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No Direction Home
by Elizabeth Burns

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Kindle Edition published 2017-05-20
Bestseller ranking: 81281

Product Description
Hunter Grayson flits from job to job, relationship to relationship, continent to continent until thetragic death of her parents brings her back to her childhood home.While trying to figure out how to move forward, she meets wild, fun Natalya Haven, who quickly becomes the sister she never had. But when Natalya moves in, their friendship unravels.
A second tragedy sends Hunter to a small town in New Mexico, a town out of her own past. For Hunter, that's more than a coincidence, that's fate. Natalya's family will fill the void in her life. Natalya's parents will become her parents. She and Natalya's brother will fall in love. But nothing is ever that simple....

Author Topic: Looking for a beta read / critique? (Formatting now available!)  (Read 32090 times)  

Offline Adam Poe

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**JUNE 2017 UPDATE**
Some of the information in the original post is no longer accurate. I am working on going through it and updating it completely. However, you can check out all the new goods at our site: http://frostbitepublishing.com



    I have been waiting for either my 1,000th post or 100th beta read transaction before posting this, but realized that those numbers are just very arbitrary. I am currently at 900 posts and 90 beta transactions. Close enough!

    In 2012 and far into 2013, I struggled to find consistent, honest, valuable, timely beta readers for my wife's manuscripts. As some of you that have been around long enough to read my past posts already know, I handle the business side in our relationship so she can focus on writing. I never thought something as seemingly simple as finding beta readers that met all those criteria would be so hard. Often times the only people who would agree to do so were already fans of the books/series, so they never had anything substantial to say -- definitely nothing critical that would help improve the book(s). And, in true telemarketer fashion, I thought to myself, "Hey, there's got to be a better way!" And so, I offered a fan of the genre, who had never read any of the books, money to beta read. It came back awesome. I immediately re-uploaded the book with the changes and reviews started to come back more positive (this was an already published book, which isn't normal to have 'beta read', but still). I continued to do this to improve new works.

    In late 2013 I began seeing a lot of posts here and other author-centric places looking for good beta reads and critiques, and I often threw out my thoughts on it. Some agreed. Some didn't. In either case, there was still the problem of actually finding someone trustworthy to do it ... especially now that money was in the equation. So, I decided to become that trusted person.

    It began with a rinky-dink website on blogger, but has since been re-developed in 2014. As I mentioned earlier, we are up to 90 beta transactions and have never received negative feedback. Most of our customers have been from KBoards due to my signature (man I still always want to type 'KindleBoards'!). We have also grown from two beta readers to seven and are looking at adding an eighth in order to keep up with demand.

    Here are some of the publicly-given testimonials for our beta reading service.

    "
Outstanding service! Not only did it help improve my characters and story-line on the whole, having a chapter by chapter analysis enabled me to make the chapters themselves flow much better. Having a beta reader who knows how to make my story pop is an invaluable tool." - KBoards member & Author

"I was delighted with the speed and professionalism of Frostbite Publishing's beta service. The critique was exactly what I wished for: honest, helpful and encouraging. I will definitely reach out to Frostbite again for my next project." - KBoards member & Author

"I was surprised at how quickly my manuscript was returned. Usually speed can denote sloppiness, but everything was perfect!" - Unsolicited beta customer

After trying out this business in sort of a 'private' setting (no posts, advertisement, etc) and being successful, I have decided it has been polished enough to bring to the forums.

If you have a new manuscript that needs beta read, or a previously released novel you are wanting to touch-up with a critique, please consider using our service. As stated earlier, I have definitely been in the position of needing these and there being seemingly no one qualified to give me what I required. We're here to fill that gap.

If you are interested in learning more about the service itself, you can either continue reading or visit our website at http://www.frostbitepublishing.com and click Services > Beta Read / Critique at the top. Our public testimonials are listed on the homepage.

As a warning, the content below this sentence is a direct copy+paste from our website. I wanted to put it here in order for everyone to be able to read it all without following a link if they would like. If you have any specific questions about a beta read, the process, etc, please either PM me here or direct inquiries to FBP@frostbitepublishing.com

--- Enjoy this random polar bear to break up the seemingly endless wall of text! ---


Beta Reader / Critique

Do you need your manuscript critiqued, or your soon-to-be book beta read? Are you simply curious what a critique/beta read is, and how they are beneficial to authors? If so, you have come to the right place.

What is a beta reader?

