so much more than a beta read

Grab a Manuscript Critique and get a detailed editorial report on your novel or memoir.

Manuscript Critique

Best for: authors looking for a full manuscript review. With detailed feedback at an affordable price.

Are you a fiction or memoir writer who intends to self-publish? 

Perhaps you hope to submit to an agent. And you’re anxious your story and characters aren’t cutting it. (Let’s not forget competition for agents is fierce.)

Maybe you’ve been through a round or two of beta reading. Maybe you’ve reworked your book in line with beta feedback. And now you need more detailed analysis from a professional.

But the price of a full developmental edit is way beyond your budget.


I have worked with several editors, all good and professional but I found Karen’s critique much more than that. She got into the heads of my characters, something I often failed to do thoroughly, and the plot, of course. But as with life, the big omissions are more obvious, the smaller less so and these make the novel work and stand out. And these Karen identified. I had a lot of work to do after she reviewed my novel but worth every minute. And she is good to work with, makes positive suggestions and is very thorough
Sandy H
MS Critique client

A Manuscript Critique provides editorial feedback on your entire book at an affordable price.

Is your manuscript cutting it?

It’s no mean feat to write a novel or memoir. Some people are lucky enough to have critique partners. But even when you do get feedback, it can be inconsistent. Or based on personal preferences rather than informed knowledge.

And other people are not always willing to give you the truthful feedback you need. Maybe they worry about hurting your feelings. Even though you told them you wanted an honest opinion.

But perhaps you don’t have any support. And you’re trying to do this alone. Maybe you’re not at the stage where you want to show other people your work. 

It really is a good idea to find critique partners first. But everyone is different. We don’t all want to show our work around. At least, not until we have some idea of its value.

Whether you’re getting support from others or going it alone, there are all sorts of questions you might have about your manuscript.

Does your plot have holes? Are there any loose threads?

Are your characters fleshed out? Are your antagonists two-dimensional baddies?

Are the stakes high enough? 

Is there enough tension and drama in your story?

Does your main character have a credible character arc

For that matter, does your writing match your genre?

Do you have an identifiable genre? Or is it a mishmash of genres? And does a mix like this actually work on the page?

And let’s not get started on the fact you’ve rewritten your scenes so many times you no longer remember what you’ve put in and taken out. 

Let’s get real here – are you making things better or worse?

The truth is, there are so many things to keep track of when you’re writing a novel or memoir. Characterisation, plot, pace, theme, genre, dialogue, structure, and more.

All you want to do is wow readers or agents. 

But first you need a fresh pair of eyes on your manuscript. 

You need detailed editorial feedback and an easy-to-understand rewrite plan.

You also want it to be affordable – something that won’t break the bank. That’s where a Manuscript Critique comes in. Because it doesn’t have the additional time and costs that come with full developmental editing.


Reader read my manuscript 4 times to make sure she understood everything. I truly appreciate this thorough and sincere effort. And it showed through her feedback. She pointed out so much useful information for my next revision. Track commenting is so helpful and more than worth it. Polite, quick response time, and very knowledgable feedback. I def recommend
Franco C
Critique client

Manuscript Critiques should come after beta reading and before copyediting.

How a Manuscript Critique can help you.

Sometimes all you need is a detailed editorial report. Not a full developmental edit. 

What’s the difference between the two? Developmental editing includes comments in the margins of the manuscript. This provides a lot more editorial feedback, but it’s also very time-consuming. 
Manuscript critiques are extensive editorial reports which break down elements of your novel or memoir and analyse them to see how they work. 

Neither a developmental edit nor a manuscript critique deals with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Because you’re not at that stage yet.

First, you need to make sure your story works, your main characters are engaging, and everything else is working well.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a writer and editor, it’s that feedback is crucial to producing good work. 

We can’t see our own mistakes as writers. We fill in gaps because we know what should be there. But the reader only sees what is there.

You might have edited something out and the scene no longer make sense. 

The last thing you want is to find out via a negative review.

