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I couldn't imagine finding anyone more helpful, supportive, or nice to work with. I never would have made it this far without your guidance!
Erin Hughes, author
You've written a book. Congratulations! But now what will you do?
The editor's role is not to criticise and knock an author's confidence, but to offer constructive feedback. The editor is sensitive in their approach, but always honest (there's no point commissioning a book critique unless you want the truth), and makes a point of telling authors what's good in their writing as well as where they can develop.
While accepting constructive feedback is difficult, it really does help you grow as a writer. A book critique is therefore an essential element of the book-writing process.
WHERE A BOOK CRITIQUE SITS IN THE PROCESSThe basic process in a publishing house works as follows: Book critique / development edit > Copy-edit > Proofread. Sometimes the process includes several rounds of each stage. Ideally, you commission some level of development input (book critique or development edit) before copy-editing and proofreading – so you sort the content before the language. For more information on putting together an editorial package to suit you, see the Packages page.
THE BOOK CRITIQUEThe book critique is a report that summarises the editor's opinions on and recommendations for the book within certain areas: usually, genre, audience, title, writing style, characterisation, setting, plot, structure and readiness for publication.
The book critique is the industry standard manuscript appraisal. It gives you a clear picture of which areas you may want to develop and how you may take the book forward for publication. Sometimes a critique is abundantly positive, and the editor recommends, after a copy-edit, that an author submit the book to publishers and agents straight away; sometimes the editor tells an author that the book is unlikely to have a market, or has fatal flaws. Often, however, critiques fall somewhere in the middle, with commendations for good elements and recommendations for improving weaker areas.
Please note: The book critique is an overview document. The critique is designed to look at the big picture; thus the critique does not drill down into the minutiae of the book, highlighting each small inconsistency, weakness and mistake. If you want a more fine-tooth-comb appraisal that includes the book critique, take a look at the development editing service.
SAMPLE CRITIQUE To get a feel for The Book Specialist critique, take a look at the book critique example.
BOOK CRITIQUE TERMS A book critique costs £4 ($6.50) per 1,000 words for books of 50,000 words or more. For shorter books, please get in touch for a tailored quote.
The standard turnaround is three weeks, depending on the length of the book. We offer an express service, for an increased fee, if required.