What’s Involved in a Professional Critique?
So before clients send me their work, I get a lot of questions from them about what’s involved when they sign up for a professional critique with me. I’m hoping to answer those questions here. Making the decision to reach out, and pay for, a critique is a decision most writers are on the fence about (“on the fence” is a cliché which I would point out in your critique!). What if you already have critique partners whom you trust and respect? Will getting a critique separate from them be overkill? That’s something only you can decide.
Still, let me tell you my story, and see if it helps at all.
When I was trying to get published, I did have critique partners and beta readers. (I still have critique partners, though my circle has tightened to two very smart ones). Did I enlist the services of a professional to critique my work? Yes. But not in the way I’m offering those services now. You see, I attended writer’s conferences and paid the conference fees and the individual fees to have agents and editors look at a sample of my work and critique it for me. So, I did go outside my circle of critique partners and pay to have my work critiqued. Was the expense worth it? I would have to say that it was. I never signed with those editors or those agents based on the critiques. But I got feedback from someone in the industry who knew what they were talking about. I received information that would shape how I constructed my manuscripts. It was a great exchange, on all accounts.
So what are you getting when you purchase a critique through me? You’re getting a New York Times bestselling author who has, to date, signed deals for ten books. You’re getting someone who has a passion for critiquing…and someone who’s had their own ass handed to them from other critiquers. You’re getting an author who started from scratch, like you, and had to fight for all the answers you are looking for now. You’re getting a business partner who wants to see you succeed. You’re getting my opinion on your work, where it could improve, where you’re doing a great job, and what your next steps should be. You’re getting a phone call (or more than one phone call) to answer all your questions about my critique and possibly to talk about the industry if you want (<–I can be longwinded). And yes, you’re getting a cheerleader.
Am I a tiara-wearing grammar queen? No.
Am I a magic wand that will instantly get you published? No.
Am I an expert in formatting, a slayer of Microsoft Word squiggly lines? Nope, nope, nope.
So, what do you get with me? Here is what one client had to say:
“Anna Banks provided me with a fantastic manuscript evaluation! I was immediately impressed by her sample edit and confident that I would not regret purchasing a full critique. Her inline comments were expanded upon in a letter addressing overall issues, which she then discussed with me in further detail via a phone call. She pointed out the things I did well and was honest, but in a kind way, about where my manuscript needed work. Because of her keen editorial eye, I improved my world building, characterization, and made sure my characters’ voices stayed consistent throughout the story. She pointed out scenes that didn’t have enough tension or purpose and also gave me a killer suggestion for my opening sentence. I was very pleased with the experience and would recommend her services to other writers. I’m happy to say my manuscript received a full request shortly after I finished my revisions and started querying!” –Tiffany M.
You get your document back with comments all over the thing. You get a generalized editorial letter for the bigger topics. And you get a phone call from me to discuss any and all questions you have.
If you have more questions for me, leave a comment below! 🙂