Who Am I?
I’m Kay Bratt, bestselling author of WISH ME HOME, THE TALES OF THE SCAVENGER’S DAUGHTERS, and the BY THE SEA series. I’m pleased to offer manuscript critique as a service to other authors.
What is a manuscript critique?
A manuscript critique is very much like a down-sized developmental edit or a supercharged professional beta read, and is the step you should take after you’ve written the full book and it is as clean as you can get it, but before the final proofread. Some authors have a manuscript critique done before they even show the book to their agents. Others skip an agent and get a manuscript critique before submitting to their publisher or self-publishing the title on their own.
In my critique, I will give you an overview of the story’s strengths and weaknesses. I will point out any plot or pacing issues, character development needs, and the flow of the story from beginning to end. I will not be copy-editing or proofreading, though I will mark anything I see that needs attention within your manuscript, using Microsoft Word Track Changes feature. I advise a final professional proofread after a manuscript critique, in case any errors have been introduced in while editing. I will not change your story or insert my own narrative, unless it is within the accept/reject option of track changes. I will deliver your manuscript back to you within the agreed upon time period (usually 1-2 weeks) with an in-depth editorial letter addressing my overall thoughts about the novel, with comments and ideas that I hope will encourage and inspire you.
Why do you need a manuscript critique?
Well, you don’t but it sure will help you polish that book up shinier than my grandpa’s shoes on Sunday morning. Personally, I don’t use beta readers for my own novels. I do have some trusted author friends who have done critiques for me and since they are published and have worked with professional developmental editors too, they know what to look for in a well-written and saleable book. While beta readers are a great tool to have too, most will not see it in the eyes of a published author.
Keep in mind that some authors use the more affordable manuscript critique in place of a full professional developmental edit.
Credentials and how I am qualified to critique your manuscript:
Under Kay Bratt, I’ve written over twenty novels, with more than a million sold around the world. Eleven of the those are published under the Lake Union imprint. Two of my books have hit #2 in Amazon’s Overall Kindle Bestseller list. All but a few of my titles have been in the Top 100 Kindle Overall Bestseller list and all titles have placed #1 in multiple smaller categories. My publisher has worked with foreign houses to have my work translated into German, Estonian, Korean, Chinese, and Czechoslovakian. I am passionate about writing and I’ve found over the years that I take great pride and immense joy out of helping another author make their work the best it can be.
Since 2009, I’ve had the pleasure of working with very well-known and top level developmental editors and copy editors. During the intense editing rounds, I’ve paid close attention to the techniques of polishing a story including character development and overall plotting. While I’ll always be a student to top editors, I feel I am ready to also take an editing role in a much smaller arena. To add to that, over the last ten years, I’ve critiqued manuscripts for personal author friends. The feedback has always been positive and rewarding, and you can see some testimonials at the bottom of this page. Therefore, since I enjoy the process and have learned so much through bringing my own works to market, I’ve decided to offer it as a service to others.
What genres do I critique? I will accept submissions in the genres of women’s fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction. Other genres, except for erotica, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. I also reserve the right to decline any project, but please know that does not reflect on the quality of your work. Because I spend a lot of time on my own writing, I am very selective about which projects I can give my full attention. That means I can’t accept every submission that comes through. Don’t think of it as a rejection, it is simply a pass at that time.
Ready to get started? If you are ready to get started, please submit your first ten pages of your novel, as well as links to your website and social network platform, to me via email at email@example.com. If it looks like a project I can take, I will reply to request your first 50-pages and attach a PayPal invoice for $50 to be paid up front. Upon completion of the 50-page critique, if we both feel it’s a good match for my full critique, you can send the full manuscript and complete the invoice transaction for the remainder of the full payment at $.002/word. Please be aware that the $50 First 50 Pages fee is non-refundable.
|Email firstname.lastname@example.org your first 10 pages for review at no cost to you. Include your website and links to social network profiles.
|If I accept project, then email email@example.com first 50 pages and pay $50 invoice up front via PayPal.
|If we are both happy with the 50-page critique and wish to move forward, send me full manuscript and pay remainder of fee up front at $.002/word via PayPal.
You can also find more information on my Frequently Asked Questions page.
