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What’s the difference between beta reading and a manuscript assessment?

The differences between beta reading and manuscript assessment are…

Beta readers come from all walks of life and industries. They need to be well-read but are not usually editors. The level of detail in their assessment of your manuscript (MS), and whether they provide a written report or only verbal feedback, will depend on the beta reading business or individual.

On the other hand, manuscript assessments are conducted by suitably qualified editors. A manuscript assessment should be quite detailed, and  address all the structural issues and issues of style (e.g. if fiction: point of view, character arcs, plot and other aspects; if non-fiction: voice, pace, consistency, structure).

The difference between a beta reading report and a manuscript assessment report

The beta reading report (written or verbal) is provided by a beta reader. It reflects the beta reader’s views about the MS, based on their experience and the types of books they have read. Different beta readers are likely to have different views because they have different experiences and levels of comprehension.

The manuscript assessment report is provided by a qualified editor. It is a thorough and detailed assessment of all aspects of the MS. An MS assessment report is a professional assessment of the MS. The editor who conducts the  manuscript assessment will be able to clearly tell you about all the issues that need to be addressed.

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