Here's how to find beta readers to review your manuscript
What are Beta readers?
A beta reader is someone who willing to review your final manuscript to get feedback from the reader's point of view. A beta reader might review the manuscript before it is being published or before it is being edited by a professional editor. Beta readers could be anyone that is familiar with books and children’s books, could be your friends, relatives, members of an author community.
The difference between beta readers, alpha readers, and editors?
Beta readers are different from alpha readers and editors. An alpha reader is someone who is reading your first draft manuscript and will give you feedback from a writer's point of view. Whereas editor is professional help that you can rely on to read through the manuscript and fix important issues such as plot holes, pacing, character development issues, grammatical errors, typos and more depending on the type of editor you decided to hire. Normally, authors will firstly go to alpha readers, beta readers, and then finally professional editors. The purpose of giving the manuscript to the editor at the last phase is to focus their work on those important issues rather than wasting their time -and your money- to look for issues that you can find yourself through the help of alpha or beta readers.
How to work with beta readers?
Find beta readers who have the knowledge and familiar with your book genre or subject matter
There is nothing better than found a beta reader who is already familiar with the book genre you’ve written. By finding this kind of beta reader, you might get much help from them by pointing out overused words or phrase and advice on some key elements that they feel it’s missing. If you’re writing a manuscript for a children’s book, your beta reader can also be teachers, parents, caregivers, or even authors who have experience in writing a children’s book as well.
Also, find beta readers that haven’t read a book like yours
The most purpose of writing books is to get them on market and earn money by selling those books you’ve wrote. Making sure your book is suitable for the market, you can try to find beta readers from those who haven’t read books like yours. With that being said, if your book is about sportsbook perhaps getting beta readers from athletes could be a way to help you know what’s missing from an athlete's point of view.
Be open to feedback
By the time you approach beta readers and ask them to give a review of your final manuscript, you should be prepared with any feedback, advice, or suggestions from them whether it is negative or positive ones. But not every suggestion they give you should implement on your manuscript. You can still consider it and think moreover and ask an editor about those suggestions whether it is should or not be implemented.
How to find beta readers?
The easiest way to find beta readers is by asking your family members, relatives, or closest friends to read the manuscript. But it is also better to get beta readers from outside your inner circle and get the most honest and straightforward feedback. Well, here are some places you can try to find beta readers;
Finding beta readers from writing communities is a good choice, other than getting feedback from the writer’s perspective, you’ll also able to get from the reader’s perspective. Writing communities can be found on;
- Facebook groups
- Goodreads Beta Reader Group
Your author’s website
One of the advantages of setting up an author’s website is you’re able to set an email list and get connected with other authors and readers. Through those mailing lists, you can set up invitations to read the final manuscript and ask for their reviews.
Local writing group
There are lots of writing groups you can find and join on Facebook, try to find one that is the closest to your area. Once you found it, you could ask for someone to volunteer to be a beta reader and ask them to meet face-to-face.