To be completely honest I don’t know if people are interested in this post, but I would’ve like to find a post like this when considering beta-reading so maybe it’ll be helpful to some?
I had expressed interested in monetising my blog and one of the methods I’d listed had been beta-reading! This was one that felt like I would actually enjoy doing, and wouldn’t have affected my blog or readers in any way! If you want to know a little more about beta-reading I’ve previously made a post about this so check it out!
When I did my free trial and accepted manuscripts (MS) I honestly felt excited, overwhelmed but at the same time intimidated. Authors provide you their MS in the hopes that your feedback will be useful to them and help them during their revisions. I’m not the most confident person you’ll find, so my first worry was what if my feedback is absolutely useless? These authors might have high expectations about my feedback and I really didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
It took me about 2-3 weeks to actually pluck up the courage and start on the MS. Partially because of my uni workload, but frankly I was just nervous to get into it and make a mistake! Having said that, once I actually took that step and got on with it, as lame as it sounds, it was actually fun… When reading books I’ve always been a little critical, not particularly looking for aspects I didn’t like/enjoy as the reader, but just noticing them. So I kind of naturally progressed through the MS.
HOWEVER don’t interpret this as beta reading is easy! My approach to beta reading is providing comments after each chapter, whilst annotating the chapters themselves, and finally writing up a full feedback report when I’m done. Now it might just be that I’ve assigned myself more work load, but beta reading is TIME CONSUMING. It’s definitely not something that you can just whizz through, accepting dozens of MS each month. Usually I’d go through chapters perhaps three times, if it’s a little dense. My point here is, I underestimated the amount of time it would take to read through a MS. I thought, well it would take me around 15 hours of straight reading to finish a book, so it would be the same for beta reading. Yeahhh, that wasn’t really the case…
Another difficulty I came across was actually finding authors! Understandably when I was holding the free trial, I received quite a few MS. However once I started charging, *tumble weed*. From this I decided to offer a trial of 1000 words for free, just so that the author got a sense of what to expect for the full MS.
All in all, I’ve had a great experience so far, and definitely will continue to provide this service as long as I have the time for it! I’ve rambled on in this post (AGAIN), but if you have any questions about this service, or beta reading in general leave a comment below!