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Beta Readers: Is it Worth it to Have One?

Frankly speaking, it depends.

Well, it depends if you can land a good beta reader.

You may have already done tons of editing on your book, and you still feel that there is still much needed to be edited or done. That gut feels that authors commonly feel is indeed true. As it certainly comes to a point where noticing some mistakes seems far-fetched. There is nothing wrong with this. Noticing our own mistakes is not an easy thing to do.

This is where the beta readers come in. A beta reader can help the author in noticing that noticeable mistakes.

Why NOT Have an Editor Directly?

A beta reader can help the author in saving some costs. For example, suppose the book will go directly to an editor, and some mistakes or errors are simply evident (including bland setting, bad pacing, typographical errors, etc.). In that case, this can increase the costs that the author will incur. Having a beta reader can lessen the cost or even free (free copy of the book or give some acknowledgment).

Can a Beta Reader Replace an Editor?

A beta reader can never replace an editor. A beta reader may provide a response from the reader's point of view, but it can never do the job of what a book editor does. A book editor checks the overall quality of the book, the plot, and the story's pacing and enriches the story until it becomes publishable.

Beta Reader Is Not...

The aim is not to polish each statement, correct your sentence structure, or lend moral support. Unless it is — and while there is something to be said about having beloved friend praise the merits of your book, if that is the only read you receive, you are doing yourself no favors.

You may have a friend who is similar to this. They'll read anything you send to them, but unless it's a complete disaster, they'll tell you it's perfect. There are probably days when you could benefit from their encouragement, but it will never prepare you for submission.

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