Manuscript Critiques

The hardest part of getting published is writing a book. So if you’ve done that—if you have completed a whole, entire manuscript—congratulations! I’m so proud of you.

The next step is to hack it up with your red pen. Edit, refine, and polish until you’re confident it’s the best piece of work it can be. This editing process is nearly impossible to do alone. Family and friends are wonderful cheerleaders. Their declarations that “It’ll be a bestseller for sure!”are great for your self-esteem. But to move past the 1st draft stage, it’s important to find people who will give you thorough and honest feedback (without breaking your heart).

What I do:

My critiques have two parts. First, I give detailed, in-text comments. I read through your work and give my first reactions as a reader, my impressions of the writing style, the things I find confusing, the passages that make me want to read more, etcetera. This is not a copy-edit or a line edit. If I find grammatical errors or awkward sentence structures, I will point them out. But my focus is on substantive issues: identifying the problems, highlighting the strengths, and asking questions. The second part is the “Big Pic.” This is essentially an editorial letter that gives a holistic assessment of the work. I focus primarily on plot development, character growth, and world-building, but can examine other points by request. I do not make changes to your work. I’ll make suggestions but I strongly believe that you have full creative control and are the final arbiter of what is right for your book.

I’ve been “beta-reading” since 2006 and started my career in publishing in 2012. My first jobs were reading the slush piles and writing reader reports at a literary agency and a publishing house. I used to work as a children’s book buyer and now work as a sales representative for adult books. In my free time, I write reviews and make book recommendations for publications in the US and Canada. In short, I have a thorough understanding of what makes a book work.

I want to see you succeed. I joined this industry to be help writers and I’ve centered my career on advocating for diversity and equity. If I can help remove an obstacle from your path to publication, I will do so with tireless enthusiasm.

I can only work on one manuscript at a time, so space is limited. If you’d like me to critique your work, contact me for a quote now: