Author Topic: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative  (Read 6391 times)  

Offline Blerg et al.

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Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« on: July 30, 2015, 11:40:21 AM »
I just had one spot open up at the end of July. August is filling up fast. If you're one of my regulars don't worry, I've saved a spot for you and your rates haven't changed.

You know the service by now. I call it a Developmental Beta Read. If the book really needs it I will I fix sentences and catch typos, but most of the time I am focusing on plot and character. The cleaner the draft, the more I detailed developmental work I can do with it. It is a single pass, but meticulous, I read about 15k a day. I've had customers hire me for a second pass instead of getting a traditional edit.

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

Developmental Beta Read - $3 per 1,000 words

How I work:

Developmental Beta is my basic service. 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.

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.

Often when a scene doesn't work it's because 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. That's my strength, but the formula changes depending on which pass I'm doing. (Oh and I have a four year degree in poetry, so my line-edits can be a little intense.) I get really into my authors' books. I follow their releases and cheer them on. Need help with covers and publishing? I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Drop me a line if you have any questions.

---
Bio:
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.) http://www.dustinporta.com/editing.html

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

Edit 1: I've had a few submissions. I've got room for one more, really awesome, epic fantasy. Any takers? 
Edit 2: A little science fiction would also be fun.
Edit 3: Done with free beta reads for a while. Did as many as I could. Sorry if I didn't get around to yours. Once I'm ahead on paid work, I'll offer some more freebies.
Edit 4: Opening a few free beta slots. :)
Edit 5: Updated Bio. Thanks HCH for the kind words.
Edit 6: Closed free beta. Thanks Vale and Jessie, you rock!
Edit7: Changed the names of my services. Changed prices. Free Dev Edits March
Edit8: Freebies Closed. Thanks everyone for the testimonials. HC, Rex, Kal, Vidya, y'all are awesome!

Edit9: I've been very busy, and trying to cut back on my workload. I raised the price another 50 cents. This allows me to slow down to four books a month, and still pay a few bills. Haven't changed the rates for existing customers.


35% off to anyone who brings me Military Fantasy this month.

For some reason I'm itching to read some. No paranormal or urban, no guns. Nothing modern. Strictly swords and magic, something like Black Company. Though I would consider steampunk.

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.

Tags: dustin porta, editor, manuacript critique, beta reader, editing, alpha reader
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 01:56:55 PM by Blerg et al. »

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: free beta reading and developmental edits
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 08:12:36 AM »
Happy Friday! 8)

I've edited the original post, so go read that!

I hope to work with some cool folks.
I should mention: I've been doing a lot of worldbuilding lately. So if you've got something in the early stages and want a sounding board, that would be fun.

For the time being, I want to keep it free. That means I'll be doing a lot of free work and hopefully I do it well enough that clients come here and say a few nice words.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 09:40:18 AM by blerg et al. »

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: free beta/dev edits(may I edit your fantasy novel?)
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 09:45:31 AM »
*bumping*

I've tweaked the original message to emphasize that I REALLY like to edit fantasy.

So send what you've got, and I'll do a free edit for you!
If it's not a great fit, I'll still do a beta read and give some feedback.

Offline Herefortheride

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Re: free beta/dev edits(May I edit your fantasy novel?)
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 09:50:03 AM »
Hey everyone! Long time lurker, occasional poster. :)


I'm doing free beta reading and free developmental edits, to get my name out and rebuild my editing skills.

The developmental edit includes comments throughout, an editorial letter for each chapter, and one for the whole manuscript. I may do complete line edits...depending on how clean your draft is.

My beta reads come with a 1-2 page editorial letter, sort of a mini developmental edit.

---

Four years ago I quit editing to write full-time. Turns out, I'm a book-a-year writer and I hate marketing.
I've come to terms with that. I like to sit with a story and turn it over in my head for a week before I write a chapter. I do good work and I see many successful authors who work at this pace. They just take (much) longer to break out.
If I must be working, I want to do something that keeps me at the top of my game. I have always enjoyed helping other authors and I'm hoping to make editing my full-time gig.

---

I've been editing since 2009 after I got my BA in English/Creative Writing. A friend in publishing was sending the odd novel for me to work on. I charged about $400 a book and paid the rent. (At the time I lived in a leaky sailboat on the Gulf of Mexico.)  These days I read the odd draft for friends, but I would really like to hone my skills and try to make a career of it.

I have four books of my own: a poetry chapbook from 2010, when self-pub was new; two science-fantasy epics, about 300k words; and a 50k side-novel coming out in a month or two. They're not written to market so I don't promote heavily, but reviews trickle in and I enjoy writing them.

---

Post here if you're interested, or pm me.

