7 Questions With Beta Reader Silvia Curry
In today’s interview, Beta Reader Silvia Curry talks about novels from her unique perspective.
Are you curious to know how long it takes to Beta Read a novel or if it makes any difference if the Beta Reader shares the same nationality with the author?
If you’re curious to learn what Beta Reading involves, what dictates the price Betas charge and what should an author expect when working with her, follow Silvia’s advice in the interview below!
And if you want to know all the details about Working With a Beta Reader, you’re only one click away.
Silvia’s Reading Corner
I approach Beta Reading with excitement and love for the written word. I love how a book can completely transform where you are and lets you live out a really great story.
The intention is to make every single story I work on as amazing as it can be, so the readers can have that great experience they are craving from getting lost in a good book.
The drive is always to find the next great author and help them reach their potential. What makes me special in this industry is my love and passion for books and the written word, and the kindness I show to my clients. I treat each and every one of them as friends, and I view them as a part of my book family.
Esther Rabbit: How did you become a Beta Reader? How long have you been offering your services to authors?
I became a Beta Reader after I quit my job as a daycare teacher after my second daughter was born. I was a new stay-at-home-mom with two kids under the age of two, and found myself with some time to spare when they were napping.
I always loved to read, and with money being tight and a desire to help new authors, I stumbled upon Beta Reading. Six months later, after having a packed reading schedule, I opened my business, Silvia’s Reading Corner, in June of 2013.
Esther Rabbit: What are some things authors don’t know about Beta Readers?
It is not as easy as just reading a book for me. When I am working on content (like a Beta Reader does), I take all aspects of the story into consideration.
I look at everything from the pacing and flow of the words, to the character development and bond that I feel with the book.
I take meticulous notes while I am reading, and I tend to write up lengthy reports on both what works and what needs some attention.
It is never my intention to harshly criticize an author, so I make sure I come from a place of love and respect, wanting just the best for the author’s work.
Esther Rabbit: How long does it normally take you to Beta Read a novel and what is your favorite genre?
That all really depends on the length of the manuscript and how much I have to say about it, LOL. I take anywhere between two weeks and two months to work through a manuscript.
Like I said, Beta Reading isn’t as simple as just reading a book for fun. When I read for fun, I can go through an 80k novel in a matter of three or four days, reading only before bed.
When Beta Reading the same length, I typically take anywhere between two and three weeks. I love romance—all sub-genres—and fantasy/Sci-Fy, however my newest genre of choice currently is the sub-genre of Enemies to Lovers, it is something with the angst that really piques my interest!
Esther Rabbit: If you are a British Beta Reader, does it make a dramatic difference when reading a novel by an American or Canadian author?
As an American Beta Reader, I have worked with authors all over the world (authors from the UK, Australia, Chile, Greece, etc.), and there is definitely a difference in reading, but mostly, it is when I am editing that the difference really comes into play—for spelling and grammar and the like.
However, when Beta Reading, there are sometimes issues with understanding the slang or different word usage that sometimes I will flag, especially if I feel like I am not getting everything exactly what the author had intended.
Esther Rabbit:If you charge for your services, how much should an author expect to pay a Beta Reader and what should they get in return?
That’s a tricky question as all Beta Readers dictate their own prices. I try to be fair in my pricing, as I know many Beta Readers do not charge for their service.
However, from a business perspective, I am giving a service that takes just as long as my editing services take, and I need to make sure I am compensated appropriately to cover the time and effort I am putting into their work.
In exchange, I offer both in-manuscript notations, specifically signally out where issues are right inside the manuscript, as well as a chapter-by-chapter, true reader-reaction paper (varying in length from five pages, to sometimes fifteen pages), letting the author know what I thought about the characters, dialogue, descriptions, plot, flow, pacing, etc.
I will let the author know if I get bored, or if I couldn’t put the book down. I also will make my assumptions and guesses as to where the story is going, so the author knows if they are revealing too much too quickly. At the end of my reports, I also always give a recommendation for editing.
Even if the author chooses to go with me or not, they have a professional opinion on the level of editing they can expect to need.
Esther Rabbit: What should an author never expect from a Beta Reader?
An author should never expect a Beta Reader to do editing for them. It is actually one of my pet peeves in this profession. It is not the same thing, and it is unfair to expect that from someone who is simply just reading for content and giving their opinion on the story, especially if they are Beta Reading for free.
Esther Rabbit: What dictates the price of a Beta Reader?
I think what should dictate the price of a Beta Reader is the amount of work they put into their reports, as well as their experience and education levels.
You can find Silvia online here:
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And if you’re a fan of Paranormal Romance, check out Lost in Amber:
“A new Interplanetary Alliance ambassador on an earthbound mission.
A handful of genetically altered humans to be rescued.
Meeting her changed everything.“