You have finished writing your book, made the edits, and hired professionals to do the polishing for you. There are additional steps you ought to consider before publishing your book. One of those steps is to get a third party to thoroughly read the book you’ve written. A reader that takes an interest in the genre and story that you have constructed.
Beta testing has been around for how long, and they are used to test specific programs or projects before they go live. This test is necessary to spot inaccuracies in the development of such a project. The same thing goes for writing. Authors will hire Beta readers to try and read the manuscript before the actual book is published to the public.
Also known as test readers, they are the ones the author can hire to read their unreleased books. Test readers will provide feedback about the story and share their sentiments regarding the book’s overall content. They are average readers who, if appropriately chosen, can significantly impact the success of your book.
Before a book is announced and released to the public, certain people have already read the story’s plot. These people are what we call Beta readers. They are hired for specific tasks, like detecting inconsistencies with your plot, pacing, and some other problems, such as the tone and voice of your storytelling. They will spot those errors, but they are not the ones tasked to edit the mistakes encountered; instead, they will only point them out for you as the author to take action on what was said.
Facts about Beta Readers
They provide unbiased opinions about your manuscript.
They are not editors. They are merely readers who will point out the errors and inconsistencies in your document.
They offer different perspectives and will supply you with judgment if the character is flat or if the plot is mundane and predictable.
Their feedback can sometimes be harsh. However, it is essential that their opinions be heard because the results paired with hard work and dedication will only benefit you.
They serve as a different set of eyes in determining what is needed to be altered or enhanced in your manuscript.
They are average readers who can be anyone you know, as long as they take an interest in your story’s genre and can provide honest feedback.
It is crucial for an author to acquire as many beta readers as possible because relying on a single test reader renders some risk. Some of these readers who offer to test read your manuscript would often leave the task unfinished. Hence it is recommended to have at least five beta testers to ensure that your manuscript is getting the review that it needs and to also have a draw line if some of them disagree on some parts of the story.
Having a variety of beta readers will minimize your second-guessing what is personal opinion and what is on a broad scale.
After you have identified how many beta readers you want to appoint, how and where exactly do you find them?
Where to Find Beta Readers.
You can find beta readers amongst the people you know. It can be anyone willing and reliable. Someone who will take the task seriously. One that will immediately catch on mistakes, the excellent and awkward sentence structure, and will be able to provide you with constructive feedback.
The Internet has been the place of answers. If you, unfortunately, don’t know anyone who can be your beta reader, you can see and find numerous sites on the internet yourself. The list is provided below.
Websites to look for beta readers online.
Goodreads Beta Reader Group
My Writers Circle
Critters Speculative Writers Workshop
Aside from the internet websites, you can also find beta readers on Social media sites like Facebook by joining various groups that cater to your specific needs. You have to be resourceful and use the internet at your disposal.
Before looking for a beta reader, you first need to acknowledge that not everyone inclined to read is suitable to test read your manuscript. Ensure that your readers will enjoy the genre. Otherwise, you will receive inadequate feedback. It does not make sense to employ a reader who dislikes sci-fi to be a beta reader for The Eternals, hence the importance of engaging the right people for the job.