Beta reader

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A beta reader is a test reader of an unreleased work[1] of literature or other writing (similar to beta testing in software), giving feedback with the angle of an average reader to the author about remaining issues.[2] A beta-reader is a non-professional reader, so that an uncolored opinion of an average reader can be obtained. Usually, a beta reader will be unpaid. The feedback is used by the writer to iron out remaining overall issues with plot, pacing and consistency. The beta read also serves as a target audience test to see whether the book has the intended emotional impact and feel.


Beta reader is an English term originally borrowed from the Information Technology/Software industry where beta testers will try to find problems with a piece of computer software before its release.[2]

Difference to other roles[edit]

A dedicated proofreader usually only looks at grammar and spelling and is a paid professional - although this role may or may not be covered by beta readers as well. A critique partner is usually a trained writer who offers to test read with the angle of an author, unlike a beta reader who has usually no notable experience in writing. A beta reader can also serve as an alpha reader when reading a book draft that is still missing the ending or completely unrevised, while a beta reader will usually get a draft that has usually gone at least through one revision.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karen Hellekson, Kristina Busse (2006). Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays. McFarland. pp. 15, 43, 172–179. ISBN 0786454962. 
  2. ^ a b "What Is a Beta Reader? (with picture)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2018-03-24.