter story) or one chapter (for a novella or novel) from around 67% into your story (I know... weird)
    • Important: If for some reason you are uncomfortable with sending me a chapter at the 67% mark, then please don't contact me.

Thank you.
 
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Siwyenbast

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Availability: (As of 11/23/2020) Currently unavailable. I have gotten finished with my one beta piece, but need to finish a couple of my own. I do have a few people on my wait list, and will get to them in the order received. My current trade is a 31k novella, but will soon switch that out for a 40k YA novel. When available, I do for trades. One person at a time, please.

Preferences
: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy (especially superheroes and modern fantasy) e.g. Diane Duane's Young Wizards, Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles, Holly Black's Modern Faerie series. New Adult genres that are not just romance. Sci-Fi and Fantasy overall, the occasional Historical (Ancient Egypt only) fantasy. I'm eh on paranormal. If you send me that, it's got to have a unique twist that isn't the same old vampire/werewolf/ghost stuff. No horror, no rape, no white supremacist in a light other than villain, easy on the sexually explicit stuff. Asexual spectrum representation that doesn't "cure" them of their asexuality is a plus in addition to the above (same with autism spectrum stuff, as I am a neurodiverse person myself).

What I write
: I typically write in the YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy genres, with a bit of NA Fantasy (my superheroes are in this category) and some interstitial sci-fi/fantasy/romance (it was a class project, and turned out pretty good). My humor style is similar to Rick Riordan's. My length is usually in the novella area, but I've hit shorter YA novel levels too.

Beta Style
: I typically read for comprehension first, then go back and read for craft and mechanics. I try to be professional in my critiques, doing them much like I would in class. This also means that I don't sugarcoat. What I do is constructive criticism. I prefer using Google docs or word .docx (via Libre office) so track changes can be used. Please let me know what writing style you're using (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc) so that I can keep the formatting proper. I prefer that you've already done several passes on the mechanics side of things and are at the point that you need that second pair of eyes. As a note: If you are writing something that involves Ancient Egypt in any capacity, I can check that against non-E A Wallis Budge resources if you're going for historical accuracy or plausibility. I've been a big Egyptology buff for decades now, and if I can't find it, I can always poke my contacts in the Egyptology community and see if they can point us in the right direction. Also, for those of you who are writing an autistic person as a character, or a person of a low income bracket, or a pagan, and aren't one yourself, I can help with authenticity and sensitivity in those areas. All you need to do is ask.

Experience
: I have a BA from the University of Houston in English: Creative Writing, so most of my experience is in the classroom, but I also have done trades with friends. I was an associate editor for Shards, Glass Mountain's (UH's undergrad lit mag) online arm for Fall 2018. I also have done an editing project for a game studio that I'm still under NDA for until the game comes out.

Timeline
: I typically take around 2 weeks to a month for turnaround, but that can fluctuate depending on life and health (both mental and physical). I will typically labor to let you know if something's going to go over the projected time frame. As of current, it will be after the end of the year before I am able to get to my wait list, as I have a personal deadline to finish a book by then.

Contact
: Send me a PM here, and we can talk. I prefer to do that first, then send my email address for it. Please send me a synopsis of the work in the contact PM and once we get established, a few chapters at a time (unless it's a shorter than 30k work, then send me the whole thing). This is so that I don't get overwhelmed. Look forward to working with you.
 
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lyann88

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lyann88

Availability: Not available
Preferences: Sci-fi and urban fantasy
What I write: Sci-fi Cyberpunk
Beta Style: I will give a summary for my general impression and area to improve on and line edits if needed.
Experience: I have published nonfiction and I am writing my second novel (I never finish the first one...). I have a Ph.D. in neuropsychology. I have read several books on the craft of writing and watched instructional videos online.
Timeline: Around 2 weeks
Contact: Please PM me.
 
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Micheala

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Availability: NOT AVAILABLE
Preferences: Novels. No poetry, scripts, essays, short stories, etc. Romance is a must. Must have a strong romantic element. I read YA, NA, and adult, but not really looking to read a contemporary. Not in the mood right now, but this may change. Fantasy, paranormal, etc. send my way! Again, must be romance too.
What I write: I write various genres, but all with a romantic element. I upper YA magic realism romance, paranormal romance, contemporary upper YA romance, etc. Currently writing a NA paranormal dark romance
Beta Style: I will provide opinions on plot, writing, characters, flow, etc. Will not line edit. While I do not require the manuscript to be edited perfectly, I will ignore and not point out minor typos and other writing errors unless you request it. Therefore, I prefer something that has already been edited to at least a degree. If there is no line edits, then I can not properly beta read as the errors will take my focus away. I can excuse a couple though. I will provide comments after sections/chapters, depending on what I have to say. I prefer to use Word or Google Docs.
Experience: I have been writing for over 10 years. Have been Alpha reading for that whole time and critique partners for much of it too. I am on many ARC teams. Have not beta read much (1-2 books in the past), but am building experience with that. But I do have lots of experience in the various reading forms. I have a BA in English Literature.
Timeline: Depends your needs and how engaged I am with the story.
Contact: PM me with your genres, word count, and summary of the book, as well as what feedback you are looking for exactly.
 
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Fiender

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[More up-to-date post available down below]
 
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milotry

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Availability: Currently unavailable!

Preferences:

IDEAL: Sci-fi (preferably not hard sci-fi) or fantasy (any kind: dark, epic, urban - all of it!), novels and short stories welcome
NOT: Romance (as the primary genre - subgenre is fine) or erotica

What I write: Sci-fi and fantasy

Beta Style: Having a set of questions you'd like answered would be great, but if not then I'll just give more general feedback on things like characters, pacing, structure, et cetera. I'm a pretty good proofreader, so you can count on me to spot any grammatical mistakes or awkward sentences. If this is something you struggle with specifically, then I'd also be happy to look through something purely to proofread it for you.

