Are you an emerging, new, or veteran author seeking to learn more about Beta Readers? If so, maybe this post will provide you with the resources to learn more, and even utilize beta readers for your work. First off, let’s define beta reader. According to Wikipedia:
“An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.
Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.”
That’s a pretty long definition, but at the heart of it is this: beta readers are people who represent your book’s audience or general readership. They are un-paid and they are volunteers. Here is a list of online resources to help you understand their role better as well as assist you in the process of working with them.
How to Find a Beta Reader, SmallBlueDog.com
The Ultimate Guide to Working with Beta Readers, TheWriteLife.com
How to Find and Work with Beta Readers…, JaneFriedman.com
What to Expect from Beta Readers, Reedsy.com
Speaking of feedback, tell us in the comments if you’ve ever been a beta reader or have utilized them in your work. What worked for you? What did not? Write us if you have questions too.