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A critique is a systematic analysis. It’s often thought of in negative terms but involves looking for strengths and accentuating them. It also considers constructive ways of overcoming weaknesses and correcting any faults.
A critique can help you turn your good book into a brilliant one and unlock its full potential. My critiques focus on momentum, cohesiveness, character, plot, viewpoint, language, structure and marketability. The critique does not include copy-editing or proofreading, but I’ll draw your attention to any layout, grammatical and spelling errors that you can correct yourself and highlight areas that might benefit from rewriting. After a critique, you will feel confident that your book is on track to being as well constructed and professional as it can be.
A critique is a good place to start before embarking on a copy-edit since any overall problems can be dealt with before the detailed work begins.
Copy-editing is the work an editor does to improve the style, layout, structure and accuracy of a text. It doesn’t necessarily involve substantially changing a text, but a good copy-editor is on the lookout for continuity slip-ups (blonde heroines turning into redheads, for example, without resorting to hair dye) and factual errors. However, it's not my intention to rewrite your book. Too many editors try to do that, in my opinion, and want to charge a fortune for doing so. Each author has his or her own voice and copy-editing is about making that voice as clear as possible by getting rid of any distracting errors.
I pay particular attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, language use, conciseness and consistency.
During copy-editing, I mark up suggested changes using Word’s track changes facility. You can then accept or reject these as you choose. I will also raise queries with you where necessary and add comments where they might be helpful.
Copy-editing and proofreading are often confused, but they are quite separate and distinctive stages in publishing a book. Think of copy-editing as tidying up and polishing your text, whereas proofreading is a final inspection of it.