Should Beta Readers Be Paid for Their Services?

reviewing a book
Image by CollegeDegrees360 for

“I’m a freebie – but sometimes I like to ask for a beta read in exchange – not often, just occasionally!”

“Beta reading is such an invaluable part of the writing process.”

“I beta read because I love to read. For me, it is the best of both worlds; free books and getting to help someone with something that is important to them. Some authors offer to acknowledge their betas in the published book. I think that is a very nice gesture.”

“The time and effort, which make BR meaningful must be recognized and duly compensated, much the same way as proofing or editing. As the first step, I always insist on my GR profile and Blog being thoroughly scrutinised and questions asked, before moving any further.”

Find the rest of the Goodreads discussion here.

These are just a few comments beta readers have made on

But what do beta readers do- really?

According to The Creative,

Beta readers read your book prior to it going to the printer. You could also use them before submission to an agent or publisher. They read the manuscript for comment on the structure, characters, plot as well as grammar/spelling or anything else they notice that may need revision.

Many beta readers say , “Hey. We are bookworms. Reading is the pleasure. We should do it for free. And weare not even editors! “

Should you start charging for beta reading?


But wait.

Before you start doing the happy dance. Pause for a minute. Think about what you are offering.

  • If you are reading a book for pleasure whether it is free or bought, then you should not charge for reading it.
  • If a friend, family member, or some random author considers you as part of their “beta readers circle” and you agree knowing there is no money in it, then it is all on you. You knew you’d be working for free.
  • But if you are a beta reader that is willing to offer criticisms on structure, character, grammar/spelling, etc. then you should be compensated for it. Period. People do have a life and would like a little compensation for their efforts. Now whether this is monetary or not is up to you.

On one hand, I enjoy the freebies and I will continue to review for free for most publishers.

These are just my thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “Should Beta Readers Be Paid for Their Services?

  1. I beta read for free, but it’s for the people who beta read my own stuff without compensation. It’s nice to find non-writer family friends who will read for you, but that’s why I think it’s important to have friends, or a group, where you can trade off, so it’s more of a group effort.

  2. Hi! Thanks for commenting and you are absolutely right. Writing and reading is definitely a group effort and offering to read for free, within those parameters, is showing love to the artist. 😀

    I think the getting paid is strictly for those other situations or personal goals.

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