I got into a discussion the othe day with someone (not a writer) who told me they thought using beta readers was not a good idea.
"You're giving away your books for free! If they read it before you publish, they won't buy it when you do!"
Interesting. The people I use as beta readers aren't the only book readers/buyers in the world, and I find the feedback I get from them is invaluable. They point out discrepancies I'm too close to see, question points that need clarifying and so forth.
So my question is, do you use beta readers and how helpful are they to your work?