Should You Pay To Have Someone Give Feedback On Your Manuscript?

Hi Angela,

I read with interest the response to your post about book reviewers being paid very little and of course I reread your piece on how you shouldn’t pay to get your book reviewed. (I agree!)

I am curious about another matter: Should you pay to have someone give feedback on your manuscript? I know of a service that provides “beta readers” to authors but these readers charge to provide feedback.

I thought this was strange because I have NEVER charged any writer to give feedback on their manuscript. Only once did I pay to get feedback on a manuscript and, while I was satisfied with the writer’s thorough job in critiquing my story, I was not comfortable with this arrangement. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks so much. Keep up the great work!


I think it’s fine for authors to swap manuscripts for critiques. There are indeed services that offer fee-based critiques. If they have good critics, I think it’s fine to hire a service like that. However, I would only hire one if I knew the background of the critic. Some of these services provide blind hiring – meaning you don’t know who you’re getting, nor their qualifications. Even if they do give info., they can give fake info.

I prefer to ask writer friends for critiques, and to offer to critique for them in return, of course.

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