Beta readers are a vital part of any writers’ journey. They offer feedback, advice, and support to writers as they make their journey from first draft, to published works. Recently, I beta read for the wonderful Lorraine Ambers, and I’m currently reading the third book in K.M. Allan’s phenomenal Blackbirch series.
It’s a privilege
Above all other reasons, it’s a real privilege to be a beta reader. The writer you read for entrusts you with their words, something that is never easy to do. You are given the opportunity to read a book that isn’t out in the world yet, and experience the story in it’s editing stages. Not only that, but the author is looking to you for advice and feedback, to help them grow and improve their work. It’s a real honour.
You build relationships
The trust and honesty involved in beta reading means you often form a strong relationship with that person. You may become friends, and act as critique partners for each other, giving you somebody you can turn to when you need advice as well. I’ve been so fortunate to read for some amazing, hugely talented writers, and have their support in return, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. The writing community can help you feel less alone in a hobby/career/lifestyle that is often isolated.
It’s helps you grow as a writer
Beta reading encourages you to look at what works and what doesn’t in a story. It has you spotting typos and inconsistencies, considering the pace and tone of a story, and figuring out if the characters and plot are authentic. In doing so, you hone valuable skills that will aid you as you write and edit your own novels.
Have you ever been a beta reader, or perhaps used one for yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences below.