No longer alpha reading full manuscripts

I recently received a nice compliment from one of my beta authors. I read her work in progress (WIP) a few months ago. The author’s project was a pleasure to read. Unlike a novel I beta read at another time. (No, I’m not offering any details.) That particular story was so challenging that I considered giving up beta reading forever. Although there might be exceptions, I’ve just about made up my mind to read only for authors whose projects I previously have read. Why? Because I’m familiar with their work. And because they have mastered grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and a few other things, and they have self-edited their novels before sending the projects to me.

So many newbie authors request beta readers when what they actually seem to want are alpha readers – or even free developmental editors (more about that in a future post). In the past, too many of them have sent me first drafts with a convoluted story that has not been self-edited and is full of grammar errors and typos. As an editor, as well as a beta reader, I find that the inconsistencies and errors distract me from the story, and reading the work takes me longer to complete. I’ve read a lot of full-length alpha manuscripts over the past few years, but I’m no longer willing to do that.

About WestWordArizona

Writer, editor, originally from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, now living in North San Diego County, California.
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