I spoke last time about how Indie Authors cannot afford their own editors mainly because the logistics are not the same. The writers who chose self-publishing have no lesser merit just because they do not choose the traditional route however it is agreed that editing plays an important role in both sides of the issue.
Thus bringing me to the role of a Beta Reader. A Beta is similar to an editor, however, there is a key difference: Editors often have degrees and demand payment while Betas may or may not have degrees and do not demand payment (they may ask for a novel swap in which you review their work in return but they do not ask for money).
A Beta can be of great importance to your writing process, especially if you can find the right Beta that fits you and your work. Some writers have more than one Beta depending on their genres of writing and also depending upon how much of a kick in the pants the writer feels their work needs. Some Beta's will only provide certain services and most will not be able to help you if your work hasn't even been edited by you, the writer.
It's very, very important to remember to review your own writing first before pawning it off on other people to help you. There are people who don't mind putting in the effort but if you, the writer, aren't going to help yourself, then these people aren't going to bother helping you either because they will see it as you having a lack of pride.
There's a few websites that can help you connect with Betas so that your work can be at a similar if not parallel quality of a traditionally published author.