In short, a beta reader is a writer’s best friend. When they are working at their best, these are people that help us make sure our books are ready to go to editors. They are our first line of defence, and obviously, worth their weight in gold.
Where do I find them?
Elusive, hard to track, much like the Haggis (joking), beta readers are shy and retiring, but if you’ve got people that like your work or are always asking about your book, they are a good place to start. Exchanging beta reads with writers is completely acceptable too (exchanging reviews however, are not).
Also, unless they are superstars, or you’re able to, most beta readers are not paid.