Posted in A to Z challenge, beta, review

B is for … Book Reviews & Beta Reading

 BAs a keen reader and  ‘best friends’ with Amazon’s One-Click, I purchase books on a regular basis, usually in multiples of three (don’t ask me why, but as the saying goes: ‘things always happen in threes’) Anyway, as a result I constantly get emails asking me to rate my experience with the books I’ve bought.

So, rather  than just add my review to Amazon, I decided to create a blog for that very purpose. Then I found Goodreads and ended up adding reviews there too. More recently I’ve discovered NetGalley and am reviewing books as a ‘professional reader’ (I love that expression!) Hence, my ‘book reviewer’ life began.

However, not content with reviewing the finished articles, I realised that to be a better writer myself, I needed feedback on my own efforts. Somehow, this backfired (or rather, I chickened out!) as I volunteered to beta read for other writers instead. The idea was that I would learn how other writers put together  their stories and, in doing so, would improve my own storytelling skills.

What transpired, however, was the revelation that I am incapable of merely beta-reading. Whilst I can highlight inconsistencies with plot lines or query character traits, I am compelled to also point out spelling and grammar issues, which means I wind up proofreading and even editing to some extent. I am unable to let such things pass me by without commenting. Yet, the writers for whom I do ‘beta-read’ are chuffed to pieces with my extra offerings, as these come to light usually well before they hire a paid editor! If only I could be as productive and helpful with my own writing! Ah well, one day ….perhaps 🙂



Dreams can come true and mine was to live in Spain forever and ever ....  Well, after studying languages many years ago I became totally enamoured with all things Spanish, I finally made the big move for a more 'relaxed' lifestyle in 2003.  Since then, I have been teaching Spanish to Ex-pats and translating. Also, I trained as a Community Manager (Social Media) so that I have a genuine excuse to be on Facebook, Twitter and the Internet for hours on end, but then I started to write. My first attempt was for NaNo 2012 with 'The Nasrid Charm' (a story set in Spain and the Afterlife.) Like most first drafts, this is in need of serious revision and has been placed on the backburner, while I pursue my mystery stories. I'll get back to it - one day :) 

7 thoughts on “B is for … Book Reviews & Beta Reading

  1. Beta-readers like you are a special gift from God. 🙂

    A friend of mine is beta-reading my very first YA novel, and while he is reading, he always ends up editing my work as well. Two birds with one stone! There’s a special place in all dedication/acknowledgment pages for people like you all!

  2. Professional reader!!! I’m (easily) impressed. Just kidding – you done a great job of prgressing your passion into new levels of expertise. I would be like you – the misuse of grammar, current practice of turning nouns into verbs, and punctuation errors would distract me from the broader objective.

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