Manuscript Critique


How do I know I am ready for a manuscript critique?

I need something substantive to review. This could be a fleshed-out concept, a draft of a complete manuscript, or several well-developed chapters along with a detailed outline. No loose notes or vague descriptions of your work. You also need to be ready to listen to constructive feedback. Constructive is the operative word here. My role is to facilitate the development of you and your work.

Do you review fiction and nonfiction?

I review nonfiction works, be they books, articles, websites, blogs, etc. I also review some fiction, depending on the type of book. Poetry, plays and  screenplays are beyond my area of expertise, and I don’t want to do you a disservice. However, I do work with writers of all genres on a coaching basis.

How do you provide feedback?

We talk by phone. If you are in the Frederick, MD, area, we may be able to meet in-person. Talking is important because it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and for us to explore editorial options and next steps.

How often do we meet?

We meet twice: Our first meeting, held prior to my manuscript review, is 60 minutes. You tell me about yourself, your book and your goals. You also identify issues you want me to pay particular attention to. Our second session, held after my review, is 90 minutes. During this debriefing, I share my opinions and advice, and walk you through your best next steps, including the best format and printer for your book.

Will you edit my manuscript?

My role is to review your work and suggest ways to strengthen it. My suggestions focus on structural issues (e.g., depth and organization of chapters) and on your writing (e.g., flabby prose, personal voice). As important, I measure your work against your goals. Does your book deliver on its promise? Reach your targeted audience? Lend itself to the format you’ve chosen? Etc. Should you decide you would like hands-on editorial assistance or project management, we’ll discuss options.

How much does a manuscript critique cost?

Every manuscript, like every writer, is unique. Different lengths, different styles, different products — all are taken into account. Much, too, depends on what you need. A quick overview? A detailed review? Generally, however, critique services start at $1,250. The fee includes our two meetings: the first is 60 minutes, the second is 90 minutes.

How do I submit my work to you? PDF? Word? Printout?

Printouts please! However, I will accept electronic material if it is fewer than 30 double-spaced pages. These 30 pages would include cover letters, title pages, tables of contents, appendices, etc. Manuscripts should be in PDF format, and all pages must be numbered.

What forms of payment do you take?

Checks, credit cards or PayPal, all of which must be paid in advance of my manuscript review.

What are my next steps?

Simple: Contact me. We’ll discuss your manuscript and goals to ensure we’re on the same page (literally and figuratively). If we are, we’ll determine next steps, including timetable and fees.


Drop me a line!