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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quid Pro Quo: Beta Reading for Indie Writers

Editors are expensive.

At the same time, having someone edit your work is essential.  We rarely see our own mistakes.  If you doubt that, look back at your former relationships.  Have you ever been in a relationship you thought was perfect but all your friends knew was a disaster?

Maybe that's just me.

My other issue with hiring a private editor is how do you guarantee they know what they are doing?  I've worked as a copy editor and a technical writer. One of the courses I teach is a writing course. I've helped hundreds of students improve their grammar and writing style.  And still I could use an impartial eye.

I am releasing my first novel in a few months. I've already had a two "alpha readers" go through it. The questions they asked and the suggestions they made helped create a book that is much stronger than what I could have done myself.  They saw holes in my plots, weaknesses in my characters and several unanswered questions.

That is why I offer help so many writers.  In the past two months I've gone through approximately 5 novels and 3 short story collections.  I have never asked for money. I never will.  Helping other people improve their work is a win-win for everyone involved:

  1. the author gains an impartial eye to help improve their work
  2. I see ways to improve my own writing
So now a little quid pro quo.  I could use a few more people to look over my novel Council of Peacocks.  For anyone that does so I will beta read one of their novels as well.  In addition, anyone that beta reads this edition will get a free copy of the novel when it is released in April. 

I realize this means I will be beta reading several other novels.  I'm fine with that. The more I read the better writer I become.  I can promise you, as well, your book will be stronger the more feedback you get.  Much better to see the errors before the book is released.

If you are willing to do a little quid pro quo, please contact me at  I will gladly go through your work in exchange for you going through mine.

Lastly, question: if you beta read for other writers why do YOU do it?  If you don't, why not.

Links for Beta Readers:

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