I am currently only accepting submissions for women’s fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction works. I will consider other novel manuscripts on a case-by-case basis. At this time I do not critique erotica, romance, picture books, chapter books, or poetry.
Before submitting your work, please read these terms of service. All manuscripts should be submitted in a Microsoft Word file, dbl spaced with size 12 Roman numeral font. No images, please.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How do I know I can trust my work will be safe and not plagiarized? Because I said so. Okay, seriously though, my professional and personal reputation is everything to me. I would never steal a piece of candy, let alone someone’s work. I believe in kindness and trust and can assure you that no other person will see your work. All of my devices are securely safe-guarded. Lastly, I’m well known in the online author community, especially through Lake Union, so you are always free to ask someone about me.
How much does your critique services cost? After the complimentary 10-page review, I will request the 50-first pages and a $50 fee must be paid upfront. Once the 50 critiqued pages are reviewed by you and we both wish to move forward with a full manuscript critique, you must pay the full manuscript fee at $.002/word, minus the $50 you’ve already paid. *Payments must be paid up front via PayPal. Also be reminded the fee for the first 50 pages is non-refundable.
Can I pay in installments? Apologies, but no. Accepting installments would complicate my accounting for the year. First 50 pages fee must be paid up front, then if we move forward the rest of the manuscript critique fee paid in full before I start the work. What type of manuscripts to you accept? I will accept submissions in the genres of women’s fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction. Other genres, except for erotica, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Why is submission a 3-step process and can’t you just accept my full manuscript from the get go? This process is instrumental for both you and me to see if we are a good fit for each other. I wouldn’t want someone who is not a good fit for my own novels touching it with an editorial eye! The first 10 pages will tell me if it’s even a possibility that your work falls under my interest and expertise. The second 50 page submission will show you my style and level of editing before you decide to let me do the entire manuscript. Look at it this way, the three-step process might save you some money and me some time!
Do you accept non-US clients? Yes, international clients will follow the same guidelines as those in the USA.
What is the turnaround time for a 50-page critique and a full manuscript critique? I will turn around the first 10-page inquiry in a few days. If we move on from there, the average turnaround time for the 50-page critique is one week. A full manuscript critique would be 10-14 days and the dates will be discussed prior to taking the project. If for some reason a critique is taking longer than expected, I will contact you directly to discuss.
Will you endorse or blurb my book? No. I apologize in advance, but I only endorse or blurb books for authors I have an existing relationship with, or those requested to me by my publisher.
Do you offer other services? If I’ve taken you on as a 50-page or full manuscript critique client, I offer to do a book description (blurb) review/edit for an additional $25. You must write the rough draft and I’ll polish it.
Dear Kay – The amount of useful insight provided in a critique from Kay Bratt was astonishing; she found in-line issues that I hadn’t seen in many editing passes. Also the polish she provided on my blurb was wonderful. -Jennifer Handford, Daughters For A Time
For my last several books I have relied upon Kay Bratt’s keen editorial eye to help shape and polish my stories. She has the ability to identify trouble spots and is proficient at suggesting ways to fix plot problems. Her notes never feel like criticisms; instead I feel like I’m working alongside a trusted ally who wants the same thing I do—to make my manuscripts the best they can be. If you’re looking for an editor who will bring out the best in your writing, one who respects your voice and intent, and one with great communication skills and patience, you can’t do any better than Kay Bratt. –Karen McQuestion, Hello Love
“Kay Bratt’s keen eye and proven talent for storytelling has enhanced every manuscript of mine she’s edited. Kay know how to bring you to the next level while still honoring your voice. Highly recommend!” -Kate Danley/Agatha Ball, USA Today Bestselling Author of The Woodcutter and the Maggie MacKay series
Kay did an amazing job in helping me identify the voice I wanted for my novel. With her expert guidance, I was able to rework the plot lines and bring my main character’s story into the open, while supporting my other plot lines and characters. –Brian Spangler, An Order of Coffee and Tears
“Kay Bratt helped me conquer the learning curve of publishing my first book. With a keen editorial eye and a nurturing book coach spirit, I’m proud to say we made it to the finish line.” Jeff Lambert, A Racer’s Guide to How to Get a Sponsor