Jorie | the Beta Reader

Calling Card created by Jorie in Canva.


My journey into being a beta & alpha reader for authors!

A newfound passion of helping authors understand how their stories are resonating with ‘first readers’ & potentially helping them fine tune the bones of their narrative to articulate their vision for their stories. I appreciate being able to give honest feedback that points to potential issues & suggest ways in which the flow of the narrative can be improved to sound better as it’s read for the first time.

This page is being updated per each beta/alpha project I undertake, with feedback directly from the authors reflecting how I was able to help them with their writerly pursuits.

I appreciate your consideration in seeking my help

with your story; WRITE on!

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Beta Reader Badge created by Jorie in Canva

I was honoured to become part of the Beta Reading Team for the serial fiction series “The Gin Thief” in July 2014. It has been an incredible experience to help an author see how the words he’s written translates to a reader and as a reader whose a writer herself, the honour has been mine to give feedback to help the story evolve.

“The Gin Thief” is projected to be a story told through 7 serial editions. I betaread for Volume 1: Becoming Scarlet whose publication date is: 2 November, 2014 for the paperback edition. The serial is cross-released in ebook formats as well.

I will continue to betaread for Mr. Barrus as long as the serial proceeds forward and my contributions are warranted to aide his writings. (*By January 2015, Mr Barrus had taken a break from writing the rest of the series and therefore my participation was suspended until such a time where he could complete the series.)

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Jorie was one of the beta readers for my serial The Gin Thief. Her insight was fantastic, and her unique perspective added a depth to the feedback I received from my beta readers that simply would not have been there without her. Her comments were frequent, thorough, and insightful. She understood the tone of the story, the complexities of the characters, and the rhythm of the plot, and offered valuable feedback in all these areas and more. I fully expect to utilize Jorie’s talents as a beta reader again, and can confidently give her my highest recommendation.

– S.C. Barrus February, 2015

Review originally posted on Bibliocrunch; republished with author’s permission

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Why I believe I am a good ‘betareader’ for an author:

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. (see also #LibraryLoot, No.2 for more about my reviewing style)

I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013, I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. A year later, in Autumn 2014 I became a betareader for S.C. Barrus on behalf of his serial steampunk series “The Gin Thief”; of which I helped him on Volume 1 which became published in both ebook and print editions.

I am not merely ‘beta reading’ the story, as I am looking over the manuscript with the eyes of an early proofreading editor based on my own personal experience as a writer whose a voracious reader. To see a preview of how I interpret stories from a reader, please visit my Story Vault, as you can scroll by Genre to find a potential match to your own style of story-telling.

You will also note I am a hybrid reader of both mainsteam and INSPY (Inspirational) literature – for more information about which INSPY authors I am seeking out kindly visit my *70 Authors Challenge*!

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Additional Skills:

Book Blogger | Marketing: Blog Tour Hostess | Author Interviewer

Author Street Team (Brenda S. Anderson) + (Nicole Evelina) | Book Cheerleader

Joyfully Bookish Tweeter & Bookish Conversationalist

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My approach to Beta Reading:

I work on manuscript drafts in Word using the Track Changes app, wherein the writer can see in-line edits as well as comment/story/character/etc. suggestions in the margins. I was a writer before I was a reader, which is why as I read I view stories through the lens of both equally. I am seeking the following within the narrative, dialogue and structure of the story itself:

* Checking for pace and flow of the overall conception of story; continuity is important
* Fluidity for character interaction and narrative voice
* Back-story evolution between past, present, and future of where story shifts through arc or character journey
* Definition and full-bodied presence of who the character is vs. how the character translates to the reader
* Scope of the setting and the visual elements of the world-building

* Compelling interest in reading the story based on what is written; does it grab me by context, curiosity, suspense, or an aspect stemming out of synopsis that translates to chapters

* Consideration for violence, vulgarity, and other explicit elements that may or may not befit the choice of genre and/or type of story for thematic choice. Consideration taken per genre/thematic, whilst being openly honest about my own impression and interpretation based on how the ‘story and characters’ read to me, whilst providing honest feedback on how it reflects as I internalise the story. I do accept reading manuscripts outside my own comfort zones whilst honouring the choice to accept it, yet seeking an open-minded writer who will accept critical feedback if need be. This provides a wider net of where the story will be accepted across reader to writer influences for other readers who are seeking stories in new genres and/or literary wanderings.