A beta reader is someone who reads your story before it is published. A good beta reader is someone who is a reader first, not a writer, editor, or publisher. Ensuring the person beta reading your work and leaving feedback is an avid fan/reader in your book's genre is essential. Beta readers are not, however, editors. It is not their expertise or job to fix grammar or spelling. Many beta readers will make note of these mistakes as they catch them, but your work should be traditionally edited as well.
 

What does a beta reader do, then?

Since a great beta reader is already a fan of the genre, they are able to give unique insight into the mind of potential fans. Having an agent or editor tell you what people want to read is swell, but your main concern as an author should be the reader. They are the ones who will be buying your work. Here are a few of the things a typical FBP beta reader will do.

  • Let you know if the beginning of the book made them want to continue, or stop. (Many buyers will read the beginning of your book through samples. It needs to be compelling and hook readers early on in order to convert to sales and potential fans.
  • Report inconsistencies (This character was said to have brown hair in chapter three, but suddenly, in chapter sixteen, they have black hair.)
  • Report on plot holes
  • Report on overall flow (Does each chapter flow well into the next? Is it easily understandable for the reader? Are there parts that are potentially confusing and could be re-written?)
  • Suggest changes to make the story better
  • Report on characterization (Who did the reader like? Who was compelling? Which characters were flat and not developed enough?)
  • Give deep insight into your story from the mind of an avid reader in your genre
  • Highlight any noticeable grammar mistakes
  • Give 100% honest feedback (Having a friend or family member beta read is great, and I advocate it. However, they can sometimes be biased. Having a 'stranger' do your beta reading generally harbors better results.)

What does a beta reader NOT do?

  • Catch all grammar and spelling mistakes (Although most beta readers will catch many, this is a job for an editor and/or proofreader, not a beta.)
  • Line by line analyses (Our beta readers will comment heavily on each chapter and the overall book. There will be notes during the chapters as well; however, they will not make suggestions line by line. This is the job of a Line Editor.)
  • Rewrite (A beta reader will not rewrite any portion of your book or try to change the voice.)
  • Comment on formatting errors (Formatting at this stage may not be complete. In general, the beta reader will not comment on any formatting mistakes such as margins, tabs, double-spacing, etc.)
  • Public review (A beta reader will not leave a review of your book on any website.)

Why should I have my manuscript beta read?

Beta readers give you great, un-biased, helpful advice from a reader's perspective before your work is in front of the public eye. This can help to ensure you have not overlooked something vital within your novel and receive backlash from readers/reviewers when your story is live. It is amazing, but a writer can still miss things after reviewing and editing their manuscript a dozen times. This does not mean the writer/editors are not good at finding mistakes or that the writing itself is bad; it is just a normal product of the human mind. Similarly, writers can often be too hard on themselves and their story. They may try to over-complicate it, or believe it is not packed with enough to keep readers engaged. A beta reader will let you know all of this. This does not mean you need to take every single thing a beta reader says to heart. The process is immensely helpful, but in the end it is up to you to make the right changes in order to make the book better for readers.
 
The beta reader observations that match your own, or that nagging feeling you had in your stomach that something just wasn't quite right in a certain chapter or scene, will jump out immediately. Beta readers are often times great at pointing out things the writer knew they should have done differently, but for some reason, did not. Observations that do not resonate with the author for any reason should not be dismissed, though. Likewise, do not take a beta reader's negative comments personally. All of our beta readers are tactful, but foremost they are honest. Consider each one as you make your next sweep through the manuscript. Also, do not dismiss what a beta reader has said simply because you do not want to implement the time and effort required to change something. Ask yourself "If I changed this to match their suggestions, would it make a better scene? Would it make for a better book?"
 
Another great thing about beta readers is that you can have many. Often times if you have multiple beta readers and several comment on the same thing, you know there is some definite change to be made with that section.
 

What do I receive with an FBP beta read?

Once your manuscript has been accepted, and a beta reader matching your needs and genre has been chosen, they will receive your story as well as a document of forms. The forms are setup similar to surveys, but contain mostly open-ended questions. The form has three parts.
 
  • The Beginning: How did the story start out? Was it compelling? Would you continue reading this for leisure? Would you buy this book based on the beginning?
  • The Chapters: Each chapter has its own survey page for the beta reader to fill out. They will comment here on any inconsistencies, plot holes, and any other problems with that individual chapter as well as its relationship to the rest of the story.
  • The Overall: This is where the beta reader will point out any overall problems with the story. They will rate it for readability as well as how likely they would be to continue reading other works by this author based on the story. The beta will also be asked to fill out similar questions as the per-chapter summaries about characterization, plot, and inconsistencies.

