Screenplays and non-fiction articles and papers—even masters- and doctoral thesis papers—go through a peer-review process or some other form of manuscript accreditation. There is no real system in place for a similar process for fiction manuscripts, or even a standard by which such manuscripts can be judged. Publishers typically employ a number of individuals who read hundreds, if not thousands, of manuscript submissions every year only to find and publish what amounts to .01–3% of the submitted manuscripts. Thus, publishers spend multiple thousands of dollars each year to sift through thousands of manuscripts to find the 10–30 books that are “worthy” of publishing. The process is incredibly inefficient, yet critically important to ensuring a solid offering to the demanding public.
Beta|Read can help
The real power behind Beta|Read’s manuscript review services centers around the “Level 3” designation. A manuscript that is “Level 3” has been found to be exemplary in form, language, plot, and a number of other criteria. The purpose of the “Level 3” designation is for authors (either self-published or those looking for traditional routes) to move forward with a sense of confidence that their solicitation efforts will be met warmly.
For publishers, a “Level 3” manuscript signifies that reading it is worth your resources for consideration. While a Level 3 accreditation is not a “success guarantee,” it does mean that your resources in judging the manuscript won’t be misguided or wasted.
Level 3 manuscripts can and will likely contain some copy errors, and is not meant to be construed as “print-ready.” We recognize that there is still a degree of care needed, including formatting, for a manuscript to be ready for publication. Different publishers have different styles and different requirements for books they accept; for this reason, Beta|Read has a reasonable understanding of these occurrences where they may appear.
What does it mean for authors who fall short of a “Level 3” designation?
It doesn’t mean that the manuscript isn’t good, but it does mean that there is notable room for improvement. Receiving a Level 1 or Level 2 can also be a valuable result. A Beta|Read review can serve as a clear direction for the manuscript. A Level 1 or Level 2 designation can serve as assurance that your time and resources would be best utilized in editing and rewriting rather than expanding efforts to submit manuscripts that are not likely to be picked up.