Beta readers are pretty important, and often underappreciated, I think.
Authors rarely work alone. They usually have professionals doing editing, book cover, and so on. However, before the book is published, many authors like to get help from other sources, unpaid sources.
I absolutely use beta readers! But let me share my definition of “beta readers” so I can answer this clearly. I think of beta readers as someone who will read a manuscript “cover to cover” and provide at least as much feedback on the story as they do on grammar, word choice, paragraph structure, etc. Often – for better and worse — betas are not writers.
One thing about betas that we must be attentive to is that they are generally hard to find, and they don’t want to be asked to repeatedly read works in progress, so you usually only get to use them once per…
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