You will receive all of these forms as soon as the beta reader has finished and submitted them. If you have any specific questions or specifics that a beta reader should keep an eye out for that our forms would not cover, please ask; we may be able to include this on their form/survey itself. Likewise, if you would prefer your beta reader to fill out a completely different form or questionnaire that you provide, we are happy to accommodate.
 

Who are the beta readers?

Our beta readers are, first and foremost, avid readers of their specified genres. We carefully select beta readers based on a number of criteria, including but not limited to: honesty, tactfulness, quality, speed. Our beta readers are consistent in the time it takes them to deliver back a concise, informative critique. We do accept requests to become a beta reader. If you are interested please visit THIS LINK. Applicants who do not follow the specified instructions at the link provided will be denied without response. Not currently accepting new beta-readers.
 

If you would like to browse our current list of beta readers, please follow the link provided below.
Click Here
 

How long does this take? Can I have more than one at a time?

The amount of time required for a beta read is subjective due to each manuscript being of a different length. In general, however, our beta readers can each do a full length novel a week (75k).
 
If you are interested in having multiple beta readers at a time, that is perfectly fine. If a specific beta reader has been requested and they are currently already obligated to another beta reading project, we will let you know.
 

How much does it cost?

Our pricing is extremely reasonable when compared to any competing manuscript critique service across the web. In fact, our rates are often hundreds of dollars cheaper. Cheapness, in this case however, does not denote quality. Our beta readers are able to do this service at such a low price because they enjoy it. Not only do they love reading in their specified genre, they feel thrilled to help an aspiring or established author perfect their work for other readers to enjoy.
 
Our pricing for beta reading and critiquing a manuscript is currently a low $0.001 per word. To determine the price of beta reading your manuscript, simply plug in the actual word count (not including title, front matter, chapter headings, and back matter) and multiply the number by .001. At this time the minimum purchase amount for a beta read is $15.00. For examples of this pricing model, please see the chart below.

Word Count   Beta Read Price
<15k - $15
30k - $30
50k - $50
80k - $80
100k    - $100
150k    - $150
250k    - $250

I'm sold, how do I submit my manuscript?

Let me first say that we are extremely happy you have chosen to trust in our great team of dedicated beta readers. In order to start the process simply fill out the below form and we will contact you soon after about your request. We look forward to working with you, and our beta readers can't wait to read your book!

----

For you KBoarders still reading, if you are interested in submitting now, you can find the form at the bottom of the service page at this link: http://www.frostbitepublishing.com/beta[/list]
« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 01:05:13 PM by Adam Poe »

Offline C Ryan Bymaster

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 01:16:46 AM »
Hey All!

I've used Frostbite for three of my books so far and I plan on using them in the future. Fast turnaround, honest feedback, and they even ask if there are any specifics you want the beta reader to pay attention to as they read your MS. (And they won't miss a thing, trust me)

Best of all, the low price! If you want to save on the cost of an editor this is the definitely way to go to get your book where it needs to be.

C. Ryan Bymaster | C. Ryan Bymaster | Facebook | Goodreads

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 02:52:39 PM »
Thanks for the kind words. :)

It was a pleasure working with you (on all three projects!).

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 04:11:13 PM »
Four new projects for KBoards members have been completed since my last post in this thread -- still accepting new clients! :)

Offline Lyoung

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 04:28:29 PM »
Bookmarked! I hope you'll have space for me when I publish in the next couple of months.

Thank you!

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 07:37:06 PM »
Bookmarked! I hope you'll have space for me when I publish in the next couple of months.

Thank you!

Hi, Lydia. Looking forward to receiving that manuscript! :)

---
We had three new orders come in tonight, but still very much welcome new requests. If you have any questions, please don't be shy -- ask here, send me a private message, or shoot us an e-mail at FBP {at} frostbitepublishing {dot} com.

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 10:16:21 AM »
Two of our beta readers finished up their current projects today. Get your requests in now! :)

Offline ChristinePope

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 11:22:27 AM »
I can also vouch for the quality of this service. I do have two other beta readers I work with, but the input I've gotten from Arynn is thoughtful and complete. Their turnaround times are very good, too. Right now I'm planning to use Frostbite's beta-reading services for all my books.  :)

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Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 08:01:40 PM »
I can also vouch for the quality of this service. I do have two other beta readers I work with, but the input I've gotten from Arynn is thoughtful and complete. Their turnaround times are very good, too. Right now I'm planning to use Frostbite's beta-reading services for all my books.  :)

Thank you for the kind words, Christine! Hope to see you again soon. :)



We received two new requests today, but still have more slots open.

