Beta reading & developmental advice

As a writer I understand how important it is to get detailed and constructive feedback on your manuscript.

I offer an affordable and comprehensive beta reading service that includes developmental advice and a light-touch proofread. This means I go beyond the usual beta reading level of feedback and provide practical support to help you address issues like plot-holes and characterisation using my own experiences as a writer.

I will read your manuscript and provide you with a summary report (usually around 4-5 pages). For fiction writing this will cover issues like characterisation, plot, language, consistency, themes & ideas, dialogue and pacing.

The following is a small selection of the type of issues that may be identified and discussed in the report:

Characterisation

Were any characters underdeveloped? Does a character behave inconsistently or in a way that is not believable?

Pace

Is there too much or too little action? Does the story feel rushed at times? Is the flow of the writing interrupted by too much introspection or description?

Themes & ideas

Are the key themes of your writing clearly defined? Are you trying to cover too many conflicting ideas and would a more focused approach help?

Plot

Is the overall story clear and well developed? Are there ‘plot-holes’ where something doesn’t make sense or feels unbelievable?

Consistency

Are the physical descriptions of people and places consistent throughout the text?

For non-fiction projects I will still consider whether the tone of voice is right for your audience and how clear your ideas and themes are, but will also look at the power of your writing to persuade, argue or inform depending on the intention.

The report I provide is a constructive and positive critique of your writing and whilst issues are identified I will always suggest solutions and will discuss any area of concern with you in more detail if needed. The aim is to aid you with the difficult process of editing a book and finalising it for publication.

Each report is unique to you and your writing and can be tailored to the areas you feel require specific attention. If there is a particular issue you would like me to focus on, such as the handling of a specific character, the pace of your writing, or the perspective from which the story is told, let me know and I will provide additional feedback in this area.

I am a qualified proofreader and as well as the summary you have the option of adding a basic proofread. For a small additional fee you will receive a ‘marked up’ version of your manuscript identifying and correcting issues line-by-line. Whilst this is not a detailed check of grammar or formatting, the proofread will highlight specific problems with spelling, punctuation, ‘typos’, missing words, capitalisation and consistency (i.e. correct use of character and place names).

These are errors that it is easy to miss in your own writing and many writers have found this a really useful add-on service, helping them to prepare for publication.

I normally use Microsoft Word’s track changes function for this but can provide in PDF format also.

Qualifications & training

Basic Proofreading, The Publishing Training Centre, Merit

Creative Writing in Different Genres, Open College Network

Pricing

Pricing Up to 50,000 words Above 50,000 words
Beta reading

  • Detailed summary report covering issues such as characterisation, plot, pace, themes, etc.
  • Developmental advice and suggestions to assist in editing.
£40 £40 + £5 per additional 10,000 words
Basic proofread

  • ‘Marked up’ version of manuscript with line-by-line edits & comments.
  • Covers spelling, punctuation, ‘typos’ missing words, capitalisation and consistency.
£35 flat fee*

* Only available when purchased alongside beta reading.

Calculate price


,000 words.

  

£ 40

Note: This is an estimate and prices may vary slightly, please contact me for a full quote.

Testimonials

  • Joanna Smart
    Life Under Wraps Joanna Smart | View profile Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

    Nick Frampton is amazing. He is quick to pick up on a story and give regular updates and is great at catching all the little proofreading errors that we tend to miss as we get absorbed into our writing. His summary and overall view is an amazing breakdown of the story.

    He also has a great way of pointing out other ways to enhance the story without ever trying to change your words to be something you did not intend. He really is a great audience and beta reader for any author and I would recommend everyone use him.

  • Caspar Wallersteiner
    Bound by Blood – Part II Caspar Wallersteiner | View profile Genres: Fantasy, Fiction

    Thank you very much for this extensive feedback…your attention to detail is laudable, especially by using examples to justify your points, which makes it all the more useful at my end.

    I am forever grateful for all your work. Whatever becomes of this book would not have been so without your input. Thank you.

  • Isabelle Sudron
    Olive in the Heights Isabelle Sudron | View profile Genres: Children's, Fiction, Middle Grade (MG)

    Nick is by far the best beta reader I've worked with! He provided detailed, useful notes on my manuscript that took into account every element of my story.

