CP’s and Betas, Oh My!   Leave a comment

As a writer I get asked by non-writers and new writers what the difference is between a beta reader and a CP (critique partner).

I will answer this in GIFs.


A beta reader is someone who loves to read.


They aren’t necessarily a writer but they must be a reader.

There are two types of beta readers. One type of beta reader is one who reads in the genre you are writing in and the other type doesn’t. Both can be valuable.

What is a beta reader’s job?


It’s up to you as the writer to clarify what you want your beta readers to be looking for when they read your manuscript. Is it to make sure the plot makes sense? Are there enough descriptions? How is the world building? Are there any parts that are confusing or unclear? Is there any point where you stopped reading? I usually have my beta readers do “big picture” stuff. If they see a typo or spelling error, of course, point that out but I’m not looking for a line editor at this point.

It’s important to give your beta readers time to read. If you are on a deadline, make sure to mention that. And if this is a new beta reader, you might want to give them a couple of chapters first to see if they are a good fit.

Where do you find beta readers?


I belong to a few writing groups online and I usually get my beta readers from there. You can ask on Twitter or if you have writer friends, ask them. You may not use the same beta readers for every manuscript you write and I usually have two or three rounds of beta readers depending on my needs.

What is a Critique Partner?

A Critique Partner (or CP) is usually another writer who is in it for the long haul. They may or may not write in the same genre as you but they are another writer.

A CP is someone you can bounce ideas off of.


And they can help you figure out if your idea for a plot is a good one or not.


They can also be a beta reader for you a chapter at a time. I have several CP’s and they each focus on different aspects. One is good with romantic elements, one is good with descriptions and another is good with plot and overall story.


On Twitter check, #CPMatch. There are several others throughout the year so keep an eye on those if you are in the market for a CP.

So, now you know the difference between a beta reader and a CP!

Any questions?




Posted April 12, 2016 by kathleea in Uncategorized

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