Are you an avid reader of romantic novels? Do you like the idea of helping an author shape what could be a bestseller? Do you have a strong work ethic and knack for giving polite constructive criticism? Apply to join the Romance Refined beta reader team!

Beta reading is when a reader from an author's target audience gives the author feedback on their manuscript so they can gauge whether the story is on the right track. Usually this is done before any professional editing begins, but occasionally it's done between rounds of editing or after all editing has been completed.

Pay starts at 50 cents per thousand words for a standard 3-week turnaround, which usually comes out to about $35 to $50 per manuscript, and increases to 65 cents after 3 completed assignments. If you're willing to accept rush jobs, pay increases by an additional 15 cents per thousand words for jobs with a 2-week turnaround and an additional 30 cents per thousand words for jobs with a 1-week turnaround. All jobs will pay a minimum of $20 regardless of manuscript length, turnaround time, or experience. Payment will be sent through PayPal.

After reading a manuscript, you’ll fill out a feedback form with around 80 questions. Some questions are open-ended and ask for thoughtful, detailed responses, and some questions you'll answer on a 1-5 scale or no/maybe/yes. The feedback process usually takes an hour or two.

Eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a true fan of the romance genre and embrace what makes the genre special.
  • You want to be a beta reader because you genuinely want to help authors, not because you want to get paid to read free books.
  • You need to be willing to read a manuscript that is greatly flawed. You may be a new writer's very first reader and a story may only be a 1-star read. Your role is to provide constructive feedback that helps the author improve their craft. On the other hand, you may get a manuscript from a bestselling author who just needs to work out a few story kinks. Either way, beta reads often occur before any professional editing, so some story content issues, typos, and grammar issues will surely be present.
  • You must be well read in each genre category you request on your application (contemporary, historical, speculative, mystery/suspense, erotica, young adult, and women's fiction), and you'll be asked to list a book title example for every genre you request. I'm looking for readers who enjoy “genre romance,” which means the romance is central to the story and it's guaranteed to end optimistically with Happily Ever After (HEA) or Happy for Now (HFN), as well as readers who enjoy “romantic fiction,” which means romantic elements are equal to or support the focus of another genre and there are no requirements for relationship resolution.
  • You need to provide links to 3 romantic fiction book reviews you've written on a blog, a retail site like Amazon, or a book site like Goodreads. These reviews determine your acceptance onto the Romance Refined beta reader team. They need to demonstrate your ability to make insightful observations and respectfully articulate why you did or did not enjoy a book; book summaries and generic statements of liking or disliking a book won't meet these requirements. Use critical thinking to dig beneath the surface and explain using specifics. These reviews should use complete sentences, be free of typos, and show proficiency in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • You must be able to commit to a three-week turnaround for standard delivery jobs. You'll have the option to accept rush jobs.
  • You'll be required to sign a legally binding non-disclosure agreement that prohibits you from sharing or discussing the manuscripts or the Romance Refined proprietary critique form with anyone outside of the beta reader program.
  • You must be 16+

Sound exciting? Please submit your name and contact information below to be taken to an application.

You'll also receive an email with a link to the application so you may fill it out or edit it within the next 2 weeks.

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