Author Topic: Developmental Beta: Now Booking August  (Read 1600 times)

Blerg et al.

Developmental Beta: Now Booking August
« on: September 27, 2018, 11:31:37 AM »
I am so excited to be here! Thanks to everyone involved. Loving the new forum!


Developmental Beta Read: $5 per 1,000 words (Most popular service.)
Includes heavy developmental editing, some line edits, feedback on the plot and characters, comments throughout your manuscript, and a 2-4 page editorial letter.  A Dev Beta is equivalent to 1/3 of a full Developmental Edit. Average read is 5-10 days.


Full Dev Edit: $varies
Multiple passes of my Developmental Beta are equivalent to a Full Dev Edit.
Final drafts will only need two passes. Early drafts will require three.  So the cost is $10-$14 per thousand words depending on how many passes I do.
Added benefit of breaking it up like this is that you can do line edits or rewriting in between passes.



How it works:
I'm big on actionable critique. I don't tell you that something is bad, we figure out why it isn't working and where to fix it.

Maybe the pacing doesn't match the tone, narrative focus is in the wrong place, no motivation, stilted dialog, a million little variables. We don't scrap the chapter. We make it work.

I get really into my authors' books. I follow their releases and cheer them on.



---
Bio:

I've been editing for other authors since I graduated college in 2009 (and in workshops long before that). A friend in publishing was sending novels for me to work on. I charged $500 a book and made just enough to pay the rent. (At the time I lived on a leaky sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico and got around by bicycle, so it didn't take much to keep afloat.) That lasted a few years, then I was a professional artist, a wildlife researcher for a couple of summers, and wrote and published my own books. These days I'm living in the Keys, where the snorkeling is fantastic. I have a real job, a dry-land apartment, and a lovely long-time girlfriend who doesn't mind me spending all my time playing with words.
Editing isn't a hobby anymore. It's been my part-time job for over a year now. In 2018 I'm going full-time and there's going to be a lot more travel in our lives.

Just got my webpage up. It says the exact same thing as this post, but there is a contact form on there as well as links to my own books and my art business. (March 2018 I'm remodeling, so certain parts of the webpage may be down or not working correctly at times.) http://www.dustinporta.com/editing.html

You can post here if you're interested, or pm me.

---
What genres do you take?

Oh gosh, lets see...

I have the most experience with epic fantasy.
I've also done urban fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, and litrpg.
I have less experience but still enjoy working with: erotica, romance and mystery.

I'd really like a good military fantasy or historical romance. Maybe an alternate history with fantasy elements.

Genres I don't do: space marines (because I don't know military jargon), modern thriller, spy and superhero (doesn't hold my interest), literary and nonfiction (because I don't mix work and pleasure), young adult and new adult (but I will read middle-grade).

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 10:34:06 PM by Blerg et al. »
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

vale

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 06:36:16 PM »
My review from the old place, which I still stand by. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I don't mind talking about my experience with Dustin.
------

I just wanted to take a moment to chime in. When Dustin was offering a few limited slots for beta reads I happened to get the slot and he went through one of my books.  My experiences were all positive. The turn around time was reasonable, even fast. I've had a few others look through the book, and he found their problems and more. What's more, his input made it easy to fix the problems. Sometimes with a beta reader (especially a friend/family/pet cat), while they know they have a problem, they aren't sure exactly where the problem started and why they feel the way they do. So even where Dustin found problems I was aware of, it was much easier to fix them.

And he found a lot of problems other people hadn't found, but which resonated with me. They were things I wanted to fix. He even had useful cover input.

I went into this wondering about the experience and how useful it would be. Curiosity was enough for me to put my hat into the ring to see what his beta reads were like, and I was convinced of the value. I plan to use him for the second book in the series and look forward to what he has to say. My spouse/friends/cat are enough to get my book to a good place, and Dustin's beta read is enough to get the story to where I want it for publication.

If anyone has any questions about my experience with Dustin, feel free to reach out to me.
 
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Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 10:37:04 AM »
Thanks Vale! :catrun
Cut and paste is all I've had time to do as well. Too busy this week to contribute to the new board, but still excited to lurk someplace new.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 03:34:28 AM »
I've had a slot open up next month. Anyone with a last minute project?
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 05:28:45 AM »
Took a break from the editing to go to Necronomicon science fiction and horror conference in Tampa.

