Are you really a reviewer?
Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking. – Wikipedia
Reviewer: a person who writes critical appraisals of books, plays, movies, etc., for publication. – dictionary.reference.com
This is something that got me thinking earlier. Is there really a difference between a beta-reader and a reviewer? If there is, do independent authors depend on early reviewers to act like beta-readers? I know there’s been at least one author whom I’ve, according to the definitions above, acted like a beta-reader and this person has changed some of their text because of my review.
An essential part of reviewing is, I think, pointing out plot holes, problems with continuity, etc. Maybe we don’t go as in depth as a beta reader would, but all these things affect the rating that we give a book,so isn’t it essentially the same thing?
I think I mean this question more on a small scale. Obviously someone like Stephen King probably wouldn’t care if a person wrote a reviewing saying “I saw this, and it doesn’t make sense in the book”, whereas someone who depends on word of mouth reviews and such to get their books out there might immediately go “Oh, shite! Let me fix that!” if they see it and its a legit issue.
For those of you that review indie works, what do you think? Do you feel like you straddle the beta-reviewer line?
For those of you who solely review traditionally published works, I’d still like to hear what you think!
PS: I have absolutely no issues with providing the reviews and straddling the beta-reading line with indie authors. I’m just poking at definitions and word usage ^_^
Talk to me!