Beta Reading Services

Beta reading for science fiction, fantasy, and horror banner with a notebook, laptop, and cup of coffee

Have you ever had a beta reader take your manuscript and disappear into the ether? Or take six months to read your book and come back with a brief email saying “I liked it”?

We’ve all been there. Finding a good beta reader is incredibly difficult. Finding a good beta reader who isn’t already swamped for the next six months is even harder.

This is why I’m now offering paid beta reading services for science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. I especially love working on stories that blend two or more of these genres together!

I have:

  • 14 years of beta reading experience
  • One year of experience judging (and providing feedback on) short stories for NYC Midnight competitions
  • One (now out of print) novella published by a small press and two self published novels
  • A lifelong commitment to reading, with dozens of fantasy, science fiction, and horror books read every year

I offer detailed feedback on worldbuilding, character development, and pacing that you won’t get from the average beta reader – and I offer it in a timely manner. The exact time frame will vary based on the length of your story and my schedule at the time of booking, but you can typically expect to receive a beta read on a 100,000 word novel in one month.

Here’s what people I’ve worked with have said about my beta reading:

“As an editor, Diana thinks about the audience first. Who’s reading it, what do they want, and how the writer makes sure they get it. She makes sure you’re getting your point across – and might help you find the point in the first place!”

Steven Savage

“Dianna’s edits were instrumental to my book becoming what it is today. She was thoughtful, balanced, mentioned things I was doing well while offering suggestions about the things I asked about as well as a few other things she noticed that I had missed but appreciate being mentioned, all within the vision I had in mind for the book. My book would not be as good as it is today if she had not edited it.”

Saffron Richter

“As she edited two of my latest titles, Dianna was keenly observant and matter-of-fact without seeming rude or pushy. Not every editor knows how to find that balance. I don’t think either project would have turned out nearly as well without her.”

Dylan Madeley

“Dianna is honestly a really insightful beta reader. I asked her to beta read my novel, and I hadn’t done it before. What I got back was pretty amazing. So many comments in the margins, insight on how to improve my writing or make a section clearer, and even encouragement to go into more detail about the world I had created. The comments gave me a lot to think about, and I’ve started writing a more in depth version of my story because of them. I know when I’m ready to have this new version beta read, I’ll be asking Dianna to read it again.”

Sammy Rainecourt


There are two stages to working with me on a beta read: a required sample edit and a full beta read. Writers interested in receiving more support can also pay for a book consultation or ongoing book coaching.

Required sample edit

I required that all writers interested in working with me to submit a 50-page sample for editing (unless you’ve already worked with me, in which case we can go directly to the full beta read). This service costs $15USD.

This sample edit is important for two reasons:

  • It helps you decide if you want to work with me. You’ll get a feel for my editing style and be able to determine if it’s going to be a good fit for your work.
  • I can tell you if your work is ready for an editor. If I believe your work should receive more self-editing before you hire an editor, I’ll let you know. I’ll also send you some resources for self-editing your work effectively. This can help you save money by only requiring one developmental edit and improve the quality of the edits you receive when you do hire someone by ensuring that they can focus on high-level fixes instead of getting bogged down by the basics.

All sample edits will receive an assessment letter focused on the following elements:

  • Plot strength and pacing
  • Character development and consistency
  • Worldbuilding consistency and clarity
  • Problematic patterns in spelling, grammar, and overall flow

I’ll also leave comments within the manuscript document itself to point out where you can improve on these aspects of your work.

To book your sample edit, sign up for a commission slot via Ko-fi. You’ll receive detailed instructions on how to submit your sample. Note that while the base price is $15USD, I’ve enabled Pay What You Want pricing, so if you want to give me an additional tip for my work you can – and it’s greatly appreciated!

Full beta read

If we decide to go ahead on a full beta read, I’ll read through your work and send you a detailed letter summarizing my thoughts of what works and what doesn’t, focused on the same elements discussed in the sample edit:

  • Plot strength and pacing
  • Character development and consistency
  • Worldbuilding consistency and clarity
  • Problematic patterns in spelling, grammar, and overall flow

As a general rule, you can expect the letter to include one page per 50,000 words; it may be longer if I have significant notes.

I’ll also leave comments within your manuscript document to point out opportunities for improving the pacing, character development, worldbuilding, and overall flow of your manuscript.

This service will be available for $0.005USD per word, which equals out to $250 per 50,000 words. Payment up front is preferred but I am willing to work out a payment plan for edits at this level. If a payment plan is required, please make sure to specify that when we discuss moving beyond your sample edit.

Book consultation/coaching

Want more guidance on how to edit your novel? I offer two book consultation/coaching add-ons for authors I’m working with:

  • Single consultation. This is a one-time virtual call where we can discuss the notes I made during the beta reading process. I’ll give you space to ask any questions you have about the notes + advice on how to implement the notes throughout your project. This one-hour call costs $50USD (and can be expanded to two hours for an additional $50) and can be booked at any time during the beta reading process. Once the beta read is complete, we’ll schedule the call, typically for 7-10 days after I’ve sent you notes.
  • Ongoing coaching. This option allows you to book regular virtual calls at biweekly or monthly intervals where we will discuss your progress on edits. You can bring any problems you’re having to me and I’ll provide advice on how to proceed + encouragement to keep you motivated. The default call length for this will be one hour and you can book in batches of three calls for $150USD.

Note that these packages are only available for clients who I’m already doing a full beta read for, as I can only provide high-quality advice and coaching if I have a deep understanding of your novel.