Welcome! Here’s where I discuss my services regarding manuscript critique. The form to get started is at the bottom of the page.
According to Forbes, between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books are published every year in the U.S. alone. Half, or even more, of them are self-published. The question is, what are you doing to make your book stand out?
If you’re fuzzy on what a manuscript critique is or what it does, you’re not alone. Called anywhere from critique to coaching to assessment, the service varies from service provider to service provider.
Here’s how I explain it. A manuscript critique is usually done one of two ways:
- Where a service provider reads the manuscript more or less as a reader does and writes out a report at the end, usually several pages. The report details the changes suggested.
- Where a service provider reads the manuscript, all the while making remarks, suggestions, and examples throughout the document, targeting specific areas down to the sentence or word within the sentence.
Neither way is right or wrong, but it’s good to know what style of a critique you prefer, especially when it comes to your hard-earned money.
The service I provide is example two. I personally find it most helpful when things are pointed out along the way. For me, it’s more specific, more concrete, and more helpful. If a service provider is telling me in a report at the end that the protagonist needs to be more likable, that’s not as helpful as having it pointed out on page 107 that Susan could help Brian by offering to carry one of the backpacks.
Check out any of my Under the Microscope posts to get a feel for the service I provide.
What my critique covers/points out:
- Poor plot development/structure
- Improvements to make the character dialogue and character “voice” more natural and functional
- Character development tips
- Praise where your paragraphs, pages, and chapters are really working well
- Weak concepts or plot devises
- Things that don’t belong in your book’s genre
- Unnecessary information, info-dumping, and backstory
- Clunky phrasing, dialogue tags, and POV errors
- Awkward blocking/staging
- Plot holes
- Portions that don’t serve the story
- Bringing to your attention anything that might make the reader stop reading
- My thoughts at the end of the manuscript. This will be several paragraphs long, bringing together the entire excerpt/story.
- And more…
What my service doesn’t cover:
- Spelling/grammar correction – this service doesn’t replace the need for an editor
- Critique of children’s, middle grade, or non-fiction books. All other genres are welcome with no restriction on material or maturity rating.
My critique doesn’t hold anything back from what could help you, but I also don’t hesitate to point out the things you’re doing well. In my opinion, a critique should both address what’s right and what’s wrong with your manuscript. You’ve worked hard. You deserve to know what you’re awesome at.
Contrary to what many other service providers say, you may not need the entire book critiqued. Sure, it’s possible that you may want that, but it’s not uncommon to apply what you’ve learned from a section to the entire novel. If you’re uncertain, start out with a chapter or two to test the waters, and if you want to proceed with more, go for it.
“I sent Ryan what I thought, would have sworn, just KNEW was a polished piece, and got back something that most honest English professors would have been envious of. He had the same delicate touch for the more in depth look at the story coupled with an honesty I have been lacking from most of my beta readers.” – K. Caffee
How does payment work?
Half the payment is invoiced before the work begins, then the invoice for the second half is sent to you when the work has been completed. Once the second/final invoice is paid, the finished critique is sent to you.
What do you charge?
I charge $0.01 per word. For example, a 10,000 story/section would come to the total of $100. All amounts are in USD.
Is there a minimum purchase?
I set the minimum purchase bar at the low level of 5,000 words.
Can I order a few chapters at a time?
Sure. Other than the minimum of 5,000 words per purchase, you can order as much or little as you like.
Do you do samples?
Yes. I’ll perform a sample of 500 words free of charge. If you submit for a sample, please have it be the first 500 words of the story you’re interested in having critiqued.
What results can I expect after the critique?
While I can’t guarantee representation by an agent or a certain amount of sales, I can say with confidence that my critique will put your story in the best position possible.
Should I be worried about copyright?
No. Everything you send me remains 100% yours. Your material is kept in strict confidence. Your material, ideas, and plot concepts are not shared or sent to any other parties.
What format do you use?
I do all critique comments via Microsoft Word comments and Track Changes. You’ll need to send the manuscript to me in Microsoft Word, or at least, be able to view a Microsoft Word manuscript when I send it back. If you’re not able to view Microsoft Word, I can make other arrangements.
Please fill out the form below and I’ll get you started with either your free sample or your order!