Offline callan

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 08:10:08 AM »


We received two new requests today, but still have more slots open.

Well, I'd like to try this service out, so I'll take one of them. I've submitted my details through your website.

BTW, this is a great idea--I have beta readers, but no one ever is available when I need them--and one of my 2014 goals is to create a publishing schedule and stick to it.

Callan Primer | Blog

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 09:39:34 AM »
Well, I'd like to try this service out, so I'll take one of them. I've submitted my details through your website.

BTW, this is a great idea--I have beta readers, but no one ever is available when I need them--and one of my 2014 goals is to create a publishing schedule and stick to it.

Happy we could help you out, Cal. :)

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2014, 07:25:11 PM »
Wrapped up four more today. Several beta readers still open.

Offline Connie Chastain

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 10:53:58 PM »
Bookmarked, and keeping you in mind for when my manuscript reaches critique stage.
   

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 06:56:05 PM »
Bookmarked, and keeping you in mind for when my manuscript reaches critique stage.

Thanks Connie :)

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2014, 11:04:40 PM »
Emily and Stephanie are both booked for the next 7-10 days but are currently open after that. Arynn is locked in for the foreseeable future (Paranormal is awfully popular ;) ). Denny has a new read starting next week. All other beta readers on our list are currently available!

Offline theaatkinson

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2014, 04:15:54 AM »
wow. I love this idea and will def use FB in the future, unless one of them is willing to beta 20K as an episode 8 of a 9 part series. LOL In which case, Huzzah! Have I got a 20K episode 8 for you!. :)


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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2014, 04:26:40 AM »


Welcome to KBoards!  You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Caf, but we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar:  you may have one thread and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time.  New threads will be removed. 

Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again to post to.  And, you may not make back-to-back posts within seven days.  If someone responds (such as this post), you may reply but otherwise must wait seven days, thanks! 

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Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 07:27:24 AM »
wow. I love this idea and will def use FB in the future, unless one of them is willing to beta 20K as an episode 8 of a 9 part series. LOL In which case, Huzzah! Have I got a 20K episode 8 for you!. :)

Well, it may not be as thorough as it would be if the beta had read the previous installments ... but we wouldn't turn it down. :)


Welcome to KBoards!  You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe, but we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar:  you may have one thread and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time.  New threads will be removed. 

Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again to post to.  And, you may not make back-to-back posts within seven days.  If someone responds (such as this post), you may reply but otherwise must wait seven days, thanks! 

Ann
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lol, Ann. I have been here for a few years and have had other promo/book threads regarding other services in which I have known and followed the rules on. Weird seeing the 'Welcome to KBoards' message!  :P ;D

Offline ChristinePope

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2014, 07:49:21 AM »
Arynn is locked in for the foreseeable future (Paranormal is awfully popular.) ;)

Oh, noes!!!! I'm going to need her in about a week or so!  :o

Do bribes of chocolate/extra cash flung in her direction work??

Christine Pope | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing list

Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2014, 11:48:00 PM »
Oh, noes!!!! I'm going to need her in about a week or so!  :o

Do bribes of chocolate/extra cash flung in her direction work??

lol

She's actually been keeping an eye on your website/release date and told me she would make an exception to fit you in for that series. You're safe! ;) :D

Offline ChristinePope

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2014, 06:04:41 AM »
Oh, thank goodness! I was having a major panic attack!  :o

I'm going to finish it up this weekend and be polishing it next week, so I should have it by Friday at the latest. I'll contact you via your website when I'm ready.

Christine Pope | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing list

Offline Rayven T. Hill

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2014, 06:41:06 AM »
Just signed up to use Lee on my fourth book. We'll see how it goes.
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Offline Adam Poe

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2014, 09:44:32 PM »
Thanks everyone!

Current Availability

Amanda - 7/19+
Arynn - N/A
Lee - 7/14+
Carlos - 7/12+
Denny - 7/16+
Emily - 7/12+
Stephanie - N/A

Offline heidi_g

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2014, 03:28:31 PM »
Denny completed a beta read of my dystopian fairy tale, The Tree Hugger, last week.

It was my first experience with using Frostbite, which I discovered here on this thread, and I was totally 100% satisfied with the experience. I'll definitely be using FB with all my future releases. Very professional and pleasant to deal with:)

THANKS, ADAM & DENNY!!!!!!

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Offline ChristinePope

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Re: Looking for a beta read / critique?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2014, 04:33:15 PM »
Can I book Arynn for next January? (I'm only slightly kidding....)

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