Are you an avid reader of romantic novels? Do you like the idea of helping an author shape a story that could become their next big hit? 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 shares their personal opinion of a manuscript with an author so they can gauge whether their story is on the right track, and it's most effective when the reader comes from the author's target audience. 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. 

Are you part of a marginalized or minority community? Or do you have firsthand experience with hardships? If you're willing to help an author with problematic representation or accurate portrayals of hardships, you'll also be eligible for assignments in need of a sensitivity reader.

Do you have any uncommon life experiences, skills, hobbies, areas of study, or work history? You can lend your expertise to authors requesting an authenticity reader.

How does it work? You'll be sent a digital copy of the manuscript to read on an e-reader or computer. After reading the 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 select no/maybe/yes. The feedback process usually takes an hour or two. You will not be asked to do any work within the manuscript file itself, so your reading time should feel similar to reading a published book for pleasure, though you may find it helpful to make occasional highlights or notes to refer back to when completing the feedback form afterward.

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.

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, young adult, and women's fiction). The application will ask you to list a favorite book title published within the past 10 years for every genre you request. I'm looking for readers who enjoy “romance genre” books, 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” books, which means the romantic elements are only a subplot in a story that falls under a different genre heading and/or fiction that does not require a happy relationship resolution.
  • You'll need to provide links to 3 romance genre or 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 to 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 feedback form with anyone outside of the beta reader program.
  • You must be fluent in English.
  • You must be 18+.

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 that you can fill it out or edit it within the next 2 weeks.

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