I'll have to pick the books I'm most likely to enjoy.
That means fantasy will get preference.
But I read it all, so don't be shy.

Let me know which services you'd be interested in. Obviously I'll have more spots available for beta reading.


Edit: I've had a few submissions. I've got room for one more, really awesome, epic fantasy. Any takers? 
::)

How about one chapter of epic fantasy? I just added a new prologue to add a little excitement to my story. I'm looking for good editors for upcoming books three and four in the near future. 1800 words opening scene. Just looking to keep the sentences flowing smoothly and any errors in the text.  =  )
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
H.C. Harrington

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: free beta/dev edits(May I edit your fantasy novel?)
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 08:24:37 PM »
How about one chapter of epic fantasy? I just added a new prologue to add a little excitement to my story. I'm looking for good editors for upcoming books three and four in the near future. 1800 words opening scene. Just looking to keep the sentences flowing smoothly and any errors in the text.  =  )
Absolutely.
I'm booked through next week, but after that, I should have plenty of time.

Messaging you now.

Offline willow163

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Re: free beta/dev edits(May I edit your fantasy novel?)
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 05:52:42 AM »
Hi! I have a fantasy book that needs another beta and to be edited. I'm not quite sure it would be your style, it's "low fantasy", first person POV, and the MC is female. If you think you'd be interested or had the time though, let me know. Thanks!

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: free beta/dev edits(May I edit your fantasy novel?)
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 07:33:27 PM »
Schedule is starting to fill up.

I have availability in september. Definitely open slots for beta/alpha reading. Full edit, depends on how quickly I finish the current manuscript.

Services are still free, at least for another month while I'm getting back in the swing of things.

Still prefer fantasy.
Some hard science fiction would be fun to read also. Any takers?

Online C. Gold

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Re: free beta/dev edits(May I edit your fantasy novel?)
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 12:33:01 AM »
I have a fantasy story that's at 88k and not quite done (3 chapters left-ish) if you are still interested. ;)

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: "Does you need a editor?"[sic] I'm available.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 10:38:50 PM »
Booking for the new year. Updated original post with the details

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Does you need a editor?[sic] I'm available.
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 10:43:47 PM »
Goodness, blerg et al., looks like we never welcomed you as a vendor! Apologies! Here's our boilerplate ...

You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe.

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages, found here: http://www.kboards.com/yp/. The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again when you want to post. You may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (as I'm doing with this post), you may reply to them, but otherwise you must wait seven days. Any pattern of posting designed to artificially bump your thread to the top of the forum is prohibited. Please note that very short or (one- or two-word) posts with no meaningful information are discouraged and may be deleted at the moderators' discretion. Lastly, your posts and images will need to meet our "forum decorum" guidelines, which is the case for every member.

You may find that members ask searching questions -- about how your service works, for example, or what they will get for their money, or whether your service adheres to Amazon's terms of service. Such "vetting" is a common here.

Note that members are allowed to provide civil and honest feedback about your service in this thread. This feedback may include criticisms as well as kudos. You may respond to criticism in a civil manner, but name-calling, badgering, accusations of lying, and other breaches of forum decorum can lead to loss of vendor posting privileges.

Any and all disputes between you and your clients should be handled off-site.

Thanks,
Becca
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(Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.)

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Does you need a editor?[sic] I'm available.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 05:55:11 AM »
Thanks Becca,
I was wondering when you'd catch me.  ;)

Offline Herefortheride

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Re: Does you need a editor?[sic] I'm available.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 06:07:41 AM »
Just got beta-reading feedback for my soon to release third book and was pleasantly surprised at the depth and useful tips I received. Well worth the price.
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
H.C. Harrington

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: free beta reads (scifi/fantasy plz)
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 04:11:28 PM »
I have some openings this month. Time for free beta reads.

There were so many submissions last time, I could only read a handful. But those went on to hire me for more so I must be doing something right.

Read below to learn how my beta reads work(disregard pricing of course). PM me a short description of your book and I will tell you where to send it.

(Will read anything but preference given to scifi and fantasy. I won't get around to everyone, but I'll do my best. If I missed you last time, I blame the hurricane, send it again. )

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2018, 06:45:44 AM »
Closing submissions for free beta reads in Jan. Thanks guys. Will start on these today. Might open for a few more in Feb.

(And a reminder. If you submitted a free beta read last year, around hurricane season, and I didn't get to it: Send me a new draft and I'll fit you in. I have lot more time now that we're not running from hurricane Irma and shoveling debris.)

Offline horsewisevt

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2018, 08:00:13 AM »
heya- how are you with epic tantasy and character driven series? I am currently working on book four of a long series and my ongoing developmental support person isn't really available.  ideally i'd like someone who will follow the series and knows it well enough that I am not in need of "bringing someone up to speed" etc...

