As a new author, just freshly out on the book market, I'm a rookie. Today I learned a new term - beta testing. Beta testing is when you select a small group to test your product. I guess you could say it's sort of like having scientists analyzing the results of their work by using control groups. Or, a software developer sending his product to a select group of businesses asking them to try his new product out. It's called the debugging stage. Well, authors must also have a debugging stage - the beta test.
Alpha Testing -
First, we have what is called the alpha stage. At this time, the writer asks for her work to be critiqued by her writer's group, family, etc. (I spent a couple of years in this stage.)
Beta Testing -
Then, there is the beta stage. This is when the author releases her book without much fanfare. She is waiting to see what the response is to her book. What corrections must she make before it goes out with all the toots and whistles. (I spent too few days at this stage ... live and learn.)