What Is A Beta Reader?


woman sitting in front of black table writing on white book near window

A beta reader . . .

is someone who reads an author’s work (his novel, for instance) before it is published and offers him feedback (either general or more detailed information, whatever the reader chooses to give) about the work he or she is reading.

If you’ve followed this blog, you’ve probably noticed that I regularly make available chapters from my current work—Datesville: Out of the Land of Bondage!—for my beta readers to read.  That work is generally protected with a password so is not usually available to the general public.

But I’m thinking of expanding my beta reader corps by adding a few more select readers.  Perhaps you’d be interested in volunteering?

If you are interested in becoming a beta reader for Datesville: Out of the Land of Bondage! and offering your feedback in the form of comments on the beta reader posts, please post a comment below expressing that interest.  And if you have a blog or website, please send me a link to it so I can get to know you and your interests, too.  Those who love reading American literature and fellow writers are especially encouraged to join us.  If you’d like to contact me via email, you can do so at [email protected] Hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you!


Join the Conversation

    1. Yes, beta readers are, in a way, like a test audience for the writer. Some writers rely heavily on beta readers to help him, more or less, “tailor” his novel to a specific audience. I don’t expect that. In fact, even brief comments are very useful and valuable to me. But beta readers can also function like editors who find mistakes or who might question certain elements of the story which don’t make sense to them. I find this sort of reading of the work also very valuable. And of course, it really does help when readers point out parts of the text that she or he enjoy because, as a writer, I am always very close to the work so am often surprised by what other readers see in the text which I might not have seen in the same light. Basically, the beta reader is for me a sounding board who helps me to make assessments about the effectiveness of the work as it progresses and its ability to hold the audience’s attention. Are you, perhaps, interested? I hope so.
      Thank you for reaching out.
      Your Friend,
      p.s. If you do become a beta reader, you will be able to read all of the chapters already posted on the blog (i.e. chapters 1-8) plus those yet to come.

  1. Is this story still relevant here?

    May I ask you if you also do readings?

    German, maybe you still do? 😃 😉

    1. Hi. So, have you read the Datesville chapter samples listed here? Are you thinking of becoming a beta reader for Datesville? The reason I ask is because I was thinking this week of taking down all of the Datesville chapter samples. I’m contemplating doing so, anyway but could change my mind. I do do public readings of my work when possible, but I’m limited to English, I’m afraid. I have to use the “machine translator” on my computer to read anything else. I’m not sure if I’ve answered satisfactorily your third question, have I? Note: if you write your responses to me in German I will use the translator feature to read them and respond to them, that’s not a problem.

      Hallo. Haben Sie also die hier aufgeführten Datesville-Kapitelbeispiele gelesen?? Denken Sie daran, ein Beta-Reader für Datesville zu werden?? Der Grund, den ich frage, ist, dass ich diese Woche darüber nachgedacht habe, alle Datesville-Kapitelproben abzulegen. Ich denke sowieso darüber nach, könnte aber meine Meinung ändern. Ich lese meine Arbeit nach Möglichkeit öffentlich, aber ich bin leider auf Englisch beschränkt. Ich muss den “Maschinenübersetzer” auf meinem Computer verwenden, um etwas anderes zu lesen. Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob ich Ihre dritte Frage zufriedenstellend beantwortet habe, oder?? Hinweis: Wenn Sie Ihre Antworten auf Deutsch auf mich schreiben, verwende ich die Übersetzerfunktion, um sie zu lesen und darauf zu antworten. Das ist kein Problem.