I do have a line editor/cleanup person... and am fine with keeping that second set of eyes... if that makes any difference

Teri

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2018, 08:42:17 PM »
heya- how are you with epic tantasy and character driven series? I am currently working on book four of a long series and my ongoing developmental support person isn't really available.  ideally i'd like someone who will follow the series and knows it well enough that I am not in need of "bringing someone up to speed" etc...

I do have a line editor/cleanup person... and am fine with keeping that second set of eyes... if that makes any difference

Teri

Epic fantasy is my genre. Love to work with it. Grew up reading the Dragonlance books, Narnia, Earthsea. Recently I'm catching up on Wheel of Time, Mistborn, and some urban fantasy on the side. Also Garrett B. Robinson's Nightblade books and Lindsay Burokar's Emperor's Edge, to make sure I'm reading popular self-published fantasy.

When I think of "character driven" I think of those new indie authors like Robinson and Burokar, where you really get inside the character's head. Urban fantasy is even better at being character driven. Old school fantasy has great characters, but they always take a backseat to fate, destiny, and big epic plot stuff.

I read both.

I'd be happy to look at your books to get a feel for your writing style. And we can chat about what style of edit you are looking for. I'll pm you my email and you can send some words my way.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 09:00:18 PM by blerg et al. »

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2018, 07:36:31 AM »
Free beta reads have been going much better than expected.

Most people go on to hire me for the next book. Which is encouraging.

It might have something to do with the fact that my beta reads are closer to a manuscript evaluation. I make notes on most every page. I mark spelling errors and awkward language. I try and offer a fix when there is a particularly awkward sentence. And I always write at least two pages, single spaced, in an editorial letter to the author.

The more familiar I become with this new hybrid process, the more I like it, and the faster I get. I imagine, very soon, I'll be only beta-reading and nothing else. I get to work with twice as many authors and read twice as many books.

So send me more books to free beta read. I have one opening next week, and one at the end of Feb.

Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2018, 08:40:45 AM »
Is this beta service possible with a series? I would be interested in a paid beta reader for a 2nd and 3rd book that I'm working on in a series, but the 1st book has been heavily edited and beta'd. In that kind of situation, how do you prefer to handle the 2nd book? Send the first and count that in the beta reading cost?

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2018, 08:54:04 AM »
Is this beta service possible with a series? I would be interested in a paid beta reader for a 2nd and 3rd book that I'm working on in a series, but the 1st book has been heavily edited and beta'd. In that kind of situation, how do you prefer to handle the 2nd book? Send the first and count that in the beta reading cost?

I've done it a few times and have found that people who write series make for good repeat customers.

If the books aren't too long, and if you're paying for me to read the sequel, I'm happy to read the first one and get caught up on the series, for no extra charge.
And if you send me #1 as a .dor or .odt I can make a few comments along the way.

Offline Vale

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 03:49:51 PM »
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.

Offline Kal241

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 07:52:50 PM »
Is free beta still open? I've got a partly-illustrated sci-fi WIP here, but it's long. (120K+) I understand if it's not possible to do.

An artist and a writer combined into one being. When you work with Kal, you get a 2-4-1 deal!  

Check out my artistry at: http://kal241.deviantart.com/
Writing samples of mine will be made available upon request.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2018, 06:19:05 AM »
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.

Thanks Vale. I wasn't expecting this, but I really appreciate it.
I also have a cat who reads, at least that's what I assume he's doing when he sits on the keyboard.
I will say your draft was especially tidy. Most people would still need a proofreader after me.
Some editor friends have suggested I call it a manuscript critique instead. But whatever it's called I enjoy it.



Is free beta still open? I've got a partly-illustrated sci-fi WIP here, but it's long. (120K+) I understand if it's not possible to do.

Hi Kal241, schedule is filling up... but you're a familiar face on here. And I'm writing an illustrated novel myself (only one per chapter). I can put you down for early march and if I have a good month I'll read it sooner.

Offline Kal241

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Re: Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy(Free)
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2018, 04:04:14 PM »

Hi Kal241, schedule is filling up... but you're a familiar face on here. And I'm writing an illustrated novel myself (only one per chapter). I can put you down for early march and if I have a good month I'll read it sooner.

Sounds good!

An artist and a writer combined into one being. When you work with Kal, you get a 2-4-1 deal!  

Check out my artistry at: http://kal241.deviantart.com/
Writing samples of mine will be made available upon request.

Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: Beta Reading Great Epic Fantasy
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2018, 04:24:23 PM »
I managed to score a free slot, woot! Dustin's turnaround was very quick and his beta was thorough and his breath was minty-fresh.

