Wednesday, October 14, 2020

ARC and Beta copies

I often forget when I read an ARC or beta copy that its prepub and uncorrected. I’m not alone. As I’m reading for a friend, I’m seeing the errors. I know my ARC readers always send me the errors they find. How distracting is that? 

 Beta readers can expect more errors, simply by the fact the author is looking for feedback on what works and what doesn't. Technically, its still in development (although it should be darn close to done). The author is the alpha reader by virtue of creating it, and they're looking for a second opinion, or beta reader.

There there's the ARC. I know I've released a couple of books to ARC readers that were uncorrected, and I heard about it. An ARC should be one step away from a final version. That doesn't necessarily mean perfect, but the errors should be minimal, if any. This is the version that is in queue for publication. I've read uncorrected ARCs by other authors, too, but I've also received feedback on uncorrected ARCs of mine that the remaining errors turned readers off. For that reason, I've stopped sending "uncorrected" ARCs. The last couple I've sent out were "one proof" away from final (which means they'd been through multiple sets of eyes to spot those pesky errors that don't want to be caught). Even at that stage of production, there are bound to be errors, and I thank my readers for pointing them out to me. 

As a reader, how annoyed are you with errors when reading an advance reader copy or beta reading for the purpose of providing feedback to the author? Do you accept that those mistakes will likely be cleaned up before the book is finalized? 


  1. I recently did a beta read for a best-selling author and pointed out errors (YAY! Big Names make mistakes, too!) and places where I was confused, etc. She thanked me profusely for some of my catches.

    But if I get an ARC, it's usually because the author wants a review when the book releases, and I expect any errors I find will be caught before publication. If it's an author I know, I might point them out if I think they're glaring. Editors don't catch everything, and there are fewer professional eyes on manuscripts these days.