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PAID services offered > Professional Beta Reading & Editing, Experience in Publishing (Penguin)

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message 1: by Sharon (last edited Mar 04, 2020 03:28PM) (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments The Writer’s Reader offers professional, friendly beta reading and editing for both published authors and emerging writers. We establish long-term relationships with authors; our stable of writers has grown to over 200 writers in 4 years.

Our beta read considers structure, flow, pace, dialogue, voice, description, readability, character depth, syntax, inner and outer conflict and much more.

Details about types of editing and beta reading are on the web site: https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com

My personal expertise in the publishing industry speaks for itself; details and testimonials can be found on The Writer’s Reader site, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com.

Contact me via sharonumbaugh@gmail.com to see if we are a fit or leave a comment here and I will contact you about our affordable rates and fast turnaround time.

Preferred genres: Literary Fiction, YA and MG, Romance, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction, New Adult, Coming-of-age and Thrillers.

Thanks.

Sharon 


message 2: by Cleo (last edited Oct 12, 2017 04:36AM) (new)

Cleo | 17 comments + She becomes immersed in the characters and the story.
+ She checks and questions everything. The ensuing cutting and revision process can hurt but is always worth it.
+ She is straightforward and direct but never tactless.
+ She makes suggestions but doesn’t force anything down your throat.
o Sometimes you will have to wait a few days for a response but each of your questions will be answered.

Prepare to be humbled and challenged and to revise, revise, revise. Sharon will encourage you to work hard but also praise the parts of your work that stand out. She is definitely interested in making your book the best it can be.

Sharon, thank you so much for your hard work. Through you I have learned so much that I can put to use in my next story and I will definitely keep you updated on my progress in querying.


message 3: by Vance (last edited Nov 03, 2017 02:57AM) (new)

Vance Huxley | 29 comments Sharon has recently finished editing the third in my Ferryl Shayde series (the second one is about to hit the shelves). She has edited all of my books, because her mix of honest opinion about the storyline and characters, combined with the more traditional attention to the actual wording and words, suits me.

Be prepared to face the wrath of her literary hatchet if your grammar is less than acceptable. Though if you pay attention, and apply the lessons, your writing will definitely improve (unless it is already perfection :-) Mine is certainly much better than 3 years ago, with many of my grammatical errors approaching extinction levels (but not all). Sharon usually finds at least one place in each book where my storyline or characters have wandered into irrelevance or the dreaded info-dump. Even those are fewer, though she still occasionally has to recommend the author equivalent of a chainsaw, or a flamethrower!

Despite the hatchet, Sharon also compliments the passages she really likes. She is very helpful when I want to keep a problem passage, steering me towards something that a reader might actually enjoy. :-) We have had a spirited exchange of views now and then, though as Sharon tells me I can ignore all her recommendations if I wish. I don't, which is why all my books have a dedication thanking Sharon for turning my words into a book worth reading.

I definitely recommend her style of editing, for authors who are not afraid of some constructive criticism (or praise and encouragement) along with their corrected wording.

Vance Huxley


message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex Gates (alexgates) | 8 comments Do you want to become a stronger writer? Don’t hesitate to hire Sharon. For a steal of a deal, she provided a thorough and informative reading. She offered relevant and constructive feedback in the areas of
-Character development: internal and external motivation, and reasonable reactions.
-Plot: tension, pacing, and points of confusion.
-Consistency throughout the story.
Sharon also responds in a quick, professional manner to all emails, and stays involved in the story after her reading. I will continue to use Sharon whenever I need a thoughtful, thorough, professional beta read.


message 5: by Eidolon (new)

Eidolon (elrowe) | 13 comments I sent an email on Saturday. Waiting to hear back.


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1 comments Hi, like others I can highly recommend Sharon as an editor. She is very thorough and efficient. She completely engaged with my book, knew and understood the characters and gave me some essential feedback. She made a number of thought provoking observations and suggestions. I am now back on my manuscript with renewed vigour. It was money well spent. (Our books deserve it!)
Thank you
Rachel


message 7: by Oyindamola (last edited Nov 15, 2017 01:53PM) (new)

Oyindamola (oyinda) | 5 comments I just sent an email. I'm terrified, but hopeful.


message 8: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments New writers welcome! Gentle guidance with specific suggestions to improve your writing. Beta reading, editing and alpha reading.

Contact me via The Writer's Reader, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com or sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.

Thanks!
Sharon


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael Conlon | 1 comments I have been fortunate to have Sharon review and edit my work. She is a master of her craft, and I would highly recommend her services. Sharon's feedback is timely, thorough, honest, and perceptive. She has keen insight on the key elements necessary to make a book memorable and resonate with readers. One of her many editing strengths is to identify bland dialogue and remove distracting and unnecessary scenes. If you want to take your writing to the next level, contact Sharon! Mike Conlon


message 10: by Amandeep (new)

Amandeep Singh | 35 comments Sharon wrote: "New writers welcome! Gentle guidance with specific suggestions to improve your writing. Beta reading, editing and alpha reading.

Contact me via The Writer's Reader, https://thewritersreader.wordp..."

Just sent a email. Hope to work with you.

-Amandeep Singh


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Adams I worked with Sharon into the new year. She reviewed my fiction manuscript and gave me invaluable feedback via line edits and a two page summary of her findings. Being so close to my work over the course of a year there were many things I'd overlooked because they were clear in my head. Sharon questioned everything and plainly pointed out what worked and what didn't.

She maintained a very open line of communication through the process and offered feedback on my query letter for no additional charge (something all my other quotes toted an extra charge for).

As I continue writing, I'll undoubtedly return to Sharon for my future projects.


message 12: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments Sharon has impressive credentials, having worked at a big 5 publisher in manuscript acquisition and sales, not to mention manging an independent bookstore. It’s for these reasons that I approached her to do line editing for my book. She did excellent work and was helpful in answering my questions. I have recommended her to several of my author friends.


message 13: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments Professional, gentle, experienced beta reader and editor.

Will consider all genres but literary fiction is my speciality. Now booking for late March, April.

Visit The Writer's Reader, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com for a description of services, credentials and testimonials. Contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com to submit a sample to determine if we are a fit.


message 14: by J.R. (last edited Mar 17, 2018 07:00PM) (new)

J.R. Alcyone | 216 comments The two hallmarks of a good beta reader / editor for me are 1) a desire to help the writer succeed, and 2) the ability to offer criticism in a constructive way which encourages the writer so they continue revising and making their work as good as it can be. Sharon meets both criteria. My story isn't the easiest to read due to the subject matter, but Sharon was willing to take it on and she provided excellent commentary. She "got" what I was looking to do. There's tons of genre fiction readers, but not so many literary fiction ones. Her speciality in literary fiction makes her particularly valuable for anyone writing in the lit fic genre.

Beyond that, in terms of working with her, she's professional. She kept in contact throughout the process, provided feedback in a timely manner as promised, and was incredibly easy to work with. She was open to answering follow up emails and provided good commentary within the manuscript at the line level. She tells you what you did well and what needs improvement (both are important) and she knows how to offer criticism in a constructive manner. If you're working on a lit fic manuscript, she's definitely someone you should consider working with.


message 15: by Dakota (new)

Dakota Rayne | 199 comments Mod
Hello

I tried to message you but it looks like I can't. Please only do a plug/advertisement/bump for your services once every 30 days. It's the rules of the forum.

Thank you


message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments The Writer's Reader, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com offers a menu of editing and beta reading services including the popular beta "brain" read. You will be able to see your story from the perspective of the reader.

All genres considered but specialize in literary fiction, YA and MG, romance, contemporary fiction and suspense.

Please visit my web site for a description of services, testimonials and credentials then contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.

Thanks.


message 17: by Vance (last edited Jun 17, 2018 12:52AM) (new)

Vance Huxley | 29 comments My tenth book will be published within the next week, Fall of the Cities IV - Mercedes for a Soldier Boy, while Ferryl Shayde IV - Storm and Steel will be off to the publisher any time (gotta get the plug in :-).

Sharon has edited all of them, which is why I always credit her with turning my words into stories. We spent a year over the first (yes, I was that bad), gradually ironing out my literary transgressions while preserving the story. Her suggestions on how to restructure my work to make it flow were invaluable.

That's what I like about Sharon, the suggestions in addition to her line editing. She doesn't try to alter the storyline, but suggests ways to clarify what is important and what isn't (In some cases she recommends a hatchet or weedkiller). That makes her compliments even more precious.
We don't always agree, but as she tells me, the story is mine so the bottom line is, I do what I wish. Coupled with her sense of humour, that's a winner.

I would recommend Sharon for both beginners and those who have a few books under their literary belt. Many thanks, hatchet lady.

Vance Huxley


message 18: by Sharon (last edited Aug 23, 2018 05:46PM) (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments Honoring a writer’s time and deadlines, The Writer's Reader tailors its editing and beta reading pace to fit a writer’s timeline. In the same way, my services are individualized, addressing the concerns of each, unique manuscript, be it an initial beta read or detailed line edit.

I will work with you to determine a specific course of action to bring your writing to a publishable state. After the manuscript is complete, I provide input into query letters, as well as agent and publisher searches.

Having worked with over 100 writers, many published writers who have written multiple books, you can be assured you are in the hands of a professional editor.

Visit The Writer’s Reader, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com for details about services as well testimonials.

Forte is literary fiction but The Writer’s Reader accepts contemporary fiction, suspense, YA, romance and fantasy. All genres considered. Contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com and together we can determine if we are a fit.


message 19: by Kat (new)

Kat Devitt (kat_devitt_author) | 101 comments Hello!

I'm looking for a paid beta reader for a Gothic 14,000 word story. I am seeking suggestions on plot, condensing parts, and the story's pacing.

Help would be appreciated! Please email me at katdevittauthor@gmail.com.

Best,
Kat Devitt


message 20: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Webb (cassandra_webb) | 3 comments Hi Sharon,

Just wondering about rates for a 80k YA - just a beta read - and also turn around time?


message 21: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Skilton | 2 comments Working with Sharon has been a pleasure. After several disappointing and expensive attempts to get meaningful feedback from editors/ beta readers, I found Sharon and finally got the experience I was looking for. We've had a meaningful dialog filled with great suggestions and insights that I think are improving, not just the story we're working on, but also me as a writer. I only wish I'd found her sooner. The experience has meant a lot to me, and I highly recommend her.


message 22: by Stuart (new)

Stuart James (stuartjames73) Hi Sharon.
Just sending you an email.
Would love to work with you.
Stuart James.


message 23: by Stuart (new)

Stuart James (stuartjames73) Hi Sharon.
I emailed you but it couldn’t go through for some reason.
I’ll try and DM you.


message 24: by Sharon (last edited Nov 26, 2018 02:08PM) (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments It’s not uncommon for a writer to experience a disconnect between what is in their head and what is written on the page.

The Writer’s Reader offers a service called a beta “brain” read. Basically, this is a look into my mind, my thoughts as I read. Questions are noted so the writer will know what the reader is thinking or not thinking. My comments in Word’s track changes will allow you to follow my thoughts; you will read your novel as a reader instead of writer. This beta “brain” read is a way of putting some distance between you and your novel, seeing it through the eyes of a reader.

My personal expertise in the publishing industry speaks for itself; details about editing, beta reading and testimonials are on The Writer’s Reader site, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com.

All genres considered but my passion is literary fiction, upmarket fiction and YA.

Please leave a message here or contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.


message 25: by Mary (new)

Mary Wark | 2 comments Enlisting Sharon as my beta reader was the best decision I made as I am preparing to submit my literary novel Generation Lost and Found. She is everything wrapped up in one service; structural editor to line editing proofing. Her comments in line helped me look again at scenes and the nuances of my four POV characters. I never felt she was telling me exactly what to do, rather having me ask myself the perfect question at that point in the text to make it better. It was as if she was there in my writer’s brain balancing out the need to do more or less.
The whole editing process was a long in-depth conversation from my intro chapter to helping me with a query letter about something very important – my story and the best way to reach my goals.
She is a total professional! Thanks again.
Mary Wark

reply | edit | delete | flag *


message 26: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments The Writer’s Reader offers professional, friendly beta reading and editing for both published authors and new writers. Details about the services can be found here: https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com. All genres will be considered but my forte is literary fiction, YA and romance.

I have worked with over 200 writers in 5 years. Testimonials can be found here: https://thewritersreader.wordpress.co...

My experience in the “book business” includes bookstore management, as well as sales and acquisitions for a NY based publisher.

Leave a comment here or contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.

Thanks.

Sharon
The Writer’s Reader
https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com


message 27: by Dakota (new)

Dakota Rayne | 199 comments Mod
Hello-

This is the second time I'm commenting here about deleting comments and posts to circumvent the rules on the paid board. I've noticed this is not the first time you've done this. Please play by the rules here. All other paid services providers deserve equal access and ability to post their services and you have taken advantage of that. Please do not do it again.

Thank you,

Dakota


message 28: by Paula (new)

Paula Jean | 1 comments Sharon Umbaugh, beta reader plus, read my manuscript beginning to end. She found a couple of big hurdles for me to jump before the story read properly. For that, I am grateful. She didn't tell me they were hurdles--that is my description because once I saw the problem and solved it, I feel like I leaped ahead with my book. Sharon is kind, considerate, and encouraging. In some places, where she commented on a section of my story, I paused, thought about it, and decided how I should proceed. Extremely helpful to see what I wrote with "new" eyes. Thank you Sharon. I'm only one third the way through with the "read" and her comments. Two thirds more and I'll be ready for the next step toward publication.


message 29: by Sharon (last edited Jun 07, 2020 02:01PM) (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments The Writer’s Reader edits and beta reads for both established authors and new writers, whether the choice is to self-publish or publish traditionally. Specializing in helping new writers, I gently guide writers to create characters readers can connect with and write novels that captivate readers in the first chapter!

Do you want line-editing, a beta-read, developmental editing or something in between? I provide all of these.
• Beta Reading: I will evaluate your story, for plot, POV, conflict, character motivation, natural dialogue, continuity, etc.
• Line-editing: I will assure that texts are free of common errors such as, pronoun reference, POV shifts or improper subject–verb agreement. Manuscripts are checked for active voice, effective sentence structure, pace, flow, dialogue tags, and word choice.

I have worked with hundreds of writers and my credentials are above the norm. Five years working for a New York publishing house (now Penguin USA), 4 years managing an independent bookstore (buyer), BA in English Lit, college teaching experience, all make me abundantly qualified to edit and beta-read. And I am fast! I can generally read a novel and critique it in 7-10 days.

Visit The Writer’s Reader’s website for detailed descriptions of services and testimonials. https://thewritersreader.wordpress.co...

My forte is literary fiction but I will consider all genres including YA, speculative fiction, fantasy and contemporary fiction.

Please leave a comment here or send an email to sharonumbaugh@gmail.com to see if we are a fit.



Thanks.

Sharon




message 30: by Sushil (new)

Sushil | 1 comments Sharon manages to do the impossible. She can encourage you as a writer in a honest way while also telling you straight up what your manuscript badly needs. Any one who has tried using friends for beta-reading or developmental editing would know what I mean. Be sure she would find what’s good, bad and ugly about your manuscript.


message 31: by KG (last edited Jun 17, 2020 05:07AM) (new)

KG Nebra | 2 comments Emailed Sharon a couple of days ago with my manuscript - but have not heard anything back.

Update - She got back to me. Very polite & helpful.


message 32: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments The Writer's Reader, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com offers a menu of editing and beta reading services including the popular beta "brain" read. You will be able to see your story from the perspective of the reader.

All genres considered, but I specialize in literary fiction. YA and MG, romance, contemporary fiction and fantasy will also be considered.

Please visit the website for a description of services, testimonials and credentials. Leave a moment here or contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.

Thanks.

Sharon


message 33: by May (new)

May  Tjia (maytjia) | 4 comments I'm a pretty experienced writer (copywriter by trade and waitlisted for a full ride to an MFA program) and I'm so glad I found Sharon! She gave me thoughtful and useful analysis, especially on the high level structural issues I needed feedback on, but also on a sentence level. She was extremely thorough and also gentle on my ego!
I highly recommend working with her. Apparent from the reliable turnaround and affordability of her services, it was so great that she gave me actionable feedback and coaching so I then knew how to improve not only my novel but others I'm trying to write as well. Will definitely be going back to her for more books!


message 34: by Jason (new)

Jason Liller | 1 comments I’ve been a non-fiction editor and ghostwriter for close to thirty years. Why would someone with my experience hire Sharon Umbaugh? Because she’s honest and free with her opinions. Because she identifies tonal shifts that I would never notice on my own. Because she calls me out for my occasional hubris. Because she tells me when my characters go astray and need to be reined in. Because she notices little inconsistencies that erode credibility. Because her advice and opinions are grounded in her professional experience. Oh, and she also finds typos. Imagine that!

In short, a serious writer needs a serious reader, and Sharon Umbaugh is the reader who should be in every author’s corner. Hire her today. She is worth every cent.


message 35: by Louise (new)

Louise Worthington | 10 comments I agree with Jason. Sharon's notes and comments really helped me move my next novel forward.


message 36: by Mary (new)

Mary Wark | 2 comments I had utilized Sharon's talent as an editor for my first novel last year and was very happy with the results. I came back just recently for her opinion n my short story before submitting it for a contest. Once again, she delivered the exact amount of scrutiny in the right corners to bring out the best in my writing. She has the right balance of noting small details and helping you pull back and see the
overall impact of what you are trying to convey.


message 37: by Lori (new)

Lori | 8 comments Sharon did a great job beta reading my thriller, Body Wars. She was thorough, insightful, and pleasant to work with. She was also quick. I would very much recommend her.


message 38: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 14 comments Hello Sharon, wondered if you could clarify this please? As a British writer, I was wondering if you handle UK spelling/punctuation/grammar differences from US English?

regards
Pam


message 39: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 14 comments Sharon wrote: "Hello Pam,
Yes, I do. I work with many British writers. Please send a short sample of your novel to sharonumbaugh@gmail.com to see if we are a fit. Thanks for contacting TheWritersReader.

Sharon"


Thank you Sharon. It might be a while as I am still working on my novel, and was trying to get a short list together of possible editors.


message 40: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (heronsky) | 6 comments Hi Sharon,
I am looking for a beta reader who can help me cut a 102,000 word historical fiction novel to 80,000 words. My publisher has given that figure as the maximum he will accept. The book is character driven, takes place against the background of King Philip's Indian war of 1675 in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and targets an audience of history buffs aged thirteen up. It's a page turner.

Best,
Nancy Shattuck


message 41: by Garnell (new)

Garnell | 30 comments Hi, I'd like to know if you're interested in editing steamy romance? I have an 83,000-word romantic suspense that is the first in a series though each book will work as a standalone.


message 42: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 2 comments Sharon provided insightful and thorough feedback. I provided her with the opening chapters of my manuscript and she helped get me on the right track with her straight-forward and honest comments.
She was also very responsive to my follow-up questions which I found extremely helpful. I enjoyed working with her and appreciated her thoughtful input.


message 43: by Mette (new)

Mette (mettetorres) | 10 comments Sharon has been such a big help! I'm a new writer and there are a lot of technical aspects I didn't know, that I now feel like I've become much stronger in. She's really kind and always give you a thorough answer. She's not afraid to give you an honest answer, but also not too proud to change her mind either. My novel has taken a huge step forward and become much stronger after I've included Sharon. I'm very happy I did! And I expect to keep working with her, with future revisions :) Thank you Sharon!


message 44: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments BookGeekDiva wrote: "Hello... I noticed your service. Right now I need beta service before dealing with copy or line edits. I do use a professional writing program that catches the basic grammatical and syntax issues. ..."

Thanks for contacting The Writer's Reader. Please send a short sample to sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.


message 45: by D.W. (new)

D.W. Whitlock | 2 comments Sharon beta read my debut novel, Crucible of Fear: A Thriller, and did a fantastic job. Her years of experience showed in ways that really mattered, like what someone was reading to show character, if a certain section was overly dramatic or cliché, not to mention a slew of grammar and spelling fixes. She was great collaborator and I can't wait to have her work on my next manuscript!

D.W. Whitlock


message 46: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments D.W. wrote: "Sharon beta read my debut novel, Crucible of Fear: A Thriller, and did a fantastic job. Her years of experience showed in ways that really mattered, like what someone was reading to show character,..."

Thanks! It was a genuine pleasure beta reading your brilliant novel!


message 47: by Megan (new)

Megan Cicolello | 5 comments I used three beta readers for my manuscript, and Sharon was by far the most helpful. She is a thoughtful and incisive beta reader, and helped me tighten up my writing. She has a good ear for consistency in POV, which can be tricky to nail down, especially for a first time author. I highly recommend her!


message 48: by Vance (new)

Vance Huxley | 29 comments Despite her stated preferences, Sharon does a great job of editing my Dystopian series Fall Of the Cities, and the Future-military Shattered Stars (though she prefers Ferryl Shayde)
That good a job that I always put a credit in my books, to acknowledge that she turns my words into books.
Worth every penny, thank you Sharon


message 49: by Sharon (last edited Oct 21, 2021 04:05PM) (new)

Sharon Umbaugh | 384 comments It’s not uncommon for a writer to experience a disconnect between what is in their head and what is written on the page.

The Writer’s Reader offers a service called a beta “brain” read. Basically, this is a look into my mind, my thoughts as I read. Questions are noted so the writer will know what the reader is thinking or not thinking. My comments in Word’s track changes will allow you to follow my thoughts; you will read your novel as a reader instead of writer. This beta “brain” read is a way of putting some distance between you and your novel, seeing it through the eyes of a reader.

My personal expertise in the publishing industry (Penguin) speaks for itself; details about editing, beta reading and testimonials are on The Writer’s Reader site, https://thewritersreader.wordpress.com.

All genres considered but my passion is literary fiction, upmarket fiction and YA.

Please leave a message here or contact me at sharonumbaugh@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Sharon


message 50: by Ben (new)

Ben Lanoha | 2 comments I recently hired Sharon for some beta reading on a crime fiction novel. Her feedback has been incredibly helpful. She's enthusiastic and encouraging, but also honest and clear in her reactions to the story and the characters. And her insights into proper formatting have been invaluable to a first-time novelist like myself. I intend to continue working with Sharon. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a supportive, but honest, writing coach.


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