I've been editing the hard copy over the past couple of days--12 chapters done!
I had an interesting moment because, since this is a YA book, I wanted to have my 12-year-old niece give it a read (she's done this for other writers, so it's not a huge, weird pressure for her). So I asked my sister about it. My sister has been putting out books of her own these days, and it was kind of alarming how she was like, "Yes, she can beta it! And this person can beta it! And that person can beta it! And this other person can beta it! Oh, if we're going to have all these people beta it, we can't leave so-and-so out!"
Oh my God--I had to stop her. It's just the difference in process: My sister will take something that she doesn't consider really done and have a million people beta the crap out of it. She's totally fine with that and considers it completely necessary. I wait until I'm basically happy with the book, and then let a couple of people who I trust beta it. Really all I'm expecting them to do is catch things I've missed--like, oops, you never described your protagonist, or oops, you've got some crucial event happening offstage. I feel like if you invite in all and sundry, you'll wind up with people like--well, like me if you asked me to read over your romance novel. People whose input is Less Than Helpful.
I think part of it, too, is that (even though it's been taking me forever to get things done) I do like to be efficient. Waiting for an entire community to weigh in just seems like a big waste of time to me--they can do that after the book is published!