You've finished your manuscript, revised it several times, and you think you're ready to send it out to agents but want a second opinion before you do. An expert's opinion.
A critique is the best first step to get your manuscript ready to send to agents. The critique analyses your book’s structure, writing style, and market fit to inform you of what works well and where you can make improvements. This assessment is not an edit to the text, but a report detailing the manuscript's potential of success within the children's publishing market.
Critiques are available for all children’s books, from picture books to middle grade.
I’m also able to provide this service for author-illustrators on your picture book dummy to feedback on illustration. Your illustrations can be final, but ideally would just be at sketch stage.
What do my critiques include?
A big picture overview
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your story? Does its structure make sense? Are the characters well-rounded and develop throughout the story? I’ll dive into all the details that make your story work as well as highlighting the ways you can improve the book itself.
Does your book have a clear age group and market? You’ll want to make sure the content of your book is suitable for your age group, because parents are often sensitive to content they allow their children to read.
Notes on inclusivity
Is your book representative of the diverse society we live in? Sometimes a subtle change can make your book more inclusive or prevent a certain group of children from feeling excluded or misrepresented in the narrative. If necessary, I will recommend if you should consider working with a sensitivity reader.
Writing style assessment
All writers have things they do well and things they could improve. For instance, maybe you're great at setting a scene but need a little work with dialogue. I'll provide you with guidance on how to make your writing the best it can be.
Advice on next steps
A critique can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry – I’ll provide guidance on how to tackle anything I’ve raised. And whatever your creative goal is, I’ll help you plan those next steps.
How does it work?
After you request a critique and we agree on the details, you can send me your full manuscript. Then I get started.
The amount of time it takes me to produce your assessment depends on the length of your book. I’ll advise this during the first step. The length of the critique will also vary based on the length of your book.
Once I've finished, I’ll send my critique to you and then you're welcome to ask me any questions you have about the critique itself or any next steps.
What does it cost?
The cost varies based on the length of the manuscript, but for some guidance:
Picture Books - starting from €90 / £75 / $100
Young Fiction/Early Chapter Books - starting from €215 / £180 / $245
Middle Grade - starting from €360 / £300 / $400
How long is the critique?
This will vary based on the length of the text, but is usually a minimum of three pages.
Will you look at a revised version of the book after the initial critique?
I don't advise getting more edits than you need before submitting your book to agents. So I would only suggest this if you are really stuck or have changed the manuscript drastically.
Will you provide any edits to the text?
I don't provide edits to the text during the initial critique. Most authors who plan to submit to agents won't require editing before submitting. However, if this is something you are interested in or you plan to self-publish, I am happy to discuss options with you.