Google docs would be my preference, but working with PDF comments would also be fine.

Experience: Total novice; I've never been a beta reader before, but I'm very used to providing creative and technical feedback as part of my day job.

Timeline: My best guess is that a single chapter will take me a couple of evenings to both read and write up feedback for, whereas a short story (length dependent) might take me a week, and an entire novel likely a month or slightly longer depending on how swamped I am. I'll make sure we're on the same page regarding how long something will take me and update you if anything changes, just so you aren't left hanging.

Contact: Feel free to PM me here on AW! I'm happy to exchange emails from there if your writing seems like something I'd be down for.

As an additional note, I'm able to act as a sensitivity reader for various mental health issues or for LGBT characters. Feel free to inquire!
 
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Turnip Knight

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Availability: CURRENTLY FULL (You can still contact at me, but there will be a wait. I won't start a new project while I'm working on the ones I've already agreed to.) :: I am available for two stories at a time. I work full time, work on my own manuscript, and manage a household. I only have so much time to read.

Preferences: 1) Science Fiction. 2) Fantasy 3) Dystopia 4) Thriller 5) Mystery [[You can push anything my way and I'll probably try it.]] ((Warn me of adult or disturbing content))

What I write: Science Fiction/Thriller

Beta Style: I like to answer questions. If I'm not provided with questions, I'll go through the basic ones that I usually ask. I also give a general overview and opinion. I like to do "character check ins" every few chapters to let you know how I'm perceiving things as the story progresses.

Experience: I'm your man when it comes to plot, flow, grammar, story structure, character voice, and developmental ideas.

Timeline: Within a month. Probably much faster, but I don't want to promise more than that. I'll give you an updated timeline for your particular project.

Contact: Contact via Absolute Write messaging.

(I didn't mean to repost, but I accidentally deleted my earlier post. )
 
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Earthworm Jim

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Currently available to give feedback on short stories.
I'm seven drafts through my first novel, but have taken a break to fulfil my love of writing flash fiction.
WIll read any type, whether it's romance, comedy, dark, or downright outrageous.
Will take no more than a few days for the feedback, depending on length.
I like to examine characters, and will point out anything that jumps out at me.
I'm not brutal, but am honest.
 

GarethD

Resistentialism made me do it.
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Availability: Unavailable but get in touch if you're not in a rush.

Preferences: I prefer Sci-fi novels and short stories, but will also happily read most genres except horror or erotica. I'm a writer myself and occasionally need beta readers, so I may ask if you want to exchange manuscripts for mutual beta but that's not deal breaker.

What I write: Sci-fi

Beta Style: Happy to provide general feedback or to look for inconsistencies / errors. I'm a copy editor and journalist by training, so I tend to spot typos and grammar issues, as well as plot SNAFUs. I won't bite, but I will be honest; I've had enough brutal feedback to know it's unproductive, and that's not in my nature. But I do recognise the need for clarity and honesty when it comes to improving copy.

I prefer to use Word document or Google document.

Experience: Journalist with extensive editing experience, and my own first novel is currently at Beta reading stage.

Timeline: Depends on manuscript length and my own workload, as I have two kids to look after! Very open communicator, so I'll make sure we agree deadlines and I usually hit them or let you know well in advance if it's a problem.

Contact: Drop me an email at [email protected].
 
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OrdinaryDreams

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Erie, PA, USA
Website
Ordinary-Dreams.com
Availability: Open to a single well-edited full for now.

Preferences:
Format

Word doc with tracking control so I can make comments as I go would be great.

Other formats considered so feel free to ask.​

Genres Favored (feel free to check out my favorite authors via the link in my siggy)


Fantasy - magic, knights, talking animals, swords, scythes, all good.

Detective / Police Procedurals / True Crime

Romance (as the main genre or as a sub-plot) - Balanced romances only please; I don't care for any party involved to be withering wimp / pushover. Open to any gender combination.

Any/All Others - would be considered.

NOTE: While I've nothing against erotic elements I am beyond caring to read sex scenes of any type thus be aware that I'll likely skip those pages if your work has them.​

What I write: I write for adults. Existence after death, dealing with Death, meeting DEATH, and amateur death-related sleuthing. Ranching in Colorado with people and mama nature at their best (or, rather, in many cases, worst).

Beta Style: I'd ask you to be as explicit as possible about what you want out of the reading by telling me the top -- oh, let's say 5 -- burning questions you want answered after I've read it. Beyond that, I am good as suspending disbelief as long as you lay the groundwork for it, even if that groundwork is in your first sentence, e.g. "I scratched my butt with a tentacle while ...." I look for inconsistencies, opportunities for improvement, and will let you know where my mind wandered out of your story (if it does) as well as what brought it back in (it if does). Most of all, I make comments as construtive as I can even if pointing out something that didn't work for *me*.

Experience: Newbie BETA reader! My grandmother was an English teacher, does that count toward my experience? Perspective and background: I am a 1966-vintage self-employed white cis female with a transgender (MtoF) person and two dogs in my life. I have two college degrees yet work in a field unrelated to either one. My brain tends toward logic, procedure, process, and data-crunching. It also craves relief from same. So, bring it on!

Timeline: Give me six to eight weeks to start. Hopefully, as I grow into the process turnaround will get shorter.

Contact: PM to start the conversation to see if we're a fit. :0)
 
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