More about the Special Subscribers' Package

Subscribers to the new Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine may have noticed that I am offering a special deal to them for various services. I thought I’d take a moment to clarify what the differences were between some of those services.

Beta reading

People don’t normally charge for ‘beta reading’. After all, it might seem odd to have to pay someone just to read your work, when you can probably get a friend or family member to do it for you.

That’s true, there are some people around in your circles who would probably read your latest piece free of charge. If they are a family member or friend, I’d ask you to beware of biases either towards not wanting to hurt your feelings, or using the opportunity to ‘get back at you’ for some reason. Those to whom we are closest are, by definition, most entangled with us emotionally, and that emotion can cloud the cold judgement that you usually need when asking for feedback about a piece of your fiction.

Then there are other people, usually friends on social media, who are a little more distanced from you and can probably therefore be more helpful because they will be a little more willing to give honest feedback. But reading someone’s fiction can take time, and you might feel obligated to them as a result.

None of the above are necessarily qualified to give you the kind of feedback you probably need, which is normally a) the viewpoint of an ordinary reader, coming across your work for the first time, in order to see ‘in the raw’ what is working and not working, and/or b) the more detailed and technical feedback from someone who is familiar with a range of stories and who can spot strengths and weaknesses as he or she reads.