NOTE: Mild to moderate stronger language is acceptable; if your story is writ explicitly to the extreme please seek a different beta reader. Likewise if you use the f word quite liberally, I am not the betareader for your project. Similarly if you write explicit graphic violence and/or grisly bits of suspense, mystery, or historical fiction please seek a different betareader. Prime examples of what I flag in stories I read as working against what I accept are threaded on my blog under the category “Fly in the Ointment“. I do recommend you read my Review Policy as what is disclosed not only stipulates what I accept for reviewing purposes but does translate to betareading.

* Overall conception and believably of the story is foremost important, including but not limited to the style of words as pertinent to the era and/or setting of the story; if your basing your Fantasy world on the Victorian age for instance (as I happen to love Steampunk), it has to have certain ‘clues’ to that time setting. You can take liberty and freedom to evolve this into it’s own unique bent on the setting, but certain elements such as word choice and/or wardrobe, mode of transportation and energy sources need to remain ‘relevant’.

I am a reader who seeks out characters who etch themselves into my mind’s eye and draw me forward into their internal and external journey within the context of where a novella and/or novel can lead me to travel. I seek out well-established worlds whose setting and backbone confluence of ‘time’ and ‘presence’ is well-lit by the companion of having narrative that shines a light on ‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘how’ this world translates through not only the character(s) themselves but how the writer interprets this world to the reader’s point of view.

I am willing to work with authors I have previously read and/or reviewed. I already have a strong sense about their writing style, voice and tone. Even if they change genre or literary styling, I feel I am a betareader to consider as I have established a ready interest in following their writerly careers. If you are an author I have read previously do not hesitate to contact me for a future beta project; you will not be disappointed as you also already know how I read and digest the stories I am reading.

For these reasons, I am not merely ‘beta reading’ the story, as I am looking over the manuscript with the eyes of an early proofreading editor based on my own personal experience as a writer whose a voracious reader.

It’s full confidential non-disclosure on my end. I never share anything about a beta project I take-on until either the author gives me the greenlight and/or the book is published. I do mention I am ‘betareading’ on Twitter on occasion but I do not reveal for which author (unless I gain author’s permission to disclose) nor do I talk about the story itself. It’s merely a nod of an update to alert other writers I am a betareader who enjoys the work she is sent by writers who trust her betareading skills.

*coincidentally, my ‘approach’ is outlined on Wikipedia: *further more, my style is also outlined as a Content Editor on Chron: Stay At Home Jobs with Publishing Companies


Terms ahead of Project Acceptance:

  • Prefer to use Dropbox for sharing your files back and forth.

* Preference for a manuscript in Word and/or WPS (rather than PDF)
* Turn-around is based on length of the manuscript
* Available to be reached via DM (on Twitter) and/or PM (email) if need arises for in-project questions/enquiries/updates
* Ability to print the manuscript to read and conduct first reading edits/notes
* I will update the edits/notes directly to the original doc sent to me with Track Changes/Sideline Notes turnt on

  • If your story only needs a ‘first reader’ test to see how your story is resonating with your projected audience without needing copy edits or suggestive corrections, I can return feedback on pacing, continuity, thematic elements and how the character is presenting it’s journey whilst how I felt overall reading the story for the first time. As well as focusing on what I disclosed above in ‘my approach to betareading’; thereby giving you a layered opinion on how the story held it’s core of narrative.

* Complimentary copy of the finished book in print (as I would love to see how my betareading benefited the writer to help curate a better story) // if available

  • I am humbled by authors wanting to include me as a betareader in their Acknowledgements Section. I only request to be attributed as: Jorie Story (

(* reason for ability to print: any manuscript of a considerable length needs to be read in print not digital; this is for my own ability to consume your story in a way I can read and interpret what is written. It remains confidential and inclusive to me and will never be shared.)

