the gist of beta reading

As I mentioned, indispensable to my own writing process are my pre-readers.

According to Wikipedia, alpha and beta readers are the same. I think there is a big difference. Here are points contributing to my definition of each:

  • Alphas: general pre-readers, sometimes family and / or dependable friends, who will interact and react to your manuscript in its draft stages.
  • Betas: will interact and react to your manuscript before your manuscript goes to your copyeditor or developmental editor. It is commonly understood that your manuscript is complete and has been self-edited several times.
    • Free – will give you a summarized opinion of your story (some beta readers may send you more in-depth reactions, but it should not be expected).
    • Paid – will go through your manuscript more carefully, catching glaring issues in your plot, story in general, grammar and/or mechanics. A higher order of pre-readers who go beyond giving you just a summarized opinion on your story.

If you’re interested … learn the details of my brand of beta reading.