Good critique services are hugely valuable. Bad ones can be worse than useless.
Bear in mind two things. First, professional authors all have their own ‘in-house’ critique service, via their literary agents and publishers (plus, quite likely, their own professional novelist friends). So by purchasing such services yourself, all you’re doing is getting the help that the pros get automatically. And of course, since you’re that much less experienced, your own need for those services is probably greater.
Secondly, poor critiques can be hugely damaging: they’ll send you off into spirals of wasted energy and literary dead-ends.
We aim for our manuscript critique services to be among the best in the world. We select our editors with a ruthless eye for excellence and we work hard to ensure that every single time we give feedback, we are giving the maximum possible value to the client. If you want to see more of what we do, go here to explore our editorial services. We have helped hundreds of writers like you get published, and there’s no reason why we can’t help you too.
What makes for a really great critique service?
When looking for a good critique service you should consider:
1.Is your manuscript ready?
If you haven’t yet edited and revised the manuscript carefully yourself, then it probably isn’t yet good to go. A critique service doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in the hard miles yourself. There’s no hack.
2. What are the professional qualifications of your editor?
In our view, your editor should either be a professional writer with a major publishing firm, or be a commissioning editor (possibly recently retired) at a major publishing house. It’s no good going to someone whose track record is only in creative writing teaching or who has only ever worked with minor publishing houses. You need someone whose credentials match your own ambitions.
We only use pro authors or senior commissioning editors … and we only use ones whose work meets and maintains our exacting standards. We’re picky so you can relax!
3.What kind of costs are you looking at?
For an average length manuscript, you’ll probably be looking at around £400-£600, or $600-$900. Any less than that, and you’re probably not buying a sufficiently in-depth service from an appropriately qualified editor. Any more than that and you may be paying more than you need.
We’re not the cheapest on the market, but we don’t think that cheap makes for great value. We’re certainly not the most expensive either, and we work as hard as we can to deliver great value for money.
4.Can you see a sample report?
You certainly should be able to ‘try before you buy’.
We’ve sample reports available for scrutiny. Any reputable service like this should offer the same.
5.Will you be offered follow-up discussion?
It’s often not just a question of getting an editorial report, no matter how good. You also need to be able to ask questions and seek clarifications. Make sure that’s part of the package before you sign up.
We always let clients ask questions. Mostly, our reports will just blow you away with their level of detail and analysis, but if you have questions, we want to answer them. We want you to go away satisfied, period.
6.Will good manuscripts be recommended to literary agents?
If your manuscript is strong enough to be put in front of literary agents, then you should expect that kind of support and (in our view) you shouldn’t have to pay anything additional for the service. You’ll also want to check your critique services company’s track record and you’ll want to know that they have strong, current and extensive links with literary agents.
We use all our editors as talent scouts. If one of those guys tells us a manuscript is really special and ready to be marketed, we’ll do what we can to place it with an agent. Our fee for that: $0.00. Basically, we love helping you get published and we don’t charge one red penny for going the extra mile. It’s all part of the service.
Find out more about what we do. We were founded by writers for writers, and editorial support lies at the very heard of what we’re about.