FAQ

I notice sometimes you use the word review and sometimes critique. Are they the same thing?

Yes. People look for different terms, that’s all, but here at Fiction Feedback it means the same thing; the written critique(s) of your writing that we provide.

Is your service confidential?

Totally. Our reviewers and admin staff undertake to keep your work private. Neither your work nor any of your details are shared with any third party. Copyright at all times remains with you, the writer.

In the critique service, do you write comments on the manuscript? Or make alterations?

No. Within the critique service, we make no annotation or alteration to your manuscript whatsoever. That’s why, if you prefer to send it as a PDF file (read-only) rather than a Word document, it’s fine by us.

How about with editing?

Yes. In editing we use Microsoft Word’s Review system to make amends to the text and in margin comments to suggest other options or explain our changes. This is why we must have Word files for editing.
If I make any changes you might suggest, will this improve my chances of acceptance with an agent or publisher?
Almost certainly. It always helps to have other, informed opinion on your writing and often an objective eye can pick up flaws you’re unable to spot for yourself. Professionals who are used to reading, editing and reviewing fiction can identify areas where you can improve and most importantly, suggest how.

Do you critique and edit any kind of novel?

Almost. Contemporary, crime, fantasy, humour, horror, romance, erotica and chick-lit are all fine. So are novels written for middle grade and young adults. We also critique and edit memoirs and biographies, travelogues and other narrative non-fiction.
We do not critique or edit: – Harlequin Mills & Boon or other fiction written to strict guidelines.

Do you critique or edit short stories?

Yes. Rates are according to length – and with edits, the work required; as with novels we will quote on sight of the work. When you send your story, let us know if you’re intending it for a competition and if so, which one.

What about children’s writing?

Yes. Including picture books.

If I get a positive critique, will I definitely be published?

No, sorry. No one can guarantee that. But knowing that objective, professional editors have shown you how to improve your work will give you confidence when you approach publishers and agents with your new draft.

Can you recommend my work to a literary agent or publisher?

Maybe. We have established certain links which might work to the benefit of customers with outstanding submissions in particular areas, and some of our editors are themselves agents and publishers. No promises, though. But do remember, in your own approach to agents or publishers you might want to say that you’ve had your writing independently assessed, as it shows you’re taking a professional approach to your writing.

May I send my writing to you in the post?

For critiques only, yes. We charge extra if you wish to send your typed manuscript by post, and the service will necessarily take longer. If you opt for this service, please keep a copy! We cannot guarantee your manuscript’s safe return although of course we do our best. Get in touch for rates.

What if my novel falls between your word count price stages? For instance, my extract is 90,000 words.

You always need to use the higher word count price. So for 90,000 words the price you need is that for manuscripts under 100,000 words. We have chosen these stages for good reasons; 15,000 words is usually the maximum that agents ask for; 40,000 words might be a complete children’s novel or a novella and 80,000 is the usual minimum word count for an adult’s novel.

What if my novel extract is around 5,000 words?

The applicable critique rate is for novels under 15,000 words. However, we wouldn’t recommend submitting a novel extract below 10,000 words for critique.

Do you offer an editing service?

Yes, we offer a highly regarded structural and copy-editing service. For full details, see Editing.
We provide editing as a stand-alone service; you don’t need to use our critique service first. However, if having done so you return to us within six months you benefit from a discount.

My manuscript is handwritten. Can I still send it for critique?

I’m afraid not. Agents and publishers strongly discourage handwritten scripts and we must do the same. We always recommend you get your manuscript typed before sending it to an agent or publisher as many no longer accept handwritten manuscripts.

I am not writing in the UK. Can I still submit my work for critique?

Yes. Providing the work is in English, that’s fine. If you need work translating, we recommend you approach the Society of Authors for referrals. Your payment will need to be made in £sterling; PayPal automatically make the conversion.

My question isn’t answered here. What do I do?