Seriously, he wasn't kidding about his talents. He spotted where I was leaping ahead without proper set-up and where my tangents were confusing him. Best of all, as I mentioned in a thank-you email to him...

You're very good with story structure and character logic but what I like best about your beta is the tone. You didn't pull any punches but you were never snotty or condescending. You also never pulled out your credentials and told me that it was your way or the highway. I usually cringe when a beta comes back because I'm sure I'm going to wind up insulted and furious but you were a real treat.


He really did make my book better and I'm very grateful. I'm off to make a few changes.

BUT, Dustin, dude, you really have to make that separate webpage for your beta/editing service. I had to do a search for this thread so I could leave a testimonial.

Jessie G. Talbot | Website | Twitter | Newsletter

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Beta Reading Great Epic Fantasy
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2018, 06:47:32 PM »
He really did make my book better and I'm very grateful. I'm off to make a few changes.

BUT, Dustin, dude, you really have to make that separate webpage for your beta/editing service. I had to do a search for this thread so I could leave a testimonial.

Lol, yes my website is a travesty and has no links at all to my editing service. I will consider myself on-notice, and will get a real webpage asap. I may have to quote a few lines from your testimonial for said webpage.  ;D


And thanks again, for saying nice things in my thread and for making the extra effort to find it.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 06:56:50 PM by blerg et al. »

Offline Vanchi

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Re: Beta Reading Great Epic Fantasy
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2018, 06:51:52 PM »
Interesting.

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Re: Beta Reading (Do You Write Epic Fantasy Series?)
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2018, 10:27:46 PM »
Yes I think "Manuscript Critique" does sound better.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: {Free} Developmental Beta Reading for Epic Fantasy/SF
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2018, 09:06:26 AM »
I'm ahead of schedule. That means I'll have time for a Developmental Beta Read at the end of march... possibly two.

I'd like to give the freebie to someone who writes Epic Fantasy or Science Fiction, who is interested in trying out my service.

Post here with any questions or PM me to request a slot.

---

Tweaked my prices a little. This won't affect current customers, once you hire me I keep you at that rate as long as I can afford to. I might have to raise yours someday, but not soon, and not without plenty of notice.

---

Changed the name of my beta reads to Developmental Beta. I think that name is more in line with the service.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Free Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2018, 06:43:29 AM »
I still have that freebie slot at the end of March. Anyone want it?

(Changes for this week: I've taken down the prices for my other editing services. Focusing solely on Developmental Beta Reads. I've been having the most fun with that one, and getting the most positive feedback from it too.)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 06:45:49 AM by blerg et al. »

Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: Free Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2018, 11:21:15 PM »
Dustin did a great job beta reading my latest novel. I'm still addressing some of the suggestions, which were substantive and useful, and he was exceedingly responsive.

Worth the money. Would recommend.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Free Beta Reading Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2018, 07:07:04 PM »
Dustin did a great job beta reading my latest novel. I'm still addressing some of the suggestions, which were substantive and useful, and he was exceedingly responsive.

Worth the money. Would recommend.

Thanks Rex,
It was fun working with you.
Really enjoyed your work. Looking forward to the next release.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Series Editor: Epic and Urban Fantasy, Space Opera, Noblebright
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2018, 08:32:07 AM »
I have to apologize for changing the title of my post so often. I keep tweaking it to better reflect my interests. But once I hit on something that works I'll keep it the same.

February was a good month. Read six excellent manuscripts and had some good exchanges. I did so much literary editing last year, I had forgotten how much I love fantasy storytelling. So I'm changing my ad just a little to try and attract more great fantasy series.

March is full already, but if I have an especially cool looking book that must be done in march, I can set aside my own novels to work on someone else's. April is still open. If you think you'll be needing work in June/July, better book now. A lot of my clients have new books coming out this summer and I expect those slots to fill up quickly once May rolls around.

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Re: Series Editor: Epic and Urban Fantasy, Space Opera, Noblebright
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2018, 08:22:58 PM »
Romance isn't a genre Dustin normally reads, but he still managed to give useful  feedback. Several betas have already read my novel, but Dustin caught something none of them did. He pointed out that I inadvertently portrayed something incorrectly. I realized it made my heroine sound judgmental, so I am now changing all instances of that. Thanks for steering me away from that, Dustin. He was also very responsive to my follow-up questions. Thanks!

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Re: Series Editor: Epic and Urban Fantasy, Space Opera, Noblebright
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2018, 09:58:33 PM »
I'm still a little torn over which services to advertise.

I like beta reading better, but dev edits are more challenging and better pay.
My trad pub friend tells me I'm crazy not to do all-in-one dev/line/crit and charge a premium for it. But I don't think that's what people here want.

