Let’s Talk About Critiquing Your Book
Identify your strengths, understand your weaknesses, and write with confidence. A manuscript critique gives you advice and actionable feedback to help you put your words together in a more powerful way.
Manuscript critiques cost $0.02 per word ($200 minimum)
What You Can Expect From A Manuscript Critique
Get a detailed editorial report on the things you can do to find the best form of your story, supported by examples from your manuscript.
Common issues that an editor might include in the report are things like:
- Adjusting the tense or point of view of narration
- Cutting filler description or non-essential events
- Developing, dropping, or amalgamating lifeless characters
- Connecting story events to create a more cohesive narrative
- Ensuring that dialogue feels natural and that each character has a distinct voice
- Suggesting possible directions for the story or workarounds for problem areas
- Crafting intriguing openings and satisfying endings
- Spacing events to heighten reader investment and prevent fatigue
Tailored to your goals and your manuscript, the report is a unique examination of your story and its inner workings, all intended to help you take early or stalled drafts to publishable quality.
A 20-minute consultation is included in the fee, giving you the chance to ask questions and/or seek clarification on the report’s contents. Consultation can be carried out by phone, Skype or email, depending on what suits you.
Is my manuscript ready for a critique?
A manuscript critique is about finding the best form of your story. That means it’s useful at any stage of a manuscript’s life, from the first draft to the twentieth.
Of course, the earlier you get in contact the easier advice will be to implement. It also helps to begin a manuscript critique early because the narrative is less “fixed,” and a wider range of possibilities can be considered.
How long will it take?
Actual time frames depend on your editor’s schedule, but on average, a critique will take 4–7 weeks. If you have a deadline, please let us know.
What’s the difference between a manuscript critique and a comprehensive edit?
A critique is ideal for manuscripts that are still being developed and written. A manuscript critique consists of an editorial report and margin comments. It does not include a line edit.
When your manuscript has structural issues, a manuscript critique will lead you to revise sections, make cuts, and restructure material. It doesn’t make sense to get a line edit at that stage because your text is still fluid and likely to change.
A comprehensive edit is a more intensive edit that’s only used when a manuscript is structurally stable.
A comprehensive edit always includes margin comments, an editorial report, and a line edit.
In short, a manuscript critique comes before a comprehensive edit in the editorial chain.
Does my manuscript need to be in a particular format for the critique?
Yes. Please submit your manuscript as a single Word file (.doc or .docx). Do not submit your manuscript as individual chapters. The font should be size 12 with double line spacing, and it should be formatted as Times New Roman, Courier, or Sans Serif.
Please note that if submission guidelines are not followed, a nominal formatting fee may be necessary to prepare your manuscript for critiquing.
Should I worry about copyright?
Copyright protection is a common worry for authors, which is why we’re happy to guarantee that your work won’t be shared with any third parties. Your editor will use your work solely for editorial purposes, and is bound by a Non-Disclosure Agreement which is available to all clients prior to the commencement of any work.
You retain all rights to your work at all times, including to changes suggested by your editor.
How do I know I’ll get the right editor?
For your feedback to be useful you need to understand what it means and why it was given; that’s only possible if you have the right editor.
Before your manuscript critique is carried out you’ll be asked for a synopsis of your work and to provide a short sample. This information will be used to assign you an editor with experience and interest specific to your genre.
If there’s a particular editor you’d like to work with – someone you’ve worked with before or have seen on our blog – then we’ll do our best to make that happen.
What isn’t covered in a manuscript critique?
The manuscript critique is designed to provide broad feedback on a work’s narrative. Presentational qualities such as grammar and spelling won’t be dealt with in detail, and passages won’t be rewritten unless it’s to provide an example of how a larger issue could be handled.
What does the editor consultation involve?
If you require an editor consultation on your critique, your editor will make themselves available via phone, email or Skype to discuss the contents of their report. The manuscript critique includes 20 minutes of free consultation, after which further discussion can be arranged at an hourly rate.
Please note: This time is intended for clarification of the manuscript critique report. Editors will not be able to provide feedback on new versions of the manuscript or changes made in response to their report as part of this service. This kind of feedback can be obtained through a re-read report, a separate service which can be arranged through your editor.
What if I don’t agree with the report?
A manuscript critique doesn’t involve any changes to the content, format or style of your manuscript – all feedback is given in the form of supplementary materials such as notes and a report.
Your editor will explain why they’ve highlighted certain issues and why their suggested changes would work, but at the end of the day it’s entirely down to you which advice you choose to implement.
What will my report look like?
Your report will be a Word document of approximately 3–5 pages in length, depending on the story. It will be broken down into manageable sections such as ‘Plot’ and ‘Dialogue’, with further subheadings specific to the story guaranteeing clarity and ease of reference.
If there’s a method of presentation that you think would be especially helpful then our editors will be happy to adjust to your specifications.
Is there a minimum charge?
Yes, there is a minimum charge of $200.
What should I do to get started?
To get things moving you can contact us via our contact form below. This will begin the discussion about what you want from the service, and will start the process of finding the right editor for you. Once you have an editor, and price and deadline have been agreed, you’ll be asked to sign our standard client contract, clarifying what you can expect from the edit and from us as a company.
After that, all you have to do is wait while an editor begins the process of providing unbeatable advice on your manuscript.
Do you offer anything more in-depth?
If you’re interested in working with an editor to develop your story from an early stage, then a developmental edit might be for you.
If you’ve already had a manuscript critique and you want to see if your changes have improved the story, then a re-read report is the best way to go and can be arranged through your editor.
Could I contact one of your previous authors for a reference?
We’re happy for potential clients to find out more about us from those with prior experience. Just let us know this is something you’d like and we’ll pass on the details of authors willing to discuss their own edits.