Anyone who hasn't been to a conference, I highly recommend them. The panels e are fun, though you can learn just as much watching youtube for a weekend. More important is the perspective you get.

It's amazing how many people have never considered self publishing. I would say nine out of ten writers I talk to at conferences are going the traditional route. People say we're not in the kindle gold rush days anymore, but I still think indie publishing is in its early stages. And I for one am glad to get my foot in the door before the rest of these authors start to self-publish.

None of this really relates to my editing thread except to serve as a reminder that we should all be constantly improving our work and refining our process.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 12:27:30 AM »
Have a few openings in December. Maybe one in November. January is looking to be pretty busy.

Hoping for a little relaxation this week, then I can contribute to this damn forum. I want it to succeed, but I also sometimes avoid the internet like the plague so... umm... hang in there, I'll be a regular contributor, but sporadically.  :banana-riding-llama-smiley-em
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Beta Reading and More
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 08:45:20 AM »
November is full but December still has openings for Developmental Beta Reading.

I might start offering basic beta reads again.

i.e. A few notes per chapter, and a short summary of feedback. Not as intensive or expensive as my Developmental Beta and turnaround time of a couple days instead of a week.

I'm thinking $50 for a 5,000 word book. Will float the idea here and if people like it I'll add it to my website.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Insightful Beta Reading/Editing/Idea Bouncer-Offer
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 07:09:06 AM »
December is almost here.

I've worked with some great authors this year. Got to read some awesome books, and will continue to work on some cool series.

If you're thinking about next year, now is a good time to reserve a spot.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 11:22:00 AM by Blerg et al. »
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Insightful Beta Reading/Editing/Idea Bouncer-Offer
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2018, 04:37:32 AM »
Looks like it's going to be a busy year.

January and December are fully booked up.

If you'd like to get on the schedule for February, now is the time.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2018, 06:45:58 AM »
Is it Christmas already? Wow. Thanks, everyone for a fantastic year. :banana-riding-llama-smiley-em :banana-riding-llama-smiley-em :banana-riding-llama-smiley-em

I've worked on more than thirty of your books this year: long and short, series and standalone, first draft and final, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, romance, "active" romance(some might say too active). It's always a challenge and certainly a pleasure. Even when I'm pulling my hair out and cursing your name, I'm loving every bit of it. I like to think that I make a difference and I take great pride in having had some small part in the worlds you create.

Honestly can't imagine how next year could top this one, but I'm eager to find out.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 12:48:59 AM »
More of the same.
February is looking pretty full now.

March is still wide open.
If I go full time I'll have a few more slots opening up around then.

(My own books are doing pretty well this week, off of a fussylibrarian promo. But I don't advertise or publish very frequently, so any attention is good by my standards.)

It was a good week for podcasts, with everyone doing their 2019 predictions. I'm really enjoying this sfifi fantasy marketing podcast episode that I'm listening to today. And the sell more books show had a fun one too. Guess now I'll have to check out what Johanna Penn is up to this year and the SPP guys.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Felix R. Savage

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2019, 10:52:42 AM »
Dustin is a great dev editor. I've only used him for one book but I expect I'll be returning for more in the future. He's especially good at untangling character arcs and fixing plot holes.

Now I will be honest here. This is not the deep-dive editing that you would get if you paid $1,500 per book to a really top-tier editor. But, Dustin doesn't charge $1,500 or anything near it. So I would say his services are great value for money, and could be exactly what you need if you are either new to getting developmental edits, or a pro who is pretty confident about your work and just needs to take it from "acceptable" to "Wow!"
 
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Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2019, 04:51:03 AM »
Thanks! Glad to see you here.  :goodpost: :goodpost:

---

Scheduling Updates:

Booked up until March

Authors who hire me for late-series books: I'm still willing to read early books for free, but I have to work around my schedule, so now more than ever it helps to book ahead.