As a self pub author, which services are you most in need of or have a hard time finding?

---

In other news I'm done booking free beta reads for April.

Still open for paid work in mid April and early May.

---

Romance isn't a genre Dustin normally reads, but he still managed to give useful  feedback. Several betas have already read my novel, but Dustin caught something none of them did. He pointed out that I inadvertently portrayed something incorrectly. I realized it made my heroine sound judgmental, so I am now changing all instances of that. Thanks for steering me away from that, Dustin. He was also very responsive to my follow-up questions. Thanks!

Thanks Vidya,
I appreciate the writeup.
Nice to know my comments were appreciated.
I'm not able to be as thorough when I'm working outside of my genre, but I give it my best effort.

Offline Herefortheride

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2018, 11:49:02 PM »
I'll have one coming up but still have some work to do.
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2018, 07:58:50 AM »
I'm still a little torn over which services to advertise.

I like beta reading better, but dev edits are more challenging and better pay.
My trad pub friend tells me I'm crazy not to do all-in-one dev/line/crit and charge a premium for it. But I don't think that's what people here want.

As a self pub author, which services are you most in need of or have a hard time finding?

Why not offer both beta reading/manuscript critique and also dev edits? You could have different prices for both and perhaps a discount for those who choose to do both.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2018, 06:41:16 PM »
Why not offer both beta reading/manuscript critique and also dev edits? You could have different prices for both and perhaps a discount for those who choose to do both.

I offer both, I just promote one more heavily than the other.
Not sure I'd bundle a Beta and a Dev together because they cover a lot of the same details, but I might bundle a Line edit with one of those.

I'll have one coming up but still have some work to do.
I might have said this before, but the cover of Blood Cauldron looks great.
Shoot me an email if you want feedback on your book4 outline. I know the plot and characters pretty well by now. Or is it the side novel...either way my summer is not overbooked. Should have plenty of room whenever it is ready for the beta read.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 06:45:25 PM by Blerg et al. »

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2018, 06:58:50 PM »
Add me to the list of authors who had great help from Dustin!

It was well worth the wait to see his feedback on my WIP novel. Even though it wasn't his usual brand of sci-fi, he was able to give me some great pointers on what worked and what didn't.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2018, 09:22:20 PM »
Add me to the list of authors who had great help from Dustin!

It was well worth the wait to see his feedback on my WIP novel. Even though it wasn't his usual brand of sci-fi, he was able to give me some great pointers on what worked and what didn't.

Thanks Kal for letting me read it, glad it worthwhile for you too.

True it wasn't exactly my genre. I don't have much to say when it comes to the military and thriller elements of a story, but you have plenty of epic worldbuilding and space opera heroics that I can work with, and story is universal.

I would say my strongest genre is fantasy, big epic series with long character arcs because that's what I read the most of. There was a time when I worked almost exclusively with literary fiction, so I'm pretty comfortable with that too.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2018, 10:28:06 AM »
If you're still available, I'd like to use you with my first book in my first series (first time author). I should be finished with Book 1 by the end of April.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2018, 08:32:36 PM »
If you're still available, I'd like to use you with my first book in my first series (first time author). I should be finished with Book 1 by the end of April.

Awesome! Send me a pm and I'll put you on the calendar.

A Beta Read will work on about any draft.

If it's a Line Edit or a Developmental Edit, the more rounds of self-editing you've done first, the more effective it will be. (We would chat before I schedule either of those, to make sure I'm a good fit and know the genre.)

Good luck regardless.
First books are always a challenge. My first didn't turn out well. I had to take it down twice and rewrite it. Things I learned from my first book: Make sure the first book has a good ending, don't just say to be continued. If you can make it stand alone, even better, then there is less pressure if you decide to switch series or not finish right away. And plan your series meticulously because if you let things get too complicated, it gets very tricky to tie up all the loose ends in book three.

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Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2018, 11:11:25 AM »
I know a lot of people are finishing books this summer. If you think you'll be ready, sign up now, there's no penalty if you don't finish in time. But it helps me to build my calendar.


April is a busy month. All of my freebie slots are closed for now. And paid slots for april are probably full too.

Still have slots open in May, but with Nebula Conference, not as many as usual.

June I expect a lot of submissions from repeat clients. Book June early if you can.

PS. Thanks everyone for the testimonials. HC, Rex, Kal, Vidya, y'all are awesome!
Even if you don't hire me again, I am happy to be an occasional sounding board .
I never forget a story. So anytime you have an idea for a sequel and want to run it by someone, I'm already up to speed and I love spoilers.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 11:24:06 AM by Blerg et al. »

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2018, 11:33:17 AM »
I expect I'll need some eyes in May or early June.
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
H.C. Harrington

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2018, 08:22:46 PM »
I expect I'll need some eyes in May or early June.

Looking forward to it!   ;D

A lot of people have books coming out this summer. I expect June/July to fill up fast.

Let me know if you want me to set aside a week for you in June.

No obligation of course, you can cancel or reschedule if the book isn't ready by then. (Someday that policy might not be practical, but for now I like it.)

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2018, 09:22:09 AM »
Wow, I'm blown away by how great you all have been to work with.
Even more surprised at the repeat business I'm getting from the fast writers of kboards.

A year ago I was still editing for fun. Now I'm close to being full-time.

But scheduling is becoming a problem. 

April is full. May has one slot open. I would encourage anyone able, to book ahead of time. (You don't have to pay ahead of time, and I won't hold you to the date, but if you're reasonably sure what month you'll be finishing your next book, get on the calendar now while I still have openings.) Anyone who books six months ahead of time will lock in the current rate and get a 15% discount.

Any kboards editors want to chime in with their own scheduling best practices? I had considered starting a thread about scheduling but that would have bordered on self-promotion and I didn't want to give the mods a headache on friday the 13th.

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2018, 12:10:30 AM »
Just finished my first pass through the feedback I got from Dustin on my new sci-fi detective novel. I've carried out the 'easy fixes' suggested in the comments he added to my manuscript.
Now I've got the big things to do - character enhancements, plot tweaks, etc. Most of these were detailed in the separate editorial letter he also produced.

The feedback was a perfect mix of being straight about problems and highlighting good bits. Definitely planning on using again!

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2018, 10:17:21 AM »
Just finished my first pass through the feedback I got from Dustin on my new sci-fi detective novel. I've carried out the 'easy fixes' suggested in the comments he added to my manuscript.
Now I've got the big things to do - character enhancements, plot tweaks, etc. Most of these were detailed in the separate editorial letter he also produced.

The feedback was a perfect mix of being straight about problems and highlighting good bits. Definitely planning on using again!

Thanks Alasdair,

I think that balance you mentioned is important. I don't believe in the compliment sandwich method, but highlighting the good bits is what makes for an effective read. If I know what an author's strengths are, I can bring those strengths to bear upon any problems that arise. The comment might be something as simple as "lol", but that little chuckle makes a nice reference to point toward if the following chapter needs more levity.

I appreciate the kind words, and I thank you for sending such a clean draft. Being confident in the strength of your prose and your plotting allowed me to focus on higher-level storytelling and hopefully make some meaningful observations there. I actually find MORE to say the LESS mistakes there are. Hope I get to read some more.

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Series
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2018, 11:56:15 AM »
Staying busy. May is pretty much full now.

Getting ready for the Nebulas in a few week. Anyone else going?

I have changed the title of the thread so it isn't exclusive to scifi/fantasy. I've got plenty of great sf/f to work with now so I'm opening my services up to all genres again. Especially interested in reading some Urban Fantasy and Mystery this summer.

Still no freebie slots available. I expect a lull at the beginning of fall, where I will have time to do some more freebies.

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy Series
« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2018, 09:53:25 AM »
My offer to authors who write in series is still good. Hire me for a dev beta read of your newest book, and I'll get caught up on the rest of the series for free.
(Seems like no big deal but if you've got a lot of books in your series, having someone who is up to speed is crucial.)

No news. Still busy, still booked up until mid June. Won't be doing any free beta reads for a while.

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Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2018, 06:04:58 AM »
35% off to anyone who brings me Military Fantasy this month.

For some reason I'm itching to read some. No paranormal or urban, no guns. Nothing modern. Strictly swords and magic, something like Black Company. Though I would consider steampunk.

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.

Nothing modern plz. I'm into urban fantasy, but not military.

No slots left in May but I'm looking to close out June and start on July/August.

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Re: Dev Beta Read *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2018, 05:03:29 PM »
I'm at the nebula conference! Just caught data guy's presentation. I had a hunch that there was room in the military fantasy market. Lo and behold, the numbers say that's one place where indies are still underrepresented. Well off to watch the awards! Excited, but also tired.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2018, 05:26:41 AM »
June is full, but I've got two openings in July and three in August.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2018, 08:57:23 AM »
Still thinking about the Nebula conference. What a blast that was. Got to meet some great indies from my favorite groups and podcasts, and some great trad folks. Most fun panel was the talk on Health and Happiness for writers. I say fun but...things got dark. The burnout is real. So is the elevated suicide rate among authors and spinal surgery from bad posture. Take care of yourselves folks, and get a support group. I have an author google hangout that meets every month or so and some fantastic clients who commiserate when stuff gets hard.