    He also gave helpful suggestions and ideas that will genuinely work with the theme and style of my book. I will definitely be recommending Nick's services to my fellow writers!

  • Andy Nadir
    Off the Grid (A War with no End) Andy Nadir | View profile Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

    It was really wonderful! You managed to cover the exact areas that I was most concerned about in good detail and you gave me very useful feedback on my manuscript. Your suggestions were great and helped me improve my book. In addition to all this, you got back to me far sooner than I expected.

    I really appreciate your hard work to get this done within my cramped timeframe. I will definitely come back to you on future projects. As of now, you have been both the fastest to respond and the most intricate and detailed beta reader that I have worked with.

    I also appreciate your added help with tenses and grammar mistakes. You really went above and beyond what I had asked of you.

  • Caspar Wallersteiner
    Bound by Blood Caspar Wallersteiner | View profile Genres: Fantasy, Fiction

    Nick Frampton's beta reading was all that one could ask for. It was structured into sections concerning each aspect of the novel - pace, plot, language, you name it.

    His criticism is constructive and justified, and made me look at the text in a different light. His turnaround was quick and he was readily available for reader-writer dialogue. He also provided proofreading, which was complete and fair.

    I intend on using Nick again, and would definitely recommend him to those looking for an impeccable beta reader.

FAQs

Why do I need a beta reader?

Writing is an intense and lengthy process. By the time you’ve written your book, edited it and then re-edited it some more it can be very hard to view your work objectively. A beta-reader comes to your writing with fresh eyes and a more detached perspective and can often pick up things that you will have missed?

What kind of feedback will I receive?

I will provide you with honest but constructive criticism. The aim of a beta-read is to identify issues in your text where things currently aren’t working as well as they could be. I will explain where I think something could be improved and provide developmental advice on how you could address the issue. I’ll also identify where I feel elements of your writing are really strong and working well – which is helpful if you’re looking to further edit, develop or expand the current manuscript.

Is there anything you won’t read?

I will read nearly all fiction and some non-fiction. With non-fiction it depends how technical a critique you require. I can provide an informed critique on general areas of non-fiction; travel writing, basic self-help, how-to guides etc, however if you have a specific niche area such as medical or scientific you are best using an expert in these areas. I have a Bachelors degree in Geography and CIM Diploma in Marketing so may be able to provide a more technical critique in these areas. If you are unsure please contact me to discuss your project.

I won’t beta-read horror or erotica as genres and also no works containing extreme violence or abuse (physical or sexual).

What about copyright and privacy?

I save and store your manuscript on a private computer and will never share or distribute your work. I will ask your permission before sharing any feedback or testimonial you provide to me and otherwise all communication and correspondence will be entirely confidential.

The vast majority of beta-readers are helpful and avid readers looking to provide writers with useful feedback on their work. However there is a lot of trust involved in sending someone your manuscript before it is published and concerns over privacy, plagiarism and copyright are a good reason to use a professional beta-reading service.

Why use a paid beta-reader, can’t my friends and family help for free?

You should definitely ask friends and family to read and review you writing! It’s always great to get another perspective and opinion. However your friends and family are the people who know you best and they will also know how hard you’ve worked on your writing. That can make it difficult for them to be critical and honest with you. They also probably have a lot on themselves and might take a long to read your book and come back to you. Also unless they’re writers themselves they may not be able to provide you with the kind of constructive feedback you need to develop. As an experienced beta reader I will not only find problems but also suggest solutions and will provide feedback in a prompt and timely fashion.

How long will it take you to read and critique my work?

It depends on the length of the book and my current workload but normally within 2-3 weeks. If you have a specific deadline please let me know and I will try and accommodate you.

I’m looking for a proofreader, can you help?

I undertake a basic proofread as part of my beta-reading service however this will not go into the same detail as a full proofread. If you are looking for something more comprehensive I can recommend Julia at Banks Editorial: www.bankseditorial.co.uk

Terms & Conditions

All feedback is provided as advice and no responsibility or liability is accepted for any action that may arise as a result of advice provided. If for any reason I am unable to finish your work I will contact you as soon as possible and discuss a full or partial refund.

All refunds at personal discretion.