Critique groups are a great way to get feedback on your manuscript. As a member of a group you will be responsible for providing input on co-members’ works. When providing feedback, be specific and positive when making suggestions.
If you are joining or starting a critique group the following list provides criteria for evaluating a manuscript:
1. Title. Does the title attract the reader’s attention? Is it clear and focused on the topic? The subtitle should convey information that allows the reader to know what to expect?
2.First sentence/paragraph. Is the lead sentence or introduction strong? Does it compel the reader to continue reading? Does the lead convey the theme or main idea of your books?
3. Audience. Is the manuscript appropriate for the author’s intended audience?
4. Format. Is the written work true to format (Profile, Biography, How To, etc.)?
5. Main idea. Is the subject or main idea presented clearly?
6. Supporting information. Does the written work make effective use of description, anecdotes, case studies, direct quotes, characterization and/or humor to feature the main idea or theme?
7. Organization. Is the body of the work organized to so that readers can follow the development of the topic and recall the information presented? Are there awkward or confusing sentences that can be cleaned up or eliminated?
8. Paragraphs. Does each paragraph work to guide readers in understanding the main idea? Are details clear? Does the writer effectively use techniques such as comparison, persuasion, classification or analysis to support the main idea?
9. Pace, syntax and transition. Does the writer vary sentence length, use appropriate words, establish and follow a consistent tone and use active voice? Is the writing grammatically correct, free of spelling and punctuation errors?
10. Conclusion. Are the main points and themes presented in a way that is satisfying to the reader?
When I entered the publishing industry 15 years ago, almost no one paid for book reviews. Websites that offered paid book reviews were marketing to authors who either didn’t know how to request a standard review or weren’t eligible to be reviewed through existing...