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Getting a manuscript professionally critiqued

Cover of my book

Draft front cover of my book

About a month ago I decided that although I was spending a lot of time editing and rewriting sections of my book Juggling Life, Kids and You, I wasn’t sure if I was making any improvements to it.  Not knowing if it was ready for publishing or not, I made a decision to look for a professional critique who would be aware of the market and give me an indication as to whether my book was ready for publication, and if not, how much work it would take to improve it.  A company, who offer a critique service, was recommended to me and they not only work with established authors, but also help new writers like me.  I submitted my manuscript online!

Having a book ‘out there’ is going to be different to having blogs ‘out there’

Up until now, I have published hundreds of blogs and a handful of articles online, and have received positive comments.  If I spot a mistake after posting or if I change my mind about a word or sentence, I edit and repost.  Publishing a book is very different – you can’t change it once it’s ‘out there’ on the shelves.  Getting someone completely independent to analyse my work and tell me if I am going in the right direction felt like the right thing to do.  

So, what does a professional critique do? 

My research on the subject has shown me that getting a professional critique on your manuscript can:

  • Add value to your work.
  • Give you an independent and honest opinion of your writing.
  • Highlight where you are going right as well as how you can improve as a writer.
  • Give you reasons why you might be getting rejections from agents or publishers.
  • Highlights any inconsistencies with format throughout.
  • Highlight any issues with plot, characters, structure, pace and so on.
  • Recommend your manuscript to literary agents and publishers.

…and so much more. 

Waiting patiently…

If I’m honest, it’s been lovely having a break from the book.  I have just under a week to go before I receive the manuscript assessment report.  Obviously this unplanned step of getting a critique will delay the launch of my book slightly, therefore I’m hoping that I’m not going to have to make too many changes.  What I do know is that I want it to be the ‘best it can be’ when it’s published.  I’ll keep you posted on the results of the manuscript assessment and details of publication date.

For other fellow writers out there – have you ever thought of finding out if your book (or other written work) could be better than it is?

Until next time…



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


2 thoughts on “Getting a manuscript professionally critiqued

  1. HI Sandra,
    Good post. I’ll be interested to see what the results of the edit are.
    My work on a novel for several years will reach that point after another re-write.
    I know some published authors in my acquaintance highly recommend getting some editing/critiquing done.

    Posted by Bill99 (@Bill99) | October 5, 2012, 4:32 am


  1. Pingback: Professional critique results + action plan « My Writing Notebook - December 20, 2012

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