Beta readers are popping up everywhere. Goodreads groups, Facebook groups, writing groups, etc. You may wonder why authors even go through a company like Quiethouse to find beta readers when there are so many readers offering their services for free.
1. You get what you pay for.
A good beta reader is going to read (and maybe even reread) your book, then formulate really in-depth feedback, which takes many hours, to help you make your book better. If you want someone to do good work for you, pay them. There is this pervasive thought in our society that people should not be paid for creative services (or services that cater to that market) like writing, editing, design, etc. That's entitlement, ladies and gentlemen. Some think they are entitled to have someone work for them for free or very, very cheap. If someone's offering you free services... Again, you get what you pay for.
Sometimes authors tell me an individual beta reader they used only gave them feedback that resembles "I liked it" or "It needs work." Quiethouse beta readers fill out an in-depth questionnaire and include additional notes as they read, either in your manuscript or on the questionnaire. They also provide you with a 0-5 star rating (to help you see how readers might rate the book when it's published).
2. Great customer service
I hear so many stories about beta readers who just disappeared after being sent a book--the authors never heard from them again. An individual beta reader may not be able to finish the beta read for you because of an emergency or... perhaps they just don't like the book or they just don't have time to read it. There could be any number of reasons keeping them from finishing the beta read for you.
At Quiethouse, if your reader is unable to finish, I will find you a new reader or refund your money. You will never hear radio silence on my end because you're dealing with me and not the reader individually. All communication goes through me, and I make sure a reader returns their feedback by the deadline (barring any extenuating circumstances, which is rare). After I return a beta reader's feedback to the author, I ask the author to let me know how the reader did so I can make sure we're doing good work. If something about our service doesn't please you, I want to know about it so I can remedy the problem.
3. Confidentiality and Security
What if the unthinkable happens? What if you send your manuscript, which you've put your heart and soul into, to a "beta reader" who is actually someone pirating books? Yes, it happens. And it's scary. It is honestly my worst (business) fear.
At Quiethouse, I have vetted all our readers. I've made sure they are real people, not just someone using a fake name so they can steal books. Each reader has signed a Confidentiality Agreement that gives you (and me) legal standing should something like that take place. Each reader has also been tested by reading and providing feedback on a book before they join our group. I make sure each reader is able to provide thorough, insightful feedback and will be able to help authors, not just perform a cursory read of the book and provide subpar feedback.
And, no, not all individual beta readers provide subpar feedback. There are great readers out there; the trouble is finding them.
If you'd like to contact us for more information about beta reading, please contact us using the form below.
You can meet our readers and read reviews that authors have written for them here: http://www.quiethouseediting.com/meetthereaders
If you want to apply to be a beta reader, contact me through the form below.
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Something witty should go here, but I haven't had enough coffee.