Would you like to be a beta reader?
I really like how Lynn Tagawa puts it:
What’s a beta reader?
A beta reader gets the story before the proofreader, before the final edits. He or she reads each chapter and make a few remarks on it before going on to the next (there are different ways to give this feedback, but that is one way).
A beta reader is a HUGE help to the writer. There may be rough patches in the story that the author is blind to. For example, you as a reader get an idea of what a character would and wouldn’t do in a given situation. You would be able to spot it if the author made a shy person act like an extrovert all of a sudden. Or maybe, the story ended too suddenly, leaving something unresolved. You can probably think of a story you liked that left a bad taste in your mouth because of a flaw like this.
Hopefully the editor will catch this stuff, but the reader is king! Readers sometimes catch things editors don’t. Beta readers are treasured by authors.
Can just anybody be a beta reader?
Yes–almost anyone. You have to be willing to read thoughtfully and give input. You do not need any kind of degree, credentials, or whatnot. Sometimes authors beta read each other’s work because they can catch story problems better than most, but the truth is, if you simply tell me a chapter is boring, I’ll probably be able to figure out what’s wrong.
Think about it. Pray about it. I’ll be asking for a few volunteers after the first of the year.