On to business:

I'm booked up for the next few months (If you're one of my regulars don't worry, I've saved a spot for you and your rates haven't changed.)

I've been doing these beta reads for a year now and am pretty happy with the group of authors I get to work with. From here on out, I will be more selective with which clients I take on, I'll still offer freebies from time to time, but more focused on my favorite genres.

Discount for Military Fantasy still applies (see bottom of my original post.) Also a discount for people who book four or more months in advance.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 09:31:21 AM by Blerg et al. »

Offline Herefortheride

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2018, 09:13:59 AM »
Still thinking about the Nebula conference. What a blast that was. Got to meet some great indies from my favorite groups and podcasts, and some great trad folks. Most fun panel was the talk on Health and Happiness for writers. I say fun but...things got dark. The burnout is real. So is the elevated suicide rate among authors and spinal surgery from bad posture. Take care of yourselves folks, and get a support group. I have an author google hangout that meets every month or so and some fantastic clients who commiserate when stuff gets hard.

On to business:

I'm booked up for the next few months (If you're one of my regulars don't worry, I've saved a spot for you and your rates haven't changed.)

I've been doing these beta reads for a year now and am pretty happy with the group of authors I get to work with. From here on out, I will be more selective with which clients I take on, I'll still offer freebies from time to time, but more focused on my favorite genres.

Discount for Military Fantasy still applies (see bottom of this post). Also a discount for people who book four or more months in advance.

Dustin provides a ton of value and is very responsive. He considers your goals and writing voice and has given me angles I hadn't noticed before. I have commissioned him to help me with a tricky book this month and am excited for what we can come up with. Highly recommended!
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
H.C. Harrington

Offline geronl

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2018, 10:55:12 AM »
I'm not sure what Military Fantasy is

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #55 on: June 07, 2018, 02:32:07 PM »
I'm not sure what Military Fantasy is
I'd assume it's like the Battle for Gondor.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #56 on: June 07, 2018, 02:33:33 PM »
I'd assume it's like the Battle for Gondor.

Fought by two armies of naked women with pool noodles?

:p

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #57 on: June 07, 2018, 06:27:07 PM »
Probably should start a new thread to chat about this, but to answer the question:

I know very little but, military fantasy is similar to military scifi.

Typically the main characters are serving in the military. The books are not always centered around a war or a battle. Rather the war is a backdrop and supply lines, intelligence reports, chain of command are important set pieces. The use of magic can vary. Sometimes mages take the place of artillery unit, other times those who can do magic are the special forces or communications/intelligence officers.

Often the MC is some grunt or unit leader. Personal stories are more important than who wins which battles.

A fantasy book with many battles, but no recognizable military structure is not really military scifi. A book about a fighter who is not enlisted or serving in some professional capacity, is not military scifi. And an epic fantasy about a king leading an army, is probably not military fantasy.

I would like to write a book about a cleric and a battle bard who trounce around just behind the front line staunching wounds, delivering letters from loved ones, and waylaying enemy spies, but if someone else can write it faster, I'd love to read that.

To my knowledge it does not involve large naked groups of women or men with pool noodles, but litrpg might.

This is an "author services" thread,  I don't want to bother the admins so any more q&a can go in a new thread ;) Pm me a link if you start one.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 06:43:00 PM by Blerg et al. »

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #58 on: June 07, 2018, 07:33:55 PM »
Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings, then. One of the guys starts off as a slave pushing ladders over chasms so the troops can go over. His POV was all about his ideas to help his ladder team survive, his advances, and the consequences that had on the army overall. It delved a lot into the strategy used to try and take over this chasm riddled area. Another POV is about a dude at the top end who has all the fancy equipment and what all was going on at that level. Squabbles between commanders, betrayal, trouble with the enemy, and issues with the the environment.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2018, 06:47:28 PM »
Looks like I'll have one more opening near the end of June.
July is up in the air. A lot of reservations, but some folks might run over.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #60 on: June 22, 2018, 08:45:54 PM »
I know I said no more editing outside of beta reads, but I'm considering taking on some full developmental edits. Haven't done one for a while. What do you consider a reasonable rate for developmental edits?

I'm leaving next month's slot open but, have a busy month planned, would much rather book for the end ofsummer.

Offline Joseph Malik

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2018, 09:10:41 PM »
I'm not sure what Military Fantasy is

www.josephmalik.com

My books are portal fantasy centering on an order of knights tasked with training soldiers in distant keeps but who function clandestinely to root out spies and reveal plots against the crown.

They're actually technothrillers, with plot points centering on technical details, but some of those key details are arcane concepts of espionage and military tradecraft.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2018, 09:14:50 PM »
A fantasy book with many battles, but no recognizable military structure is not really military scifi. A book about a fighter who is not enlisted or serving in some professional capacity, is not military scifi. And an epic fantasy about a king leading an army, is probably not military fantasy.

