1. Ask them what kind of Beta Reading they like to do. Some people like to do spelling and grammar checks. Others like to just give their opinion of the story. Others want to do it all.
2. Let them know what you would like from them. It is best to do this in written form so that they have something to reference while reading the writing.
3. Talk about a time frame. Let them know when you would like it back by, and see if that works for them.
Here is a list of topics that you can ask Beta Readers to focus his/her attention. Pick areas where you would like feedback. Be careful not to overwhelm or not direct them at all.
- Is the beginning attention grabbing?
- How is the character development?
- Did you form a connection with the characters?
- Anything confusing about the characters?
- Clarity & Consistency. Is there anything unclear or inconsistent in the book? (Did the characters hometown change mid-book? Eye color? etc)
- Anything distracting about the book?
- What emotions are evoked?
- Is it entertaining?
- Funny? Scary? Sad? Exciting?
- Did you lose interest at any point? What point?
- Satisfactory ending? Did you see the ending coming? Was it too out of the blue or unpredictable?
- Any holes in the story?
- Any part unbelievable or far-fetched?
- Anything that you are wondering about still?
or mentioning them in your book.