Beta readers are test readers. They volunteer to read your book and provide feedback before you publish it. You use their feedback to inspire your final revision. If you publish without the input of beta readers, you're more likely to overlook easily fixable flaws that would undermine reader satisfaction. The best time to work with beta readers is before you publish and after you've already completed your self-editing. You want your book to be as near final as possible.
When you work with multiple beta readers at once, and you should, we refer to that as a beta reader round. In this episode, you'll learn how to orchestrate and execute a beta reader round. Budget at least six to eight weeks for the entire process from start to finish. When you orchestrate a beta reader round, you'll send beta readers your manuscript and then you'll gather their feedback. But there's much more to it than that. I'll summarize the high-level elements of the beta round, and then later in this episode, I'll dig deeper into the specifics of how you pull off each element for maximum benefit.