Also, this.
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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #63 on: June 22, 2018, 10:01:59 PM »
Also, this.
Lol, I'm just noticing that I used the words sci-fi and fantasy interchangeably. Well you get my meaning.

Yours would definitely fall under the definition. Aren't you the author who has fans that that think the portal world is real?

Sounds like a cool concept, especially the training/intrigue angle...didn't realize it was part techno thriller. If you decide you need a beta reader, it's military fantasy discount plus I'll read early books to get up to speed with a seseries.

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Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« Reply #64 on: June 22, 2018, 10:21:42 PM »

Yours would definitely fall under the definition. Aren't you the author who has fans that that think the portal world is real?

Sounds like a cool concept, especially the training/intrigue angle...didn't realize it was part techno thriller. If you decide you need a beta reader, it's military fantasy discount plus I'll read early books to get up to speed with a series.

Thanks. I am that author, and I dropped a couple of Easter eggs into Book II specifically for those same readers just to blow their minds. Because I'm already going to hell anyway.

And I appreciate the offer,  but my beta reads are done and the ARCs are out. I may hit you up for Book III in a year or so.
The New Magic coming September 2018.
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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #65 on: July 02, 2018, 05:26:16 AM »
July is full.

August is about half. September is looking busy too.

In addition to my day job, and my editing, and writing my own books, I am also a painter. I sell art in galleries and art markets. Lately that has picked up and I've had to cut back on the number of edits I do each month. So book them while you can because they're filling up fast.

I'd like to scale back the dayjob and open up more time for editing, but that's a little while off yet.

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #66 on: July 02, 2018, 08:56:50 AM »
Do you work with historical fiction at all?

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2018, 11:11:51 AM »
Do you work with historical fiction at all?
I've worked on historical romance, and I'm a big history buff, so I think it would be a good fit. Bonus points if it's nautical.

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #68 on: July 02, 2018, 05:17:38 PM »
Could you list all your rates again? Or a link to a website? I get so confused when I see prices listed on posts that are three years old!

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #69 on: July 02, 2018, 06:05:11 PM »
Could you list all your rates again? Or a link to a website? I get so confused when I see prices listed on posts that are three years old!

Thanks, I should clarify that in the next update.

My first post is current, I update it every week. My website www.dustinporta.com still lists my old rate of $2.50 per word, but anyone who books soon can still lock in the old rate. So 50k words would be $125.

I don't offer freebies like I used to, but I'm thinking about 30% off the first book for new clients...

Online OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #70 on: July 02, 2018, 06:22:08 PM »
What genres do you take?
To be broken is to be singularly beautiful. Only the shattered are unique in a world of plastic. Scars are the tribal marks of the forgotten, they are how we know our own.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #71 on: July 02, 2018, 07:02:10 PM »
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).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 07:26:52 PM by Blerg et al. »

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2018, 07:47:21 PM »
Glad to see kboards is up and running again.
This is my favorite resource these days, would hate to see anything happen to it.

I guess this is a good reminder that we should all contribute to its upkeep periodically. There is a donation link on every page, but I'll try and dig up the post where the owner talks about what goes into kboards.
Next week I will be reposting it.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 07:58:12 AM by Blerg et al. »

Offline ScottC

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #73 on: July 17, 2018, 02:40:51 PM »
Dustin brings it! He did a beta read for me, and his ideas and edits were outstanding. I would work with him again in a second.

Offline Blerg et al.

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #74 on: July 18, 2018, 07:56:42 AM »
Dustin brings it! He did a beta read for me, and his ideas and edits were outstanding. I would work with him again in a second.

Muchas gracias! Appreciate the vote of confidence! I bring somethin' though I'm not always sure what, lol.

Also appreciate the bump to my thread as I will be out of town for my regularly scheduled update.
P.S. Just noticed, the cover of Eden Chip looks awesome in thumbnail format.
----
In lieu of tomorrow's bump: here is that link I promised last week: the thread about kboards, the passing of its founder and how we can help to keep things going.
https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,253691.0.html
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 07:59:42 AM by Blerg et al. »

Offline Herefortheride

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Re: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative
« Reply #75 on: July 18, 2018, 09:25:34 AM »
Dustin is pretty well on top of my current series and I'm actually pretty excited to see what kind of ideas he has after reading through the final book in the Daughter of Havenglade series. We made tremendous progress with Blood Cauldron and the book reads really well. It's a book I'm very proud of. But book #4 Daughter of Dragons is definitely on the epic scale 8)
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
H.C. Harrington