Picture Book Critique and Editing Service


Picture Book Critique Service

I offer an in-depth picture book critique service for picture book manuscripts and dummies. Topics will include, among other things, voice, character development, structure, pacing, plot, and the takeaway. Via email. I also do editing. Depending your requirements, I do line editing, copyediting, and proofreading.

Cost: $100.00 for three rounds–we would work together on your story.

Editorial services can be combined with the critique service or done separately. I only do picture books and other short manuscripts. I can also critique and edit query letters.

No prior writing experience is required. Newbies are welcome.

What makes this picture book critique service a good value?

1. To start, I will do a FREE short crit (1-2 paragraphs, sometimes more) of your PB (picture book) manuscript before we get started, where I will tell you what I think are the strengths of the MS (manuscript) and what we could work on to improve it. Then you can decide if you want to continue with me.

If you don’t continue, there will be no charge. Once you commit, the charge will be $100 whether or not you complete the three rounds. The $100 must be paid in full after the free crit. Paypal and checks are accepted. The three rounds must be completed within ten weeks. The optional editing service would take place after the three rounds are finished.

If you want, the critique process can be repeated after completion.

2. Experience. As an author-illustrator, I can help visualize your story: where the page breaks should fall, and where you can cut text that could be shown in pictures. I’ve worked with art directors and am familiar with the publishing process. I’ve participated in many courses and critique groups. I’m also a judge on the Rate Your Story site. My writing has been published in books and magazines including rhyming poetry in Cricket and Spider. I’m glad to do a rhyming picture book critique. As far as editing, I have over 15 years of experience as a proofreader and copyeditor.

I’m easy to reach online, and am responsive–I won’t leave you hanging.

I’ve been around the children’s book industry for quite some time, and keep on top of new developments. As an active member and volunteer for Children’s Book Illustrators Group and an SCBWI member, I meet and go to hear editors, art directors and other industry people.

3. The picture book critique service is to help you make your story the best it can be. To that end, I believe in facilitation rather than judgement. Some people are very new to the process of writing and feel intimidated; there’s no need to be. I’m firm but gentle.

Here’s how it works:

Send me the full manuscript (If you’re not comfortable with that, you can send part of it). I’d also like a brief introduction where you tell me a bit about you, your writing background, and what you want out of the crit–as much as you want to say. Your story in whole and in part will remain confidential, including the concept, and so will your contact info.

Round 1:

After the free crit (Crit 1), tell me if you want to keep going. If you do, I do a more thorough crit with suggestions on revising.

You then submit a revision (Revision 1).

Round 2:

I critique your revision (Crit 2) and answer any questions you have.

You revise again (Revision 2).

Round 3:

I critique your revision (Crit 3)

That’s the end of the process. If you have more questions, you can ask me at no charge.

Picture book editing:

I offer full proofreading and copyediting services. To give you a price, I would have to see the manuscript. The price would depend on the length of level of editing.

Please see info about picture book dummy critiques and illustration consultation below. I
can help with your query letter, too.
Dummy Critiques:

My picture book critique service extends to dummies. If you’ve got a dummy, simply add $55 to the text critique price and I will give you a written critique about how well I think the dummy is working, including notes on the various pages.

My experience and coursework, including my masters degree in art education, and my observation of dozens of professional crits by editors and art directors, both of my work and others’, has helped me learn to make meaningful comments. I look at composition, color palette, pacing, rhythm, text placement, variation of point of view, movement, emotion, relationships, continuity, and consistency of characters.

If you just have one or two finishes and want feedback, I will give you written feedback on 1-2 pieces of art for free if you have purchased a critique.

SCBWI. If you’re at all serious about children’s books, I strongly recommend joining SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s a large, worldwide organization and THE go-to source for children’s book publishing information. Their Web site includes many resources including forums, announcements, contests, networking, portfolio display, and more.

Self-publishing and need an illustrator?

Due to time constraints I’m not currently offering illustration work for self-publishing authors. If you’re seeking an illustrator, please see cbig-nyc.com and/or this handy illustrators matchup service offered by illustrator/teacher Mark Mitchell.

Please remember that illustration is hard work, both mentally and physically, and even a lower rate may cost more than some authors expect.  Most illustrators will not work with a self-publishing writer who offers royalties only.

On the positive side, you may find it well worth the fee to see your work come alive in the hands of a talented artist.

Free illustration consultation:

If you can’t decide on an illustrator, and if you’ve used any of my paid services, you can send me your list of up to 5 illustrators and I can help narrow down what I think is the best illustrator or style. There is no charge for this brief consultation.

Hope you’ll consider using my picture book critique service and my other services. If you have any questions, or need something you don’t see covered here, feel free to contact me.