As the Internet has connected communities and nations across the globe, the relationship of writers with their readers has been enhanced through creating networks of writers and their audiences through the development of new media technology.The use of beta readers allows for authors (published traditionally and through self-publishing) allows for authors to gain a better understanding of what works in their text and what needs to be revised, improved or rewritten before submitting to a literary agent or editor.
Beta readers have evolved through the Internet as a new tool for emerging writers connected to the digital world. Beta readers help build a better book, who are often readers of the genre within the market of what the writer wants to publish in the literary market. They are chosen by the author and rather than relying solely on the opinion of family and friends who can be biased towards the author and their work, they can submit to an impartial audience. Beta readers can be found on online communities such as “Good Reads”, “World Lit Café” and in writing events such as “NaNoWriMo” (National Novel Writing Month). In NaNoWriMo the concept of the beta reader is translated into an online community of other writers who workshop, edit and critique each other’s work while using that knowledge to work on their own. As resources develop prospecting authors to authors are connected along with their audiences to develop their skills. For each reader is different and will present the author with a fresh opinion on their work. The ability to connect
Specific communities and technologies are important in developing sound stories and enhance creativity. On a small scale for authors technology has become a new medium for authors to expand on their creative skill and allow for limitless imagination that integrates media and connect them with other authors and beta readers to uncover more about their own work. Further on a board scale the development of the beta reader, these affinity spaces allow for people to actively learn in their craft in peer to peer teaching, to participate in their interests and celebrate a world of self-express in a world that hinders creativity.
Douglas, C. & Macleod, C. (2014, March 19). 5 Things You Should Know about Working with Beta Readers. Retrieved from http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/03/5-things-you-should-know-about-working-with-beta-readers
Jenkins, H. (et. al). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning. Retrieved from https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/free_download/9780262513623_Confronting_the_Challenges.pdf
Jenkins, H. (2006). Eight Traits of the New Media Landscape. Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2006/11/eight_traits_of_the_new_media.html
Tornero, J.M.P. & Varis, T. (2010). New Media Literacy & New Humanism. UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. Retrieved from http://iite.unesco.org/pics/publications/en/files/3214678.pdf