Reader Classifications

What is an Alpha Reader?

An Alpha Reader is your first reader. They usually get the read your manuscript as soon as you’re done writing the first draft. Or maybe you’ve reviewed your work and made some changes, but want other eyes on it. An Alpha Reader’s job is to spot glaring errors, plot holes, or developmental issues. It will save you money if you have an Alpha Reader or two take a look at your manuscript before you send it off for developmental editing.

What is a Beta Reader?

A Beta Reader can be requested before or after final edits. Some authors work on the manuscript until they think it’s as good as they can get it, then pass it on to Beta Readers before the final editing phase. Other writers like to have one more editing pass done after the Beta Readers return their feedback. A Beta Reader’s job varies, but typically they look for things like pacing, character relatability, lagging points, any confusing parts, any discrepancies, etc. It’s good for an author to have a list of specific things they want a Beta Reader to look for before sending it off.

What is an ARC Reader?

ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy. It’s just what it says: the author gives a reader an advanced copy of their book before the release date to the public. In exchange, the reader posts a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads after publication, and sometimes sends a review to the author that can be posted on their website or social media.