NOTE: If the manuscript is of considerable length, I will ask for an Advanced Draft and/or ARC (print copy) for reading purposes where I will make notations and notes as I read the story. I will require a secondary copy in Word in order to upload the notes directly with Track Changes to send back.

  • Once I submit my notes on a betaread, I do not provide advice or feedback on an author’s submission’s process. I acknowledge I know of publishers who publish certain genres, but this is strictly from a reader’s observation but not privy to information in regards to submit a query. Authors must follow publisher submission processes and wait out the query process therein. I do not provide advice on how to pitch publishers or anything connected to the submissions process itself. I do hope an author I’ve worked with will respect my role as their betareader as an early proofreading editor/first reader perspective of analysis (as outlined on this page) and realise I hope their story will find a publisher who believes in their story. However, it would be a conflict of interest for me to comment further once an author exits the betareading stage of their writing and starts to seek publication and/or representation by an agent. I do appreciate a follow-up after publication, knowing a story I helped the author edit has been published.

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I look forward to discussing your project.

I work as a freelance (pro bono) betareader from the United States.

I accept projects from the USA, Canada & the UK.

I will consider projects from Australia & New Zealand.

I personally write in a hybrid style of American & British English. I feel I would be a good match for writers who write in variants of my native language.

It should be noted – if your a writer outside the regions of concentration I am seeking beta-work, please submit your query and let’s discuss your beta project.

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Genres I do not accept under any circumstances:

Erotica and Horror*

*I will entertain Cosy Horror (see this post for definition, I created the terminology!)

Read my review of Corvidae to better understand the scope of what I consider ‘Cosy Horror’.

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Calling Card created by Jorie in Canva.

I look forward to working with you,

if you feel I would be a good fit for your betareading needs.

Revised: JUNE, 2020.

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Completed Betaread Projects:

The Gin Thief:  Epi. 1 Steampunk Serial,
142 pages
by S.C. Barrus July 2014  Published:
2 Nov
*Working Title
YA Spy Thriller series,
Book One | 188 pages
by Doug Solter | @DougSolter August 2016  30 Sept
“The GEMS:
Spies Like Me”
Peach Literary Introspective Fiction, 633 pages
2 in 1: Peach & Orange
by W.S. Barton | @waynesbarton Sept & Oct 2016

27 Nov


Prequel to PEACH Literary Introspective Fiction, 225 pages
by W.S. Barton | @waynesbarton Spring/Summer 2017 TBA
*Working Title Memoir, Non-Fiction by Duane Pannell | @pannellbytes January 2018 TBA 
Grim Curio Dystopian, Eco SF
Chapter 1
by S.C. Barrus 7th January, 2018  TBA
Grim Curio Dystopian, Eco SF
Chapters 2-3, 4-5
by S.C. Barrus 23rd January, 2018  TBA
Beneath a Camperdown Elm | The Trails of Reba Cahill Series Book 3  INSPY Western,
full beta, 3 chapters
*reading books 1 & 2 for continuity, pace & serial overtures ahead of the chapters for beta
by Janet Chester Bly | @BlyBooks
1st July, 2018  TBA
Trad YA | Dark Urban Fantasy & Southern Gothic w/ Voodoo traditions/culture
Continuity, Pacing, Character Development, Plotting & Climax Revelation 361 pages  by Jesse
Amelia Gallow @jagallowbooks
30th October, 2018 Seeking
1st in Series

NOTES: (full betaread): The Treasonous | YA Magical Realism (Clean!), TBA | by Rachael Ritchey | @RachaelRitchey – was cancelled due to personal health reasons; instead I am reading this series for review on my blog and look forward to another project with Ms Ritchey in the future where I can assist her with betareading. Likewise, I had to bow out of the second half of the PREQUEL to PEACH in Autumn 2017. I intended to stay with the Grim Curio project through to completion – however, I had to return my remarks on behalf of the second installment without continuing forward due to the graphic nature of events and the undertone of the story-line which was pushing me outside my level of comfortability. It was a complete surprise to have this reaction having previously worked with Mr Barrus on The Gin Thief but I did hope the notes I had returnt were of use. The third installment of chapters were sent in error & were received ahead of my notes for Chapters 2-3.

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Feedback & Praise on my Betareading Projects: from 2016 & beyond:

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Your notes are very good and helpful. You’ve challenged many things which I like, it makes me think hard about why certain things are not coming across clearly as they should and I appreciate that. I do agree with the title. I’m going to go with my original idea of doing titles in this series that are playful tributes to other James Bond Books and other spy movies. It’s straight forward and a reader can immediately identify what kind of book it is. For the first book in the series, I think this is very important.

Again, thank you so much for your notes and feedback.

– Doug Solter, author of The Gems YA Spy Novel Series

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One thing any writer requires during the creation process is an honest and impartial pair of eyes. Jorie is thorough, honest and insightful; I found engaging her services as a beta-reader invaluable as she gave in-depth reasons to why she highlighted elements of my manuscript. I would work with Jorie every time if I could and I’d recommend her to anyone who is writing a novel.

– Wayne Barton, author of PEACH

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Thank you so very much for all your comments and edits! Greatly appreciated and going to be very useful to my story completion! So glad you were able to take time to read Book 1 & Book 2 also, to catch the full flow of the story thus far.

– Janet Chester Bly, author of Beneath a Camperdown Elm

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Thank you thank you thank you for all of your feedback. I read through it all quickly in my excitement and I love your suggestions! I feel like I am so close to the story that sometimes It hard to see the flaws and where I can do better. I am so grateful for the time and attention that you spent on this, it is insanely helpful and I’m just beyond words!!!

I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed my story and the characters and I am pumped to go through with your suggestions in hand and make another round of edits. 

– Jesse Gallow, writer of a YA Dark Urban Fantasy & Southern Gothic

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NOTE: Shortly before February 2018 until June 2020 – I was unfortunately unable to finish my last three betareads due to health reasons (ie. chronic migraines). From January-June 2020 after seeing a positive reduction in my migraines, I’ve decided to re-emerge into betareading.

→ currently accepting a beta project – june 2020

MG Fiction | MG Fantasy | #dragonfiction | coming-of age
| pen pal friendship* | bullies/bullied | LGBTQ+ Children’s Lit
| time frame: 4 to 5 weeks |
| projected end: 18th JULY | *accepted: 12th JUNE

by (debut) author Jake Fluekiger (@jake_fluekiger)
(ref: tweet synopsis) | interesting fact: the author & I share a love of horses
(*) Letters & Correspondences have been in my life since I was eleven

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no new projects to begin until after 12th august, 2020 – you can query me about your beta/alpha read project(s) – however, I won’t begin the project til after this date. Booking in advance is a must as I’m limiting myself to 4x projects per year. and/or 2x projects per author 4x times per year but not exceeding this quantity.

Query Me for the following (quarterly betas):

JUNE – AUGUST 2020 (*booked)

(*holiday break* // no bookings for DEC)

2021 (quarterly betas):

APR-MAY 2021

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I will be reaching out to all authors listed JUNE 2020.

[Tentative] British Mystery | Author TBA | time frame open-ended | projected: after Nano2018

HistNov | Midwife | Women’s Fiction | @meganolavarria | 3 Chapters Beta | *open deadline
after the first three chapters, could receive full manuscript for betareading

Realistic YA | based on true events | @RachelMODay | 145 pages +
MG HistFic | based on local events (of author) | @RachelMODay |

Realistic Literary Fantasy YA | 11 Chapters, Plus Epilogue | @EisforEarnest |

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Fill out my form below and let’s talk about your project!

All projects will be considered and I will respond to let you know if your project is a good fit for me. Likewise, a few beta projects will be sought out as authors I’m already familiar with are seeking out betas for their currently WIPs.

Please NOTE: I am being highly selective and am limiting my beta projects to one per quarter until further notice. Please contact me to talk about my openings and my schedule. // June 2020

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All Betareading Requests are moderated. By using the Betareading Request form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website. Your personal information is hidden and never shared.

Read my Privacy Policy.

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