The Book Shelf



You’ve finished writing your nonfiction book, but what next? The next step is to get feedback on your manuscript. You can of course get feedback from friends and family or beta readers, but if you want objective, honest, and expert feedback, it’s best to get a critique (also known as “editorial assessment”) from a professional book editor. 

Get in touch

A critique is ideal for you as an author if you:

  • Need an objective and educated opinion on your manuscript before self-publishing.
  • Are considering seeking a publisher and want honest feedback on whether your manuscript is good enough (or how to make it good enough).
  • Aren’t sure which type of editing you need, if any.
  • Want to learn to edit your own book so you don’t need an editor in future (yes, we’re trying to do ourselves out of a job!).
  • Want to be empowered to make the changes to your manuscript yourself so you don’t need hands-on editing.
  • Have a budget that doesn’t extend to hands-on editing.

What is a critique?

A critique is where the editor assesses everything from the title to the final words of your manuscript, then provides a comprehensive editorial report (around 10-15 pages) with feedback on:

  • The title and subtitle: unique, compelling, relevant, etc.
  • The big picture: content, message, structure, aims, etc.
  • The small picture: tone, style, flow, language, clarity, etc.
  • The length: word count and chapter, paragraph, and sentence length.
  • The visuals: headings, styles, images, etc.
  • The good and the bad: what works, what doesn’t work, and what could be better.
  • The value: whether you need to add more value for the reader and how to do it.
  • The audience: whether you’re speaking to your audience and meeting their needs.

In a critique, the editor provides feedback on the manuscript so that you, as the author, are empowered to make the changes yourself. This way, you don’t necessarily need hands-on editing, though you can opt for content or copy editing afterwards if you’d like. You can find out more about our editing services here.

What you’ll get in a critique:

  • A manuscript full of comments on individual instances, sentences, and paragraphs
  • A comprehensive editorial report
  • An hour-long call to discuss the feedback
  • One free check of your changes*

*Must be within one month so the editor remembers the manuscript accurately. Increases in word count from the original critique will be charged on a per-word basis.

The service

Critiques can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on the individual book and the word count. The cost also depends on the word count. The longer the book, the higher the cost. The cost of a critique per 1,000 words is £30.

The Book Shelf

The legal bit

If you’d like to record the call for future reference, feel free to do so, but please don’t share it with anyone. 

We take our authors’ privacy seriously, so rest assured we won’t share your documents, details, or the content of our discussions with anyone. 

We delete all files after the project’s completion aside from those used for marketing purposes. 

You can see our privacy policy here.

The Book Shelf

Our experience

At The Book Shelf, we specialise in nonfiction books that make the world better. We empower our authors to write life-changing books for their readers. We’ve worked on over 500 books with authors around the globe—from first-timers to New York Times bestsellers to non-native speakers and everyone in between. If you want to change your readers’ lives, we want to help you achieve that.

Our specialist areas are:

  • Business: This might include entrepreneurship, leadership, getting out of the rat race, or building a business. It might relate to your particular business, teaching the reader a skill or sharing expertise on your subject matter (such as property development or animation).
  • Personal development: This includes books on how to make the reader’s life better, such as how to become happier. It might also mean teaching them individual skills such as goal-setting or nutrition. It often includes aspects of psychology, health, and wellbeing.
  • Philosophy: This can be any area of philosophy from ethical theories to ways of life, metaphysics to morality. It may be an analysis of traditional philosophy or proposing a new approach for readers.

What our clients say about our coaching services

"Working with Ameesha was a delight! From the very beginning when I sent in my sample manuscript, I was instantly impressed by her depth of knowledge and professionalism. She made it all seem so easy, while at the same time being very strict in her review. She was accessible to me all through the process, and was very helpful and friendly. I definitely recommend her."

Laide Abel, author of "People as Assets", Aug 2020

"Embarking on a self-publishing journey is not for the fainthearted. But had it not been for the endless support of Ameesha and The Book Shelf Ltd, it would likely have been so much harder. I was dubious about hiring an editor initially, but a traditionally published friend of mine said that a good editor is worth their weight in gold. He was absolutely right! 

From day one, Ameesha has been an incredible resource. She produced a fantastically detailed editorial assessment, providing more insight than I had expected from the original quote. She has been on hand and happy to answer my many questions, which as a first time author has proven to be invaluable. She has provided me with way more value than I could ever have expected from her fee.

I can't have been the easiest of clients to deal with either, however I have never found the least bit of frustration from her. She is highly professional, approachable and consultative. She always seems to have the best interest of the author in mind, even at the expense of her personal time. She is a wonderful editor who has gone above and beyond throughout this project.

It is this level of professionalism and diligence that makes her future success (and that of her clients) inevitable. Hopefully an editor and friend of mine for a long time to come!"

Jym Brown, author of Amazon bestseller "#Life: The Wisdom of Philosophy, Psychology and Pop-culture for Living a Better Life"

"Ameesha provided a wealth of comments, questions, and analysis, far beyond my expectations. The critique was brutally honest and helped to reveal weaknesses in the manuscript, including redundancies, unclear arguments, contradictions, and places where more research was needed—so I can fix these issues before I encounter the brutally honest criticism of readers after publication.

Ameesha also helped me align my focus toward my target audience so I developed a much more focused outline and was able to decide on a writing style more appropriate for the intended reader. She was very patient with my many questions and helped me find creative solutions to my problems.

I feel like collaborating with Ameesha provided not only a much-needed critique of my manuscript but also valuable training in nonfiction editing that I will use in the future. In that sense, I was paying not only for one project but for an education in editing from a master editor."

Harrison Paul, upcoming psychology author, 2020
406 x The Book Shelf on The Book Shelf
58 x The Book Shelf on The Book Shelf

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