Fiverr.com is a website where you can find freelancers offering a variety of services. In my case, I hired two beta readers from this site. As well, you can offer your own services here.
I navigated the site easily, signing in through my Google account. To find a beta reader, I clicked on the “Writing & Translation” link. On this page, under “Content Editing & Writing,” I clicked “Beta Reading.”
Choosing the right beta reader for your novel
A number of boxes show up after clicking “Beta Reading.” Each contains the account of a freelancer in this category. I explored beta readers with five-star ratings and experience, information in plain view. When I opened links to readers, each told me a little “about this gig” and “about this seller.” They listed genres they read, their pricing packages, delivery times, language, and country.
I chose women readers who read YA, as my main character is a teen female. One of the readers is a lawyer, the profession of my main character’s mother. I figured if I wrote her unrealistically, this reader could offer insight the other may not think of.
Why did I hire a beta reader?
A writer in my Gab writing group asked me why I’d pay for a reader. The answer: a number of reasons.
- I wasn’t part of a critique group. My college peers critiqued some of the chapters over a year ago. However, by now I’d graduated college and had completed the story.
- The site gave me choices. I wanted the perspective of a younger woman reader, as my main character is a teen female. (Right or wrong, I judged by the freelancers’ profile pictures.)
- I was curious. Would these readers offer more than the usual critique partner (if there is such a thing)?
- The pricing was fair and affordable, considering these readers would take their time to read the entire MS and provide their insights.
The experience: good or bad?
The experience was a good one. Why?
- The site was easy to navigate; the process, simple.
- My readers:
- specified what they’d do
- were reasonably priced for work provided
- gave me a date they’d have the project done by
- delivered what they’d promised, on time
- communicated well
- When they sent messages, I received them on my G-mail. Each message contained a link to the message area of my Fiverr account.
- When each reader finished the job, I received an email saying so.
- When the job was done, collecting my “delivery” from the reader was simple.
- I clicked on the link in the email notification. This link brought me to a page that walked me through the process–very easy.
After I confirmed the reader completed the job, a window came up asking if I wanted to tip her. If I were on a strict budget, this might have been a concern. (I wouldn’t want to offend the reader.) I had no problem tipping, and did tip a bit more to the reader who made comments throughout my MS and wrote me a general report.
Was it worth the price?
For me it was. For you it may or may not be. If you’re part of a critique group or already have a few reliable readers, you may see no reason for paying a reader. I guess the site’s worth depends on your needs at any given time.
Different beta readers charge different prices. Each includes the fee and the time in which they’ll deliver the product. Prices shown on the thumbnail version of their account represents the “starts at” fee. It isn’t necessarily the final price you’ll end up paying.
Before confirming the job, the reader sends a link with the actual price for the job. That price doesn’t include the small “fee” (I imagine Fiverr charges it) and the tip you may or may not choose to include.
What I got for the price:
Base price $50. ($52.75 after fee, PLUS tip)
For this price I received a
- general report
- “publishing plan” (a very general one).
The former confirmed concerns I had. The latter was a nice touch but contained information I already knew. The plan was based off a question she asked when setting up the job, Do you plan to traditionally publish or self-publish?
Base price $110. ($116.05 after fee, PLUS tip)
The second reader, the lawyer, cost more but offered comments in my MS, as well as a general report. I found her work more helpful. Her in-text comments evidenced general comments in her report. This will facilitate my editing. She also corrected a few typos.
Comments she made in the MS were concise and told me:
- where she got confused
- phrasing she found awkward
- places where she wanted more information, such as character reaction or appearance
- her reaction to dialogue or an element of story
In Conclusion . . .
I enjoyed my Fiverr experience. The site was fairly easy to navigate. My readers delivered what they promised. In the end, I received helpful comments in my MS and concise reader reports. Reader comments within the manuscript, similar to those I’ve received by peers and those I’ve done for other readers, help streamline the editing/drafting process.
I would use this service again. With that said, if you have readers whose opinions you trust, paying for a beta reader on Fiverr may not make sense. Unless you want to branch out and get insight from a different, unbiased reader of your choosing.