What is beta-reading?

It’s the next step after finishing your manuscript and polishing as much as you can, but before you start shopping for an editor. A well-versed practiced beta reader won’t tell you your book is perfect when it’s not, but will point out the larger story / reader expectation problems you can’t see because you’re the author.

As a writer, I can also give you more specific comments and advice how to fix things.

For example, the average reader might say, “My attention drifted away here.” I’ll tell you that the dialogue is “on-the-nose” and offer suggestions on how to improve it.

Another reader might tell you “This is not believable.” I’ll tell you that “this action is out of character because it’s not properly foreshadowed in the backstory.”

Please note that I am NOT a copyeditor (my grammar is terrible).

My Qualifications

I was a reviewer for Publishers Weekly for nearly 10 years, a judge for the Amazon Breakout Novel contest for at least 4 of them (before it went defunct). 

  • First 10 pages for $20 with comments and a brief critique including suggestions for improvement if requested (can be applied toward a complete manuscript beta-read). This is perfect for those who are wondering about the all important first few pages. (can be applied toward a complete manuscript beta-read).
  • First 3 Chapters or 10,000 words (whichever is first) for $40 with comments and a critique of no less than 500 words including suggestions for improvement if requested (can be applied toward a complete manuscript beta-read).
  • Complete manuscript up to 50,000-80,000 words for $99: includes as-I-read comments and 1-2 page critique letter.
  • My strengths are Romance (but not inspirational or westerns), YA and SFF, either with or without romantic elements.
  • I am very straight-forward and honest with my comments. I don’t sugar-coat things, but I also don’t believe in making someone feel bad. I’m a writer too and I critique the way I would want to be critiqued.
  • Please note that I am not the right reader for works that include rape, bestiality, necrophilia, or excessive racism, sexism, or violence.
  • If you are interested, I will read your first page for free to tell you whether or not I think I can help you.
  • I require 50% upfront to begin via paypal. Sorry, been burned too many times.


I think the single best promotion I did was … beta reading. It’s what took my new series starter from “meh” to a lucky 777 new release rank on Amazon and actually started making me money. Before the Startup Indie Author looked over my novel, I’d given away over a thousand copies and heard crickets. She gently revealed my character and pacing flaws and gave me tips on which skill areas needed more work. As soon as I implemented her suggestions, readers began emailing me that they enjoyed the story. Now I have several hundred preorders on the next full-priced books in the series! Receiving a beta read from the Startup Indie Author isn’t just about improving the current story. It’s an investment in yourself as an author. Save yourself years of rewriting and satisfy your fans now by investing in a beta read from the Startup Indie Author¬†today.
~~ Starla Night, author of the Amazon Bestselling Lords of Atlantis series