----
Note: 2019 Price increase. I'm still putting in a lot of work for not much pay, doing something I love, but this should bring things into alignment and allow me to go full time. This does not apply to existing clients. Some clients will see a small increase, but not without their approval and tons of advance notice.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 10:49:21 PM by Blerg et al. »
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Thaiphoon

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2019, 02:38:44 PM »
As a first time author, I literally had zero beta readers at the time that Dustin performed a Dev Edit for me. He identified parts of the story that he wanted to read more of. And many parts of the story that needed work, or just needed to be deep-sixed. As a result of his suggestions, I was able to craft a better story (his suggestions even kicked off a few additional ideas of my own) and my beta readers lapped it up (yes I got a few beta readers, finally).

I am so happy with his work that we just hooked up for Book 2 in my series and he is going to perform a more full edit on Book 1 now that it has come back from my beta readers.

I whole-heartedly recommend his services!
 
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Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2019, 05:01:39 AM »
 :writethink:

A lot of people were talking about craft last year. Hoping to see more of it. Also hoping to see more indies start craft podcasts like writing excuses. https://writingexcuses.com/ Course these aren't indie authors, but I like the podcast a lot, and Sanderson is always respectful when he talks about self publishing.


Keeping my head down and working hard this month.
Open to all genres but: Still hoping for another Space Opera series to balance out the large amount of fantasy I've been reading lately.
Remember, you can book me for later books in a series and I'll read the early books for free, so I'm all caught up when I start my edit/beta.

I am so happy with his work that we just hooked up for Book 2 in my series and he is going to perform a more full edit on Book 1 now that it has come back from my beta readers.

I whole-heartedly recommend his services!

Thanks for the endorsement! I'm excited to get started.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 05:17:29 AM by Blerg et al. »
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2019, 08:41:20 AM »
Still trying to plan ahead and book some edits later in the spring/early summer. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to talk about your books.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 01:11:33 AM »
I just quit my day job.

Pretty damn excited. And nervous.

I've got enough edits lined up to keep the lights on until April. My last day of work is Feb 28 and I'm hoping the extra hours toward editing will allow me to add an additional editing slot and take on more clients.

It's fascinating to know that I play a small part in such a large cross section of the community. Especially reading new books in a series and thinking "I helped name that character!" or "I'm the reason that town is on the coast and not in the mountains." Silly stuff but fun to think of all the books I've had my hands on.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Dustin's Developmental
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 02:08:38 AM »
Well, things are getting busy.

This is my last week at the day job. And I have taken on extra edits leading up to march.

I'm really hoping that march will be easy, because February was hard.

I do not have any more openings in march, but I should have one more in april and two in may.

What I would like most is to get to a point where I can offer a couple of freebie edits again, or discounts. Will see what this new lifestyle allows for. A lot depends on how many of those old day job days can be turned into productive editing sessions.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

First day full time editor!

Thanks everyone. Looking forward to a good year.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

bookworm

Congrats!
 
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Blerg et al.

So far so good. I have managed to add a couple extra days of editing and to get my last few edits done more quickly. I'm far enough ahead to open extra editing slots in April but they already filled so... Y'all keeping me on my toes.   :catrun
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Looks like I have one slot left in may. Book it while you can.
I'm getting to a point where 90% of my slots are taken up by repeat customers. Anyone new who wants to get in will want to plan ahead.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: I love reading your books!
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2019, 08:35:07 AM »
I've had a couple of edits get pushed back. I might have a slot opening up at the end of April. Any last minute takers? I'm hoping for some litrpg or old school traditional fantasy. Haven't read much litrpg but I'm starting to get more into it.

10% discount for anyone who brings me litrpg.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 08:38:37 AM by Blerg et al. »
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Developmental Beta: Now Booking August
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2019, 12:46:32 AM »
June and July are full. Now booking August.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading
 

Blerg et al.

Re: Developmental Beta: Now Booking August
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2019, 10:49:07 PM »
Raised my rates again.
Not for existing clients. I try to keep those rates the same for as long as possible.

$5 has been a long time coming. I've been saying for years that once I get to $5, I'm making minimum wage, and here we are!

I joke, but it's true. However, if I was taking the traditional route I'd expect to spend even longer working internships and reading slush. So just like you, I'm grateful for the opportunities offered by indie publishing. And the last few years has been fun, even when I was doing free edits just to get my name out there.

So thanks for your confidence WS friends. I'll give you one last week to lock in my old rate of $4 per thousand words. And if you book four months in advance or two books at once I'll take an additional 1%0 off.
Have I mentioned I edit books?
Dustin's Developmental Beta Reading