They’re alpha in your editing process, after you. They’re your beta readers.
Beta readers are meant to edit your work. They can focus on different things, depending on their skill level and your needs/desires. But one thing’s for sure: a good beta reader is worth their weight in gold.
Typically, you should respect your beta reader enough to give them an edited version of your work. They shouldn’t have to sit there sifting through the poor sentence structure and bad grammar and ideas of a first draft. Instead, give them an edited version, preferably one that’s (almost) agent-ready. That way, they get the most out of their reading experience, and you get the most out of their critiques.
But, where do you find these betas?
There are a number of writing sites you could explore to find your next beta reader:
- Pub Hub
- Absolute Write
- Beta Readers Hub on Tumblr
- Critters Writers Workshop
- Critique Circle
- Critique.org mostly fantasy and sci-fi, but they’re expanding!
- The Desk Drawer
- Ladies who Critique for women only
- Online Writing Workshop for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror
- NaNoWriMo forum
*Note: This article was originally published on January 14, 2016.