A beta reader is a test reader of an unreleased work[1] of writing, typically literature, who gives feedback to the author from the point of view of an average reader.[2] This feedback can be 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 work has the intended intellectual or emotional impact on the target market.

Origin edit

"Beta reader" is an English term originally borrowed from the information technology and software industry, where beta testers attempt to identify problems in a product before its release.[2]

Differences from other roles edit

Typically, a beta reader reviews a draft that has gone through at least one revision. An alpha reader reviews a draft that is still without an ending or is completely unrevised. Alpha and beta readers must be well educated generally, with a good knowledge of current affairs.[citation needed] This enables them to read works in the current context, with regard to both world affairs and the target market that the work is aimed at.[citation needed]

A proofreader usually only looks at grammar and spelling and is a paid professional,[citation needed] while a beta reader is more holistic in their scope. A critique partner is a trained writer who test reads from the perspective of an author, while a beta reader is a trained reader, test reading from the perspective of a typical reader. A sensitivity reader is a specific type of beta reader who is from a culture that the author is not familiar with.[3]

See also edit

References 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 0-7864-5496-2.
  2. ^ a b "What Is a Beta Reader? (with picture)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. ^ Kole, Mary (22 October 2021). "What Is a Sensitivity Reader?". Good Story Company. Archived from the original on 8 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.