First of all, what is Beta Reading?
Beta Reading (From my understanding):
A Beta reader gives the author feedback (plot holes, continuity, believable characters and maybe fact checking) on a finished manuscript before the manuscript turns into an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) that is sent out to reviewers. These readers should really get medals because it takes hours to read a manuscript, take notes, rate it and provide efficient feedback. In other words, they are REAL LIFE SUPERHEROES for self-published and traditional published authors.
Therefore, one needs to find beta readers before thinking about reviewers for an ARC, before self publishing, and BEFORE sending your manuscript to a publishing house. If you skip this part because you think that your manuscript is fantastic and the agent is going to love it, you need to drink more coffee. Beta reading is worth it and finding good beta readers can make you see your manuscript from different angles, especially when looking for plot holes.
Here is a form that a Beta Reader can use for evaluating a manuscript. I am using this form at the moment for a novel that I am beta reading for an author. This is just a variation of what you may receive from a beta reader or give to him or her. You may find others online or from other beta readers and authors.
So here’s what I learned: