There are many different tiers and types of beta reading. Each require their own set of intentions and expectations.
The three that we focus on are as follows:
- Final Read Through – this would be the final step before approving your manuscript for publishing. It is suggested that either one or two outside parties do a final read through to make sure there are no extra markings within the document that haven’t been resolved and double checking for consistency. Essentially, they are making sure the manuscript is properly ‘polished’ and will point out anything that may have been overlooked in the process.
- Intermediate Beta Reading – this would be a stage after the manuscript has been edited at least once. It may be after one or several editing rounds, and it can be after or before proofreading. Here, beta readers would be required to answer a set of questions regarding the manuscript, as well as continue to point out any continuity issues, as well as grammar and spelling. If the beta readers feel that there are storyline issues, they will advise on such, but are not obligated to point out every specific instance of the overall issue, nor to offer advice on how to address.
- Advanced Beta Reading – is when the beta readers are the first to look at a manuscript after it’s complete. This maximizes feedback prior to editing and proofreading. Advanced Beta Reading has the same guidelines as Intermediate Beta Reading, except they would be expected to make notations of each instance where there could be an issue, rather than just providing overall feedback and addressing of issues. Beta readers at this stage would also be required to provide any thoughts, comments, suggestions, or overall feedback on how issues may be addressed.