Beta reader

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

A beta reader is usually a test reader of an unreleased work[1] of literature or other writing (similar to beta testing in software), who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author.[2] A beta reader is not a professional and can therefore provide advice and comments in the opinions of an average reader.[3] This feedback is used by the writer to fix remaining issues with plot, pacing, and consistency. The beta reader also serves as a sounding board to see if the book has had the intended emotional impact.


"Beta reader" is an English term originally borrowed from the information technology/software industry where beta testers try to identify problems in a piece of computer software before its release.[2]

Differences from other roles[edit]

A "proofreader" usually only looks at grammar and spelling and is a paid professional. A "critique partner" is a trained writer who "test reads" from the perspective of an author, unlike a beta reader who has little or no experience with writing. A beta reader can also serve as an "alpha reader" when reading a book draft that is still without an ending or is completely unrevised. Typically, a beta reader reviews a draft that has gone through at least 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.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "What Is a Beta Reader? (with picture)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. ^ [1], Beta Reader