I promised you a discussion about beta readers, didn’t I?
I have four beta readers. 2 guys and 2 girls. Ideally, I’d like to have more and in a perfectly made world, I’d have seven: 4 guys and 3 girls. I may technically have 5 or 6 total betas by the time this whole Draft 2 shebang actually ends, but at the moment, I have only 4.
Here’s how the beta process goes (at least, this is what I assume happens):
I send out the book my various betas. They read it. They laugh at it. Then they answer the list of questions I sent them and hopefully send my draft back to me in a timely manner. The timely part of this situation is negotiable. They’ll tell me whether they liked it, whether they want to kill me by the end of it, where they caught their feet in plot-holes, where characters are behaving badly, ect.
Betas make your book better. Betas make your book so much better, even after your crit partners have read it (oh yes, my crit partners are also reading Draft 2 as per their crit partner duty). Because the betas are your target demographic. They know what they want to see, and they can see the flaws in your story because you’ve lost that magical ability we like to call objectivity.
Your betas are smart. They know what they’re talking about. You’d do well to listen to them.