Author Topic: Developmental Beta Read, an affordale alternative  (Read 6392 times)  

Offline Vanchi

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

Online Vidya

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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.

Online Vidya

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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!

Offline Blerg et al.

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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%
H.C. Harrington

Online Vidya

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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.

Offline Blerg et al.

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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. »

Offline Kal241

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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.

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: 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.

Offline Jerry S.

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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.

Offline Blerg et al.

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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.

Offline Blerg et al.

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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. »

Offline Herefortheride

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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

Offline Blerg et al.

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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.)

Offline Blerg et al.

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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.

Offline archaeoroutes

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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!

Genres: Space Opera, MilSF, Popular Science, Physics Textbooks, Archaeology, Walking
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Offline Blerg et al.

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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.

Offline Blerg et al.

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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.

Offline Blerg et al.

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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.

Offline Blerg et al.

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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.