Can I just say, or plead, if you are a self-published author please don't use these PR firms to accumulate reviews for your book! (You're wasting your money, you know?)
I receive at least one message through my site, professional facebook, Amazon account or via Twitter unsolicited from people I don't know. These messages ask me to read PDFs of books to either review or beta. Yes, they contain files, from strangers, for me to open. I'm basically making this blog post to state my unwillingness to open files from strangers.
I lost because I allowed that person what they wanted out of that interaction: dominance--to cut me down back where they thought I belonged. To hear me give a verbal acknowledgement that I'm not as important as I think I am.
This is where the rub is. I'm finding people confusing view point character with protagonist. Just because you are in a character's head (or mostly so) doesn't mean they are the protagonist of the tale.
What ever a critiquer gives me, I just want it to be real. I want the realest picture of the reader's viewpoint as I can get. I want a little shared empathy, some mind melding.
We talked about options for getting it into an editor's hands: finding an agent, submitting to a publisher that took unsolicited manuscripts, or maybe even meeting an editor at a con and showing them their work. This person definitely was interested in getting an editor's eyes on their work and seeing if they could sell it. However (and this was a big HOWEVER), they were apprehensive. They liked the idea of being paid money for it, seeing it in print and all the jazz that comes along with that sort of thing, it was just that they weren't "a real writer", and feared how they would be perceived by an editor.