Feeling like your manuscript needs a bit of polishing?

by Lara Kareem

Beta Reading

What is Beta Reading? Beta reading is the process of reviewing an author’s manuscript before publication. It is where a Beta Reader offers their solicited thoughts about the work, giving necessary feedback (in-depth analysis) that are helpful guides for authors to improve their written works.

Beta Readers also help with giving the author’s a sense in direction of how the story’s real audience would respond to it. However a Beta Reader is not an editor, Beta Readers are just helpful readers. Editing is another ball game and should never be confused with Beta Reading.

As a Beta reader, I professionally criticise work that I beta read, as the main purpose of beta reading is to inform authors of what it’s like to casually read the story for the first time. I am accommodating as I give due time to properly reading and understanding the works of authors. I am reliable and will keep to the given time slot and give proper response/feedback. 

I help authors properly root out problems and identify what isn’t working, to help authors make their works better. I highly and critically analyse authors works, and note down major issues that can be fixed, but please note that I, however, may not root out all problems, for it’s my reading experience I am reporting at a very economical rate.

Also as a black woman and Muslim reader, I can also double as a sensitivity reader, noting issues of misrepresentation, negative use of language and non-factual bias, when it comes to characters with such backgrounds.

I offer feedback on:

  • My reading experience, which is how I reacted to the story, writing style, characters, pacing, development, arcs, believability levels, plot events and turning points.
  • I also note places that especially stood out to me, with a detailed explanation of my reaction.
  • My overall summary of the work, given my verdict as a reader, if I enjoyed or did not enjoy it.

Editing

You’re in the right place because an author should never be the only one to edit their work. For a book to be properly assessed and edited a set of open, objective and fresh eyes are always needed to catch all the grammatical mishaps the author’s eyes are not catching.

Substantive Edit

A substantive/developmental edit is very important when it comes to editing a manuscript. A substantive edit is different from a copy edit or proofread, because this kind of edit involves structuring, fleshing out, building and making necessary revisions to further develop the story.

Copy Edit

Copy editing is a critical step that should never be skipped, because this editing involves correcting errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, language and writing style as well as structuring.

Proof Read 

This is the last stage of editing, which doesn’t require much editing. It’s ensuring that all the editors have corrected all the grammatical errors from the manuscript, meaning the manuscript is error free and can be signed off for the next stage in the publishing process.

Policy

I sadly cannot accept all manuscripts mainly due to compatibility and timing issues. I also am a full-time publicist, social media manager and content creator as well as have other responsibilities, such as my own writing. I, however, take on one project at a time and require a 70% deposit.

I accept only documents in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format because it enables the tracking of changes and leaving comments. The quality of my work depends completely on the quality of the material submitted by the author.

Get in Touch

If you would love to hire me to work on your manuscript, either as a beta reader or any of the listed editing service above please send an email naijabookbae@gmail.com for more information, because the manuscript needs to be assessed first. I however can only take on one edit role for a manuscript. 

Please expect a response to your email between within 1-3 working days.