Author Topic: Beta Reading and More  (Read 241 times)

Blerg et al.

Beta Reading and More
« on: September 27, 2018, 11:31:37 AM »
I am so excited to be here! Thanks to everyone involved. Loving the new forum!

To my author friends: Anyone who has worked with me and left such wonderful testimonials, if you feel like leaving one here it would be a great start for me!

I'm just going to copy and paste the boilerplate below. I'll spruce it up later. Read on to learn more about my services.

Forgive any typos you find. I'm jumping right on in to this new forum. We'll spellcheck when the dust settles. 
Now Booking for DecemberEach month I can do 3 Dev Beta Reads, 1 Full Edit.
Developmental Beta Read: $3 per 1,000 words
You get a little developmental editing, some line edits, feedback on the plot and characters, comments throughout your manuscript, and a 2-4 page editorial letter. I can do about 50 pages a day.

How it works:
I'm big on actionable critique: I don't tell you that something is bad. We figure out why it isn't working and where to fix it.

Maybe the pacing doesn't match the tone, narrative focus is in the wrong place, no motivation, stilted dialog, a million little variables. We don't scrap the chapter. We make it work.

I get really into my authors' books. I follow their releases and cheer them on.

Trying something new this month. Opening one extra slot for a full dev edit.
Full Dev Edit:$8 per 1,000 words. That's $400 for a fifty thousand word book. Timeline: ~2.5 weeks/50k.
This includes heavy revision, focused line edits to fix pacing, extensive dev feedback to bring plot and character into alignment.
Unlike my Developmental Beta Reading service, full dev edit gets you more back and forth, more passes, more followup. I have the opportunity to implement changes instead of just making suggestions.

Discount for Military Fantasy still applies (see bottom of this post). 15% discount if you book four or more months in advance.



I've been editing for other authors since I graduated college in 2009 (and in workshops long before that). A friend in publishing was sending novels for me to work on. I charged $500 a book and made just enough to pay the rent. (At the time I lived on a leaky sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico and got around by bicycle, so it didn't take much to keep afloat.) That lasted a few years, then I was a professional artist, a wildlife researcher for a couple of summers, and wrote and published my own books. These days I'm living in the Keys, where the snorkeling is fantastic. I have a real job, a dry-land apartment, and a lovely long-time girlfriend who doesn't mind me spending all my time playing with words.
Editing isn't a hobby anymore. It's been my part-time job for over a year now. In 2018 I'm going full-time and there's going to be a lot more travel in our lives.

Just got my webpage up. It says the exact same thing as this post, but there is a contact form on there as well as links to my own books and my art business. (March 2018 I'm remodeling, so certain parts of the webpage may be down or not working correctly at times.)

You can post here if you're interested, or pm me.

What genres do you take?

Oh gosh, lets see...

I have the most experience with epic fantasy.
I've also done urban fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, and litrpg.
I have less experience but still enjoy working with: erotica, romance and mystery.

I'd really like a good military fantasy or historical romance. Maybe an alternate history with fantasy elements.

Genres I don't do: space marines (because I don't know military jargon), modern thriller, spy and superhero (doesn't hold my interest), literary and nonfiction (because I don't mix work and pleasure), young adult and new adult (but I will read middle-grade).


20% off to anyone who brings me Military Fantasy.
For some reason I'm itching to read some. Military Fantasy is not paranormal or urban, no guns, nothing modern. Strictly swords and magic, something like Black Company. Though I would consider reading Steampunk Military.

So bring out your mage-powered artillery, your giant with a bettering ram on his shoulder, your elvish black-ops. Bonus points if your main character is not a front line soldier but some kind of support staff like gnome corps of engineers, or a combat medic cleric, or a battle bard.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 12:28:01 AM by Blerg et al. »
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading


Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 06:36:16 PM »
My review from the old place, which I still stand by. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I don't mind talking about my experience with Dustin.

I just wanted to take a moment to chime in. When Dustin was offering a few limited slots for beta reads I happened to get the slot and he went through one of my books.  My experiences were all positive. The turn around time was reasonable, even fast. I've had a few others look through the book, and he found their problems and more. What's more, his input made it easy to fix the problems. Sometimes with a beta reader (especially a friend/family/pet cat), while they know they have a problem, they aren't sure exactly where the problem started and why they feel the way they do. So even where Dustin found problems I was aware of, it was much easier to fix them.

And he found a lot of problems other people hadn't found, but which resonated with me. They were things I wanted to fix. He even had useful cover input.

I went into this wondering about the experience and how useful it would be. Curiosity was enough for me to put my hat into the ring to see what his beta reads were like, and I was convinced of the value. I plan to use him for the second book in the series and look forward to what he has to say. My spouse/friends/cat are enough to get my book to a good place, and Dustin's beta read is enough to get the story to where I want it for publication.

If anyone has any questions about my experience with Dustin, feel free to reach out to me.
The following users thanked this post: Blerg et al.

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 10:37:04 AM »
Thanks Vale! :catrun
Cut and paste is all I've had time to do as well. Too busy this week to contribute to the new board, but still excited to lurk someplace new.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 03:34:28 AM »
I've had a slot open up next month. Anyone with a last minute project?
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 05:28:45 AM »
Took a break from the editing to go to Necronomicon science fiction and horror conference in Tampa.

Anyone who hasn't been to a conference, I highly recommend them. The panels e are fun, though you can learn just as much watching youtube for a weekend. More important is the perspective you get.

It's amazing how many people have never considered self publishing. I would say nine out of ten writers I talk to at conferences are going the traditional route. People say we're not in the kindle gold rush days anymore, but I still think indie publishing is in its early stages. And I for one am glad to get my foot in the door before the rest of these authors start to self-publish.

None of this really relates to my editing thread except to serve as a reminder that we should all be constantly improving our work and refining our process.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 12:27:30 AM »
Have a few openings in December. Maybe one in November. January is looking to be pretty busy.

Hoping for a little relaxation this week, then I can contribute to this damn forum. I want it to succeed, but I also sometimes avoid the internet like the plague so... umm... hang in there, I'll be a regular contributor, but sporadically.  :banana-riding-llama-smiley-em
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading

Blerg et al.

Re: Beta Reading and More
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 08:45:20 AM »
November is full but December still has openings for Developmental Beta Reading.

I might start offering basic beta reads again.

i.e. A few notes per chapter, and a short summary of feedback. Not as intensive or expensive as my Developmental Beta and turnaround time of a couple days instead of a week.

I'm thinking $50 for a 5,000 word book. Will float the idea here and if people like it I'll add it to my website.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading