All About Beta Readers
If you are a writer interested in publishing your novel, beta readers are a must! Although it may be difficult to share your work with others, beta readers are an important tool for writers to utilize.
What are Beta Readers?
A beta reader is a person who reads your manuscript and provides feedback.
It is crucial to have other sets of eyes on your work before you pursue publication—and that's where beta readers come in handy!
When do I need Beta Readers?
You should work with beta readers after you've revised and edited your manuscript as best as you possibly can. You do not want to send a beta reader your first draft—otherwise they will be too distracted by the errors and plot holes. This will only be a waste of time to you and your beta reader.
So, revise and edit your novel to the best of your abilities before sending it off to betas.
It can also be helpful to have multiple rounds of beta readers.
Where do I find Beta Readers?
It can be difficult to find people to read your work. They are, in fact, providing you with a free service. Therefore, in all the places I list below, it will raise your chances of finding a beta reader if you offer to swap stories.
1. Critique Match
On critiquematch.com,writers can find critique partners and beta readers. This site makes it easy to search within your genre and safely share you work with selected readers.
2. Goodreads Beta Reader Group
The Goodreads Beta Reader Group is another place to find critique partners and beta readers. You simply post on the discussion board that you are searching for a beta reader and provide your genre, word count, and blurb. People can respond on your thread or privately message you.
3. Social Media
If you have followers on social media, you have potential beta readers! A beta reader does not have to be a writer, just someone who enjoys reading.
Place a call to action on your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and see if anyone is interested.
How do I work with Beta Readers?
Google Docs is a great way to share you manuscript with a beta reader because they can make comments while they read.
It is also helpful to provide your beta readers with clear expectations for the type of feedback you are looking for. You can simply send a few questions for them to answer via email or you can create a Google Form for them to fill out.
I have a list of questions to ask your beta readers here.
*It will always be easier to find beta readers if you are willing to swap manuscripts.
*Do not take criticism too harshly; beta readers exist to help your manuscript.
*Always THANK your beta readers!
I wish you the best of luck with the beta reader process!