What do you get with your Manuscript Critique?

what you get with your critique

Here’s what you get with your Manuscript Critique:

This editorial package is suitable for adult and young adult fiction. Check the genres below:


The Manuscript Critique is available for the following genres:

The Manuscript Critique report is detailed and runs to thousands of words.

Picture this...

A detailed report on your novel or memoir within 2-3 weeks of submitting your manuscript.

Truthfully, a lot of writers go round and round in circles trying to figure out what they might be missing in their manuscripts. Or what they can improve.

With a manuscript critique you can save yourself a lot of time. 

How it works and how much it costs:


When you first contact me, you can let me know the genre of your manuscript and whether you intend to self-publish or submit to an agent. You can also let me know your word count.

I will contact you to ask you more about your project. I may ask to see your opening pages. I may also send you a questionnaire to fill in. This will give me a better insight into your writing experience and goals.

The price of this critique is dependent on the length of your manuscript. The following rough price guideline applies:

£6 per 1000 words

If you’re on a budget, I can do one less full read of the manuscript – I usually do three to four. 

Payments are paid in two to three instalments, with at least 25% due on booking your edit. If your edit starts immediately, then you will be invoiced for 50% of the balance. 

Delivery of your edit is within 2-3 weeks of the commencement date. However, if there’s a queue you might have to wait – you will be given a booking time and the date to send me your manuscript. You will also receive the delivery date.


The fact that my manuscript had a recurring and glaring flaw I couldn’t notice gave me pause. Very thorough response and a very gracious editor. She does find any silver linings when possible, without pulling any necessary punches! Thank you for suggesting good examples!
Critique client

Are you a good match for this service?

this critique is for you if:

this critique is not for you if:

After your edit, you can contact me with batched queries and receive feedback.

Wish you could order something between Manuscript Critique and full Developmental Edit? Ask me about my Manuscript Critique Plus service.

what happens when you contact me?

Contact Me

Use the contact form or my email address on the contact page to let me know about your manuscript. I’ll send you a questionnaire about your project and intentions.


If we both agree, I will send you a contract and an invoice for 50% of the fee upfront. You will be given a completion date. Payment is by direct bank transfer or Paypal.


If you are not booked in for an immediate edit, you can pay a 25% deposit to book your place, and 25% just before the edit begins. Then 50% when the edit is complete.


When the edit is complete, I will send you all the materials. You are free to contact me about any questions you have. I will invoice you for the remaining 50% of the fee.

Want a second-round critique later? Get it for 10% off the full price. Returning clients only.


Most frequent questions and answers

Word documents in a readable font like Times New Roman or Calibri. The text should be double spaced to allow plenty of space for margins comments.

If you work with PDFs or Google documents, contact me and I’ll ask for a sample.

When you book a critique you will receive a booking date. If there’s a queue, your commencement date may be days or weeks in the future. If there is no queue, you can have your edit much sooner. The turnaround for the edit itself is around 14-21 days. The length of the book partly decides the likely delivery time. So, if you book today and I have an immediate space in my calendar, you will receive your edit within around 2-3 weeks (depending on whether your booking is taken at the beginning or end of the working day).

If your manuscript critique is booked ahead of time, your payment can be split into three parts – 25% booking fee, 25% at the start of the edit, with the final 50% invoiced to you on delivery of the manuscript. 

The final payment is due within 14 days of delivery of the manuscript.

No, this edit consists of a detailed editorial report. You will not receive a copy of your manuscript back with track comments because that’s a different service. If you want track comments, you can either opt for the Opening Chapters Edit, the full Developmental Edit, or you can ask for an add-on option which would include light track comments. This would come at an additional price.

If you're anxious your novel or memoir isn't working, this is your chance to get actionable advice within a 2-3 week timeframe.

Grab a Manuscript Critique and get a detailed editorial report on your book.

Put up your feet while someone else digs deep into your manuscript. Get constructive analysis looking at plot, structure, character, theme, language, tone, genre, point of view, and more!