Here is a list of common questions and our answers. If you have a question that isn't listed, send an e-mail to
and we will answer it as soon as possible.
Send us a sample of your work and we can see what stage your novel is in. If your novel is in fairly good shape structurally, then the Edit and Critique is probably what you need. But if your novel is still rough and there are many things that need to be worked out, the Scene Analysis is your best bet.
Send the first 500 words to: samples@CritiqueMyNovel.com
We suggest you let us see a bit first before you decide not to select either of the two other options. The proofread will not cover any technical writing or structural issues. Strengths and weaknesses will not be mentioned nor will there be suggestions on clarity, organization, or style. (Unless the clarity, organization, and style issue is related to grammar and/or punctuation. In these cases, we will comment and suggest.)
If you are confident that your novel is as strong as it will ever be, then this is the option for you. This option will clean up your novel as a final step in your road to publication.
That all depends on the number of manuscripts we have, and how much work goes into them. We have a small staff and work on manuscripts in the order in which they arrive.
We want to give each one our undivided attention while it goes through two readings. The time it takes for each manuscript is between three and six weeks depending on the amount of work needed.
Feel free to ask how many manuscripts are in our queue to get an estimate of how long your novel may have to wait. If you are still tweaking your manuscript but want to save a place in line, see our Advanced Placement program. If you change your mind before we begin your critique, you may request a full refund.
This is a good thing. You should always put your manuscript aside for several months (even as long as a year after the first draft) between revisions. This gives you the objective distance you need to see the problems in your manuscript. When you are too close to it, you will be blind to many issues. We advise you to not look at it at all after you have submitted it for review. If you think of things you want to change, make a note, and then work on something else.
We do not use word tracking for four reasons:
First: We don't just mark problems. We mark them, explain why they are marked, and many times offer suggestions on how to fix the problem. This would be way too much to fit in those tiny tracking boxes.
Second: Revisions should always be completed on a printed copy. When staring at a computer screen, a writer's eyes are more forgiving than when the page is sitting in front of him/her. Many mistakes can be missed since our eyes are used to skimming over text on the computer screen. As your editors, we want to catch all we can, and when you have your manuscript back, we want you to be able to see what we are talking about.
Third: We do all of our editing on the printed copy. Having to go back and incorporate changes and editing marks into Word tracking would add too much time and effort to your critique.
Fourth: Two people work on the same manuscript at the same time.
We will conduct a second round for 35% off of the price you paid the first time.
For shorter works, such as the 500 word samples and 3,000 word contest critiques, we will type everything into a Word document and send it as an attachment.
For full length manuscripts, however, we will send you the paper copy with editing notes on it along with a print-out of our full critique.
We need a printed copy of your manuscript to work with for the Proofread and the full Edit/Critique. We will be happy to print it for you at a cost of $.07 per page. Otherwise, you can mail a copy to: CMN; P.O. Box 6139; Amarillo, Tx 79117
Although we have allowed a few of our clients to do this, we want to discourage this for several reasons. The main reason is that we need to see the entire novel to be able to judge the plot and story development. We need to see your climax and how you tie up the loose ends. This is just as important, if not more so, than the beginning.
We also write an overview section that covers several points about the novel such as the plot and story development, scene structure, organization, character development, and so on. It's difficult to get an over-all view of the novel when we only have half. It can be done, but it won't be as complete as it would if we had the rest of the story.
If you choose a Scnene Analysis, we can do this, but not if you order the Full Edit and Critique
Since we do a lot of developmental editing with a comprehensive focus, this wouldn't work well. We do our edits on paper and type a set of notes that covers the overall aspects as well as page by page needs. Although our typist keeps up with getting the notes typed, we don't go through and organize them until after the novel is finished. At this time, your two editors write an overall review and then add all of the overview sections that cover the novel as a whole.
It should be either double-spaced or 1.5 spaced. We need room to scribble and doodle.
If you pay with PayPal, we will add the shipping cost to your final payment or send an invoice once we are finished with your manuscript.
If you send a check or money order, please include enough to cover the return shipping cost.
Although our area of expertise--and interest--is in fiction, we have had some inquiries about biography and memoir type books. Shoot us an e-mail and tell us what kind of book you have. We want to be sure we have staff available before you send your manuscript.