Last week I used a beta reader for the first time. Based on internet research, I was under the impression that beta’s were either free or very reasonable. Maybe $20 or a free copy of the book once published. Something along those lines. Beta buyer beware.
I posted on Goodreads looking for a beta. Someone contacted me. Since he indicated he is a freelance writer and editor, I emailed back asking if he was volunteering to beta read or offering his services. (Volunteer: a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. ) He said beta read, then quoted a cost which I wrongly assumed was his normal editing fee. (50 cents per 300 words). So, my search for a volunteer beta reader, with the current exchange rate, will cost me about $87.
What did I get for $87? About 6 comments in an email. Was it worth it? I’d say NO WAY JOSÉ. Huge mis-communication. He’s not trying to pull one over on me, it just wasn’t clear to me that I would be billed in the end.
This has totally put me off ever looking for a beta reader again. Lesson learned? Make sure everything is spelled out down to the tiniest detail before you engage a beta. Ask every question imaginable, then ask a few more.