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, but you’re worried your book will flop badly with readers? 

Perhaps you hope to submit to an agent and you’re anxious your story and characters aren’t cutting it? (And let’s not forget all the other writers hoping to land the same agent. Competition 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 beyond your budget.

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 writing group support or critique partners. But even when you do get feedback, it can be inconsistent or based on personal preferences rather than informed knowledge.

And friends and writing group folks 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 good critique partners first, but everyone is different. We don’t all want to show our work around 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 read and rewritten your scenes and chapters so many times that you no longer remember what you’ve put in and what you’ve 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. So many moving parts: characterisation, plot, pace, theme, genre, dialogue, structure, and more.

All you want to do is wow readers or agents. 

So, what should you do? If you’ve landed on this page you already know you need a fresh pair of eyes on the manuscript. Preferably someone who is knowledgeable enough to spot issues and how to fix them. 

You need detailed editorial feedback that is tailored to your needs, your level of experience, and which gives you 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 costs that come with full developmental editing.

Manuscript Critiques should come after beta reading and before copyediting.

How a Manuscript Critique can help you.

Sometimes what you need as a writer is a detailed editorial report, not a full developmental edit. 

So, what is the difference between the two? Developmental editing includes comments in the margins of the manuscript. This provides a lot more editorial feedback directly in the manuscript, but it’s also time-consuming. In fact, it’s 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. The reports can actually be longer than a developmental editing report because the manuscript critique has to carry the full weight of the editorial feedback.
 

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 developmental editor, it’s that feedback is crucial to producing great work. 

We can’t see our own mistakes as writers. What we see are the things that are in our heads rather than on paper, and the reality is that the reader only sees what’s on paper.

You might have edited something out and don’t realise some things no longer make sense. 

The last thing you want is to find out via a negative review on Amazon or Goodreads.

I’ve developmentally edited well over a million words of fiction and memoir. I know from experience as an editor and writer that feedback is vital when it comes to producing a great book.

So, what do you get with your Manuscript Critique?

what you get with your critique

Here’s what you get with your Manuscript Critique:

How IndieCat Editorial can help you

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

Genres

The Manuscript Critique is available for the following genres:

The Manuscript Critique report is detailed and runs to thousands of words and at least 20 pages.

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 the time. Instead, you get to refresh for a few weeks before tackling your manuscript again with fresh insight and constructive feedback.

How it works and how much it costs:

Price

When you first contact me, you can let me know the genre of your manuscript and whether you intend to self-publish or submit it 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 send you a questionnaire to fill in to 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 price guidelines apply:

For novels or memoirs up to 60,000 words…………£447

For novels or memoirs up to 80,000 words…………£497

For novels or memoirs up to 100,000 words……….£547

If your novel is longer than 100,000 words, please contact me for a quote.

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.

Who's a good match for this service and who isn't?

this critique is for you if:

this critique is not for you if:

Aftercare services included in the price: after your edit, you can contact me with batched queries and receive a shorter follow-up report. You can also send rewrite samples of up to 5,000 words in total.

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

how it works

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.

Booking

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, Stripe, or Paypal.

Payments

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

Delivery

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 fee.

Want a second-round critique later? Get it for 20% off the full price. Returning clients only.

FAQ

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.

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 novel or memoir.

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!