Alpha and Beta Reading by Vicki

Alpha and Beta Reading by Vicki

I just thought I’d let people know I will be available for alpha and beta readings starting in July. I will only able to take one each week in July due to Camp NaNoWriMo being held that month. Since I have nothing booked, I have four spots open. In August, and beyond, I will bump the available slots to two a week except during November where I will go back to only having one spot each week open. Also, during the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years I would prefer to take only one.

If you have any questions feel free to use the contact form and send me an email. I’ll schedule on a first come, first serve basis for the available spots. If you’re unsure about how I read please see my post Beta Reading 101. It will give you some insight into my process.

Now for some extra details about me:

  1. I prefer to read fiction, if you have non-fiction, or a memoir, that needs reading please email me so I can ask you a few questions before I accept or decline.
  2. There are three genres that I will not read, mostly because I do not feel I can give them the quality readings they deserve. Those  genres are science fiction, horror, and erotica. If you’re not sure what genre your book is, send me a summary and the first chapter and I’ll see if I can read it and give a fair critique.
  3. I prefer documents that allow me to add comments to a manuscript. I have read documents that are PDF, DOCX, DOC, and Google Docs and have been able to add comments to all of those formats. I’ve also read in ePUB format, but I won’t be able to let you know specifically on the document where I find issues. You’ll have to rely on my report for that.
  4. If something happens and causes your report to be delayed, I will contact you immediately via your preferred method of contact. I’m open to email, text message, Facebook messenger, smoke signals, and carrier pigeon. I don’t Skype, mostly because I don’t like people to see me in pajamas and nasty goat-woman hair.
  5. I’m not an editor, but if I find spelling issues and minor grammar issues I will tell you about them. If you need an editor, I know that Candace is amazing and looking to build her client base. Her prices are very reasonable, especially compared to some of the other editors you can find online (try searching via Google, it will scare you). I really wish I’d used her for Golden Opportunity, but I didn’t want to take advantage of a friendship. However, she will be editing ALL my work starting with Golden Seas.
  6. All readings are FREE. I do not charge for readings and will never charge another author to help them create the best work possible. I do appreciate heartfelt thanks and the occasional gushing compliment, but mostly because I like knowing my clients are happy and satisfied with the work I’ve done, and I’m a little vain.
  7. I will sign a NDA if you need one. For those who are not sure what NDA means, it’s a non-disclosure agreement. Yes, I have signed them in the past, and I am willing to sign them in the future. I understand how scary it is to give our babies to a stranger. We worry they will steal our work and claim it as their own. This is why I have no problem signing an NDA or other document to give an author an extra level of security.
  8. My opinions are mine alone and you might disagree. I understand you might disagree with my insights and critique. I usually tell an author to take my critique with a grain of salt. You should have more than one beta reader, five or more would be best. If other readers agree, or mention something I have said, then I would seriously consider changing whatever the problem is. Don’t rip your book apart strictly based on one opinion … please!
  9. If you’d like me to read after another round of revisions, I will. I think this is pretty self-explanatory.
  10. I do not keep copies of your work. Once I’ve sent the manuscript and my worksheet to you I delete every copy of your manuscript from my computer, cloud, and email accounts. I do keep the worksheet for reference purposes. Keeping a copy helps me keep track of the number of readings I do, and lets me track the authors so I can buy their books when published. Yes, I do buy the books that I’ve alpha/beta read. I think it’s the least I can do to show how much I appreciate the trust an author has given me.

I look forward to working with my next round of authors, if anyone needs a reader fill out the Project Needing a Reader form and I will get back to you ASAP.

V. L. Cooke