I hope that doesn't sound pretentious, since I know I frequently need help to find the heart of what I was getting at. I don't know how many times I've thrown chapters or even whole manuscripts at Jess, with an email reading "HELP! I have no idea what I'm doing anymore!" That's the great thing about critique partners and groups-- they can often figure out what you were thinking better than you can. Or, if not, at least put you back on the right track!
Unfortunately, not everyone has critique partners. Or sometimes your critique partners are busy with their own work and can't get to yours for a while. Or they've read so many drafts that they, like you, are having trouble seeing why those "Sorry, this just isn't for me..." emails keep coming back. That's why I started my critique services.
That's also why I'm lowering my pricing. I want to be able to reach more writers who are looking for help, but can't afford the super-high prices of some other professional editorial services. I know a lot of writers struggle with the question "is this working?" and a lot of writers don't have a group of critique partners to fall back on, so I'm hoping the many options listed will provide the flexibility for people to be able to afford help, whether they need it piecemeal or for a whole manuscript.
I've also added a couple items to the offering. The first is a submission package critique, which includes notes on your first chapter, query, and synopsis. The second new item is going to be a lot of fun for me, and hopefully for those who purchase the service-- a First 500 Words critique. It's only $5 (and yes, if your last sentence ends at 511 words, that's fine), and you can order it as many times as you like for as many projects as you like. It's a quick-check to make sure that you're hooking the reader the way you want from page one, and it's as affordable as your morning mocha.
To kick off the new products and the newly re-priced site, I'm having a contest!
First Prize: A free submission package critique. (If you win & aren't at the querying stage yet, we can discuss a partial manuscript critique instead.)
Second Prize: A free first chapter critique.
Everyone who enters will receive a free first page critique and a discount code for a future service. Yes, this is shorter than the 500 words service, but I don't know how many people will enter and I need to keep the pool manageable!
To enter, Step One:
1) Blog about the newly re-priced site, including a link to the site and a link back to this contest post. If you're a previous client, you get an extra entry via this method for promoting it as a service you've used!
2) Post about the services on Facebook (again, be sure to provide links!).
3) Tweet the following: Affordable #writing critique service! RT to win a crit from @kathleenfoucart http://bit.ly/Z2BPkm
4) If you use another social media platform (Tumblr, Google+, Instagram somehow...), feel free to mention the contest there-- for each additional site you post on, you'll get another entry.
After doing any or all of the above, come back to this post (please use the one on livejournal.com, it just makes my life easier), and comment with links to everywhere you've posted it. Somewhere in the comment be sure to put your name and your email address (in the form of "yourname at wherever dot com" is just fine) so that I can contact you after the contest. Remember, everyone who enters does get a free first page critique, so even if you don't win the top two prizes, you still get something! So don't forget that email address!
Wait. But just until Saturday! On Saturday morning (March 9) I'll randomize the list of entries & let random.org pick the winners. Then I'll post the names and email everyone who entered with directions on what to send where.
That's it! With the usual caveats of not spamming someone else's website (every entry you post MUST be under your own account at whatever site you're using) and that while the contest is open internationally, I can only read submissions in English.
And since that was a lot of explanation for a wee little contest, you all deserve a picture of a happy little corgi to get you through the rest of today!