- Nov 3, 2006
- Reaction score
Showing my newbie-ness here, but what is a beta reader?
To add to the definition - A critiquer/critique group (or critter) is most often used along the way to a finished piece, be it a novel or short-story or what-have-you.
You might have a critter look at a slightly rough draft of a chapter or page(s). In most of the writer circles I come a cross, a beta-reader is usually a term saved for the person(s) that looks at the whole draft of a novel or a completed story or poem.
Seems like it's easier to find critters as opposed to true beta-readers if only because often a beta is committing to reading and critting an entire piece of work that could very well be in a novel form. Big undertaking in some cases.
This is not to say that someone who crits for you can't do exactly the same thing or vice-versa (tomato/tomahto in truth). It just seems to me that once a critter is asked to read the entire manuscript to prepare it to go out into the cold world, the critter gets promoted to beta-reader.
In software development, the term "beta tester" refers to a person who tries out a program to evaluate how well it works, identify bugs in actual use, and so on, before it is commercially released. That is a step beyond the "alpha tester," who is testing software at an earlier stage, not much past prototype.Showing my newbie-ness here, but what is a beta reader?
Question: Could people come in and gain trust here and pose as Beta readers, but their purpose is to steal ideas? Don't be offended, it's just a question that came to mind and I thought it was worth asking!
I would read "beta reader" as analogous to "beta tester." That is, the beta reader is evaluating a piece of writing after a couple of stages of development--not a rough draft. Not ready for the public, but already edited and polished by the author and perhaps subjected to earlier, more conceptual comments that the author has addressed.