“Reading through their critiques, it was obvious that the entire focus of their beta reading team is helping authors produce the best possible version of their story. They enumerated what worked, what fell flat, what felt authentic, all in the context of my genre publishing goals. Most of all, every one of the five critiques left me feeling hopeful. Yes, they mentioned sections that needed help, but the overall tone of their finished product was that my manuscript has the potential to be the thing I have always hoped it could be…For the author considering self-publication or traditional publication (perhaps at the query letter phase), I cannot recommend this service strongly enough.” – Marc Lofgren, Author of Dirt Sailor
What is “group beta reading?”
A beta reader is a person who reads an unpublished manuscript and tells the author which aspects of the book worked for them and which didn’t. They don’t sound like editors; they sound like readers.
Authors are taught to get as many readers as possible before publishing. Oftentimes, that means going to friends, family, and social media groups to acquire them. While those readers will help the author as much as they can, they also may not be getting paid for it, meaning the quality of their reports will vary and their reports may also not return to you on time.
At Independent Book Review, we want to make your beta reader search easier and more effective. Our goal with this service is to help you guarantee a certain number of readers by a certain date and to help you get quality comments from beta reading professionals who can put themselves in any hypothetical reader’s shoes.
The IBR Group Beta Reading service provides authors with three to five personalized beta letters to help you recognize the strengths and weaknesses in your manuscript. In five weeks, you’ll receive over 500+ words of feedback from each beta reader covering topics like characterization, plot, important scenes, and more.
When should you hire IBR beta readers?
You can hire IBR beta readers at any point after you finish a manuscript.
If it’s an early draft, we’d love to take a look at it. We’ll probably mention a few things that you’re already aware of, but we’ll also help you recognize additional issues that you can fix before entering drafts two or three.
If it’s a near-final draft, send that over, too. Our team is skilled in recognizing narrative and character inconsistencies, lulls in the plotline, missing motivations, and more. Since you’ll be getting multiple opinions, you’ll notice if everyone is commenting on the same issue and what the reason is behind that.
Who will be your beta readers?
Joe Walters is the editor-in-chief of Independent Book Review. In addition to being a developmental editor and book reviewer, he uses his industry experience as a book marketer to recognize big-picture issues in fiction and nonfiction books. Get to know his perspective through his developmental editing article: “31 Specific Strategies for Improving Your Novel.”
Jaylynn Korrell is the creative director of Independent Book Review as well as an avid book reviewer. She reads across all genres and loves to find stories with strong female leads and books that follow through on narrative promises. Get to know her reading and writing style through book reviews for Not Dead Yet and The Word for Woman is Wilderness.
CJ Fairhart has been a freelance editor and beta reader for the past seven years. She reads widely and is always searching for new ways to improve her writing craft. She shares more about her reading and writing tastes over on her Instagram.
Alexander Smith is a prolific copywriter and the author of two books: The Perfect Man and Other Stories and For Poets Must Love. His creative writing has also appeared in places like the “City & Sea” anthology and The Creative Writing Outloud podcast. He loves to talk writing and reading on Twitter.
Sarah Mae Sutton’s passion for writing stems from a life-long obsession with reading. She loves discovering new authors, and for the past year, she’s been helping them improve their manuscripts through beta reading and editing. Check out what she has to say about it on Twitter. Her debut novel What Are Friends For? is set to launch in January 2020.
Rates, manuscript length, & turnaround time
We want to keep things as affordable as possible, so we’ve decided to offer flat fees for group beta reading. These fees are for authors who have written a manuscript under 110,000 words*. They will receive the final beta letters in 5 weeks*.
3 IBR Beta Readers
To purchase three IBR beta readers, please select this option. Your book should be less than 110,000 words, and you can expect to receive your beta letters in 5 weeks or less.
5 IBR Beta Readers
To purchase five IBR beta readers, please select this option. Your book should be less than 110,000 words, and you can expect to receive your beta letters in 5 weeks or less.
*Written a book over 110,000 words? No problem! We’d still love to help you. Contact us below with the specific word count and we’ll give you the relevant fee.
**Need your beta letters before five weeks? Great! Let us know when you need it completed, and we’ll agree on an appropriate fee for you.
How to get started
- Finish drafting your book. (You got this!)
- Tell us your word count, genre, and potential trigger warnings in the contact box below.
- Once we hear from you, we’ll request the full manuscript in Microsoft Word or .pdf format.
- Then, we’ll send a short non-disclosure agreement to our beta readers and a contract to you.
- After these documents are signed, we’ll ask you to make the payment above using credit card or Paypal.
- Your five-week turnaround time will begin. Are you ready?
Whether you’re asking a question or requesting a group beta reading service, we’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for checking out our IBR Group Beta Reading service! Click on the link below to check out what other services we offer at Independent Book Review.