We have focus in usefulness of beta readers everywhere. And we have warnings not to show text too soon to anybody. I disagree. I use alpha readers all the time. And it is bloody useful. And they are useful because I have my own rules to how to do that. And these are the rules: 1. Alpha reader is not allowed to comment text at all. Not a word. Not half a word. Zero. Nothing. 2. I tell my alpha readers to tell me about their physical reactions to my text, their emotions, their feelings. Nothing about what generated those, but everything about them. 3. I watch them from convenient distance. They must be in safe emotional bubble but I must see inside that bubble. They must be emotionally undisturbed. 4. They can choose how much they read - or not. I pay attention to these indicators: - Physical reactions - How intense that reading is - Emotions - Feelings - Do they wanna read more or stop or have pauses or... 5. Using alpha readers is not so much about making that project better but to make my writing better. My voice. The flow of words and sentences. Building tension. The emotional effect of my text... The main question is: flat or captive?