Wikipedia defines a Beta Reader as: “a person who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization, and general style of a story prior to its release to the general public.”
In essence, a Beta Reader’s duty is to provide writers with critical feedback to improve their stories.
This post by the Canadian Uber Addicts offers a detailed “job description” of a Beta Reader which we have summarized below:
A Beta Reader, first and foremost, is there to make sure the story gets better by using a ruthless, critical eye.
A Beta Reader should have endless courage and patience and be brave enough to:
- suggest grammar, spelling, and sentence structure changes
- find holes in plot
- uncover sketchy character development
- reword clumsy paragraphs
- weed out clichés
All while remembering that this is the author’s story.
A Beta Reader should not want to be loved and appreciated during the writing process.
A Beta Reader will be loved the most if the story reads extremely well and the writer receives next to no complaints about continuity, grammar, spelling, character development, dialogue, flow, & completeness.
For a real life example of working with a Beta Reader, check out this post by Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. What has been your experience is working with Beta Readers? Let us know in the comments below.
Is your story Beta Reader perfected and ready to be published on iPad, Kindle, Kobo and more? Click here to get started with BookBaby now!