Beta Reading

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Feeling Unsure About Your Book?

Approximately 1/4 of the books we receive for review are not actually ready to be reviewed. I find myself giving the same feedback to these authors: “Have you sent this book to an objective Beta Reader for feedback?” This is a CRITICAL step in the process of publishing and marketing a book. The general role of a Beta Reader is to read a pre-published book and provide critical feedback regarding the plot, the characters, the writing, and other ways to improve your book. If you have not received many reviews or opinions about your book outside of family and friends, you may not be in the best position to have your book reviewed publicly. You need Beta Readers.  

Who are Thelma and Louise?

Julie Anne Grasso Author"Thelma" is actually Julie Grasso. I am the author of an independently published science fiction trilogy for middle grade called "The Adventures Of Caramel Cardamom". I have a background in paediatric nursing which inspired me to write courageous and resilient characters just like the tiny people I cared for. Prior to publication, my books were scrutinised by a manuscript service, friends, family, children and adult beta readers, giving me sobering feedback and sound advice to make my books ready for publication. After publication, my books have been reviewed by book bloggers, book reviewers, Readers Favourite Book Awards as well as the general public on Amazon and Goodreads, giving me a unique perspective on the publishing process. Through my blog, I regularly co-host the Kid Lit Blog Hop, where I review middle grade and picture books that I have read myself or with my rambunctious toddler.

Renee Avatar"Louise" is actually Renee. I am the author behind Mother Daughter Book Reviews (MDBR). MDBR is a website where my kids and I share our opinions about some of the books we read. Since February 2012, we have read, reviewed, and/or featured over 200 children's books on our site! This is outside the 1000's of books that I have read with my kids since the birth of my daughter in 2003. The unique perspective I bring to the Thelma and Louise Beta Reading Service is that of a book blogger who has been reading and reviewing children's books with a critical eye, drawing on my experience as both a parent as well as through my PhD in Psychology (in which I completed several advanced courses in child development). Critical and constructive feedback is what I do best!    

Visit My Blog

Is the Thelma and Louise Beta Reading Service for You?

If your book meets the following criteria, you are in the perfect condition to have your book read by the Thelma and Louise Beta Reading Service:
  1. Your book is not yet published. (We will consider published books on a case-by-case basis.)
  2. The target audience of the book is under the age of 13.
  3. Your book has been edited by a professional editor.
  4. Your book is under 80,000 words.

What You Can Expect From Us

Both Thelma and Louise will read your document (pdf only) and provide feedback and suggested changes on the following points:
  • Character development
  • Age-appropriateness of themes
  • Issues with the plot (i.e., Does the story make sense? Are there holes in the plot?)
  • Language appropriateness (i.e., violence, sexuality, swearing)
  • Writing issues (i.e., "telling vs. showing", stilted dialogue, pace of story, non-necessary sections)
  • Basic grammar/spelling (you are expected to have your document professionally edited before submission to us)
  • Feedback on images and cover (if included)
  You will receive feedback from both Thelma and Louise who will each return a marked-up copy of your document with their additions, deletions, changes, and notes. We will also provide you with a Final Report representing a summary of our thoughts which will include the positive points as well as the key points that we both agree need more work.

* To be clear, we are NOT a manuscript service (i.e., we don't fix typos, grammar, or spelling errors), we are Beta Readers. We can offer opinions based on our experience and knowledge of children's books. * 

Cost of Services

The cost of the service (in USD) will be based on the number of words:
  • Picture Book = $50
  • 20,000 to 39,999 words = $100
  • 40,000 to 59,999 words = $150
  • 60,000 to 80,000 words = $200
  • 80,001+ words = will not accept 

Turn-Around Time

The turn-around time depends on the length of the book (estimated time is approximated).
  • Picture Book = 2 to 4 weeks
  • 20,000 to 39,999 words = 3 to 5 weeks
  • 40,000 to 59,999 words = 4 to 6 weeks
  • 60,000 to 80,000 words = roughly 6 weeks
  • 80,001+ words = will not accept 

Request Our Beta Reading Services

To request our Beta Reading Service, please complete the Request For Beta Reading Services Form found at the bottom of Louise's page. Click here to go there.  Requests will be considered in the order we receive them.