Becoming a Beta Reader or Reviewer of our Christian Books

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What is a beta reader?
A beta reader is a volunteer who agrees to read edited draft copies of ebooks pending publication by Dove Christian Publishers and provide feedback, critique or clarification on the content. It is important for feedback to be honest and direct; we are not looking for minced words or sugarcoating. Beta readers are not copy editors; you are not expected to examine the manuscript line by line and find errors. However, in the course of normal reading, if there are obvious grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors, we’d appreciate knowing about them. Upon reading a manuscript, beta readers should keep in mind and answer the following questions:

Nonfiction
1. Did you understand the authors reason for writing the book? Did you feel her/his pain or excitement?
2. Did the topic seem exciting if you had no prior knowledge of it?
3. Where did the book get boring? What parts could be cut out?
4. Did any of the research seem far-fetched?
5. Were any details repeated or redundant?
6. Could some of the stories and ideas be more punchy? If so, how so?
7. Was there too much information, research, or not enough? Was the information helpful or did it drag?
8. Was the narrative interesting and did it move along? Why or why not?
9. Did the book provide helpful next steps?
10. Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors? Examples?

Fiction
1. Did the story hold your interest from the very beginning? If not, why not?
2. Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? If not, why not?
3. Could you relate to the main character? Did you feel her/his pain or excitement?
4. Did the setting interest you, and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you?
5. Was there a point at which you felt the story started to lag or you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next? Where, exactly?
6. Were there any parts that confused you? Or even frustrated or annoyed you? Which parts, and why?
7. Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, character details, or other details?
8. Were the characters believable? Are there any characters you think could be made more interesting or more likeable?
9. Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few? Are any of the names or characters too similar?
10. Did the dialogue keep your interest and sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial or not like that person would speak?
11. Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Maybe too much dialogue in parts?
12. Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest?
13. Was the ending satisfying? Believable?
14. Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors? Examples?
15. Do you think the writing style suits the genre? If not, why not?

And if beta readers want to go the extra mile, there are more specific optional questions below for both nonfiction and fiction:
1. Which scenes/paragraphs/lines did you really like?
2. Which parts did you dislike or not like as much, and why?
3. Are there parts where you wanted to skip ahead or put the book down?
4. Which parts resonated with you and/or moved you emotionally?
5. Which parts should be condensed or even deleted?
6. Which parts should be elaborated on or brought more to life?
7. Are there any confusing parts? What confused you?
8. Which characters did you really connect to?
9. Which characters need more development or focus?

Qualities we are looking for in beta readers:
Beta readers should be avid readers of books in Christian genres, either fiction or nonfiction. You should be able to read a book of 350 words or less in about two weeks. Readers should be able to give honest yet constructive feedback, critique, or clarification on the books they are reading. They should be able to receive materials via email and/or downloading from the Internet. You should be willing to check emails at least once a day for information from us. While beta readers are rewarded with free books to read, this is not a program for those who simply want free books. Readers must provide constructive feedback in order to be eligible to receive further books from us. Readers must keep the books they are issued confidential and not share the books with anyone outside of Dove Christian Publishers.

How are books delivered?
We deliver electronic copies of our books in PDF or Word format. Paperback versions are not available under the beta readers program; however, a reader who has successfully submitted feedback for a book can request a free final published paperback copy of the book.
What’s next?

Go to the below web page to submit your application for our beta reader program. We will review your application within 3-4 business days and let you know whether or not your application has been approved. Upon approval, readers will receive books that are closely aligned with your interests as expressed in the application.

Dove Christian Publishers Beta Reader Application

Further questions? Contact us at publishing at dovechristianpublishers.com