In the software industry, programmers release “beta” versions of new programs that they get a select group of users to test. This way, any kinks can be worked out before it becomes available to the public.
When it comes to publishing, the concept is the same, except the product being tested is a book, and the hopeful outcome is that potentially negative reader reactions can be sorted before publication. If authors are not sure which aspects of their book are working (if any!), this is a chance to find out.
In this guide, we’ll give you pointers for finding beta readers and working with them in a way that’s constructive. But first, let’s clearly define what they are and what they do.