Beta Reading

Beta readers are among the first people to take a look at your manuscript. It’s great to have your family and friends read your story and give their feedback, but let’s be honest; they are probably not the most objective readers out there. Furthermore, if you are writing outside their preferred genre they might not be giving you the kind of feedback that you need to make your book attractive and accessible to your intended market.

At The Ribbon Marker, I firmly believe that the best beta reader is one who is an avid reader, and adores the genre you write in. They have already done their background research by reading comparable books in the same genre, and have an intrinsic knowledge of what does, and doesn’t work in that type of story.

My beta reading services involve looking at your story from the reader’s perspective. While there is some basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation checking, the main focus revolves around character development, believability, pacing, and plot holes. I look at what you excelled at, what could be improved, and what would make readers quirk their eyebrows, and say, “I don’t think John would really do that,” or “Even if they were mates and had some sort of preternatural bond pulling them together, a guy who has been very homophobic throughout the story wouldn’t be so quick to accept that he is now mated to a man, even one as effeminate as Todrick.”

The Ribbon Marker offer three beta reading packages:




  • Overall assessment of your story addressing:
    • Basic grammar, spelling, & punctuation (via Word Track Changes)
    • Character development
    • Believability
    • Pacing
    • Plot holes
    • Inconsistencies
  • Silver package
  •  Chapter by chapter feedback
  • 30 min pre-beta read Skype call to meet and discuss specific areas or questions I should keep in mind while I read your story
  • Gold Package
  • 1 hr post-beta read Skype call to go over the my comments and to brainstorm
  • A free review of your book on Amazon, the publisher’s website, Goodreads, and The Ribbon Marker blog when it gets published

Sample Silver-Level Beta Read is available for download.

Currently, I am accepting stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, supernatural/paranormal, romance (most sub-genres), mystery, contemporary, erotica, new adult, LGBTQI, BDSM, holidays, thrillers, women’s fiction.

I am currently not accepting historical, western, horror, punk (cyber and steampunk), and dystopian stories. I also do not accept books depicting bestiality (shapeshifters and other paranormals do not count), unsafe sexual relations, and graphic depictions of pedophilia, incest (blood relatives), sexual assault, statutory rape (>3-year difference and one individual is <18), and rape for titillation.

For pricing information, please see Pricing & Payment.