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How is the editor different from a beta reader, and vice versa

Each writer is waiting for feedback on his works. And it’s wonderful if the responses appear. And if not?

If the readers either weren’t found, or they were silent, but would you like to know if the book is good and how good it is? Then there is only one way – to give up to the beta reader or editor. It is these personalities that can give a detailed, thoughtful and reasoned response to your novel or story, fairy tale or collection of poems.

But how to decide who exactly to go to? In general, is there any difference who to choose? The question, as practice has shown, is relevant: in letters I was repeatedly asked how the literary editor, beta reader and beta tester differ from each other.

Let’s get it right.

Differences between Editor and Beta Reader
Beta reader and beta tester are the same thing, only the names are different. The editor is already something more serious.

In short, a beta reader will tell you if your book is good or bad. Editor – will tell you how to make it better by clarifying the author’s intention and preserving the originality.

Another difference is that readers usually focus on the framework of a particular genre, in which, in fact, they work. A good editor puts the author’s intention, implemented in a specific book, at the forefront.

The editor sees the book in potential – what it could be if the author embodied the main idea at the highest level. Everything else – the scope of the genre, used artistic means, techniques – is of secondary importance. Therefore, the editor can not only say what exactly is wrong, but also explain why, and advise how you can fix it by suggesting several options.

Some functions of the editor can partially be performed by a good beta reader: to check how successful and logical the plot is, the images of the heroes, their motive motives, see if the composition is balanced, if important details are missing that are necessary for the reader to correctly perceive the book, etc. Some may have help in working with stylistics.

A beta reader can be any well-read person.

An editor is either a person with the appropriate education, or for a long time and professionally working with other people’s texts. And, first of all, with their semantic and compositional part. Not textual-stylistic (proofreading, proofreading), or even less technical (typesetting). These are just small parts of this editorial work.

Where to find editors and beta readers
Beta readers can be found online. There are specialized sites and VKontakte groups with announcements and reviews. You can turn your friends into beta readers. 🙂

The most important thing that readers should give is an understanding of how the book is perceived by readers: what is clear in it, what is not very, what the characters see, what feelings they evoke … Anyone who reads the book can tell about this, if you ask him the right ones questions. And, of course, ideally there should be more than one reader. Preferably, 3-4 from different social groups and ages.

I suspect the problem is that my requirements are too high)) I know how I work with other people’s books and I want the same work with my texts. But alas. Because while you have to engage in self-editing, and this is a completely different calico. You can’t look at your work without prejudice, no matter how hard you try.

It’s best to look for editors a) according to recommendations or at least reviews on their work and b) through trial analysis. From the reviews it will become clear whether it is worth dealing with this editor at all, and a personal contact will make you feel if you can be on the same wavelength. Because if a person could neither understand you nor the book, then working with him will not work.

The most important thing is not to run into one that will assert itself at your expense, criticizing everything in the text without any recommendations. Or just with one thing – throw everything away and write again. Or do not write at all. Run away from editors like beta readers.

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