Editors, Beta Readers and the Rise of the Sharing Economy

Just as taxis face unprecedented competition from ride sharing companies, professional freelance editors are finding they now must compete with a deep pool of beta readers – highly qualified editors, university professors, English PhD’s, and sharp-eyed readers willing to proof and provide feedback about an author’s work for little or no money.

As the founder of BetaReader.us I provide a forum for this literary sharing economy – helping match everyone from book doctors to video producers with writers of all professional statures.

While this is a wonderful resource for indie-authors, don’t let any tell you they would not rather be published by a big house and work with a professional team to polish, distribute and promote their book. Signed authors also use the BetaReader Journal and BetaReader Bulletin Board to supplement services they receive from their publisher – crowdsourcing editing, proofreading and promotion needs. And why not if it is low/no cost?

Of all the sectors of the new literary sharing economy the most seriously impacted by crowdsourcing are those trying to make their living as freelance editors.

There is a time in every project – if you can afford it – to pay for the surgical precision of a professional edit. But in the meanwhile, through many drafts,  authors at all economic levels can afford as many beta readers as they want.

When to pay for additional professional services depends on the needs and wallet of the author. But in true indie fashion thanks to the new crowdsourcing publishing industry including BetaReader.us even the poorest author can afford to produce well-edited books.

I invite anyone interested in publishing – service provider, author, or observer to join the BetaReader.us community.

Jeffrey Marcus Oshins