Updated: Oct 12, 2020
When writing a book with the intent to publish, there is one crucially helpful step to the process that often gets overlooked: hiring beta readers.
It isn’t required, but using beta readers should be done if any author wants to improve their work, especially before sharing it with the public.
What Are Beta Readers?
Beta readers are people who volunteer or are hired and paid to read your manuscript before it is published. Quite simply, they are used to gain insight on your work that you may have overlooked, such as continuity errors, character issues, and even grammar problems you or your editor overlooked.
Authors can hire beta readers or ask their friends and family to help instead. Keep in mind, though, that regardless of how well you know your beta readers, you must take their criticisms to heart; they are only trying to help your manuscript improve, so their feedback is not intended to hurt.
Alpha Readers vs Beta Readers
Depending on your relationship with your beta readers, they can also help brainstorm changes if you’re in need of a little creative help. Other authors, however, leave this job to their alpha reader and only have their beta readers go over the final drafts.
Personally, I used one alpha reader early on, even before my first draft was done. He went through each section as I wrote them and pieced them together, giving priceless input along the way. Once a manuscript was done, it was sent to my beta readers, and then my editor.
Beta Readers Help Authors More Than You May Think
While it may seem like you will catch everything wrong in your manuscript and do not need an alpha reader, beta readers, or even an editor, I urge you to reconsider. When writing a book or even a short story, what you have in your head might not exactly match what you typed out. Additionally, some of the biggest issues in writing is errors in continuity, weak dialogue or plot, or unlikable characters – and these issues can definitely make a story unreadable by many potential fans.
Beta readers, along with an editor and an alpha reader, all join together with you to catch these and help your manuscript become much, much stronger.
Graphic Novel Grim
Interested In Becoming A Beta Reader?
While beta readers for Reinfried Books are not financially compensated at this time, they do have other, more unique opportunities. Some request to be a character in the most recent book, or to be thanked at the end of one.
Most recently, these characters are getting artistic renditions done of them, meaning if you want to be in a comic book, now’s your chance! Leave a comment below or contact me directly if you are interested in becoming a beta reader for one of my upcoming novels.