Monday, October 29, 2012

Manuscript Critiques

In my last post I talked about the major conventional types of editing offered to writers. Today I’d like to talk about an editing service that I provide that I have previously not mentioned, manuscript critiques.

What is a Manuscript Critique?

A manuscript critique is a review of the author’s work. The process involves reading a writer’s book and providing a couple pages of overall feedback about their story. This feedback includes both content edits and a summary of common stylistic problems present in their manuscript. Unlike content and copyedits, this editing service does not provide in-text edits.

What are the Benefits of Manuscript Critiques?

There are three obvious benefits to this service. The first is that a manuscript critique locates the biggest problems in any given book. These are the areas that are most vital for the writer to fix and may make the biggest difference in determining whether a book is publishable or not.

The second benefit of manuscript critiques is an offshoot of the first: by identifying your problems as a writer, you are able to grow as a writer. I’ve seen tremendous growth when I succinctly lay out a writer’s problem areas. Subconsciously a writer might have always known those problems were present, but they needed to receive a second (and professional) opinion to make the edits.

The third and final benefit is that manuscript critiques are cheap. In an earlier post I went over the price of editing. I’m sure if you’ve read that post and were unfamiliar with the price of editing, you were astounded. Most of the averages fall somewhere between $10.00 to $40.00 per page! For manuscript critiques, American Editing Services charges $1.00 per page, one tenth the price of the low end of the averages.

Why are Manuscript Critiques Cheap?
Even though I charge per page, my rates are based on how quickly I can edit a given text. So, manuscript critiques are cheap because reading a book and writing up a couple pages of feedback only takes a few days. In contrast, copyediting and content editing can take up to a few weeks because I provide hundreds to thousands of edits and comments throughout a book.

What Does this Feedback Look Like?

Who Should Receive a Manuscript Critique?
Any level of writer qualifies for and can benefit from a manuscript critique because no writer is perfect, and a manuscript critique allows a writer to distill the most important areas of their book—and potentially their craft—that need to be worked on.

In conclusion, manuscript critiques are a fairly unique and affordable editing service I provide. I review a book and write up a couple of pages of overall feedback. I identify a book’s/a writer’s largest problem areas and offer ways to correct these weak points. Manuscript critiques, unlike most other professional editing services, are cheap, and writers of all levels can benefit from this editing service.

Happy writing,

Laura Carlson, Editor
American Editing Services


  1. You provide a link for an example of one of your manuscript critiques, but the link blocks people from actually viewing it.

  2. Thank you so much for pointing that out! The problem should now be fixed, but if anyone else runs into the same problem, please let me know.