Are you ready to make your picture book picture-perfect?
Let me help you polish your manuscript until it shines like the top of the Empire State building! My picture book critique service is designed to help writers at all stages of their development – from newbies to seasoned pros.
I will ensure that you:
Consider the right hook to engage your reader (and an editor!)
Craft your story with the building blocks of structure, plotting and pacing
Hone your individual “voice” to bring your story to life
Choose words that “sing” and bring a rhythm to your story
Understand, and leverage, the unique constraints of the picture book format
Leave room for illustrations to add depth, layering and surprise to your story
Create an ending which resonates with readers (and editors) leading to your own “happily ever after.”
Your picture book critique will include:
Big picture notes: I’ll look at what’s working and what I think can be improved in terms of plot and narrative. I will also look at character, voice, tone, word choice, pacing, ending and everything in between.
A line-by-line edit: I’ll provide for you, in track-change mode, a detailed line-by-line edit, and address word choice, story flow, use of illustration notes, transitions, and suggest ways to tighten the text – making sure that every word counts!
Pagination/storyboarding: As an exercise, I will help you format and paginate your book to ensure that your story works within the confines of the picture book format and makes the most of page turns and illustration potential.
Resource guide (pdf): I’ll provide you with a pdf resource guide chock full of suggested resources you need in order to better understand the business side of the picture book world along with my “Top 10 things I wish I knew before I got published”.
One-on-One Coaching: You have an idea, but not a story. You have a character who needs a plot. You have a beginning but no ending (or middle, for that matter J) ! You need me! Let me help you find your story. With one-on-one virtual coaching sessions, we will brainstorm possible directions, clarify your ideas, deepen your characters, find your voice and better hone your writing talents. Contact me for more information.
Here's what people are saying:
"Wow, I've read through everything and this is EXACTLY what I was looking for! I knew it lacked the sparkle a children's book needs but everyone I went to admitted it was "good enough"... so I didn't find much feedback related to taking the book to the next level. Thank you so much!" - rhsjohnson
"Wow, very impressed with your knowledge and guidance in this process!" - Taylor D.
"Great work reviewing and editing the story! I loved your recommendation regarding the end of the story. I have incorporated your recommendations! love them, they have strengthen the story!" - Gillian
"Once again, your edits and recommendations are fantastic! I am so grateful to you. Let me know when you're available and I will send another manuscript for you to review." -- Lilly
How much for all this goodness?
$150 for a picture book manuscript critique returned via e-mail
$200 for a picture book manuscript critique returned via e-mail plus a one-hour phone consultation/virtual Zoom visit in which we can discuss my comments on your story as well as your questions. I’m also happy to share with you my experiences with agents, editors publishers and illustrators.
$60 for follow-up critique of the same manuscript
One-on-One Coaching: $100 per hour; multiple sessions can be discussed.
Please note: I don’t critique rhyming manuscripts.
Are you ready? (yes you are!)
If so, please contact me at l.lodding@gmail and tell me about yourself, your concerns and goals for your picture book manuscript. Together, we will set up a timeline for delivery and I will send you submission guidelines. I usually turn-around critiques in one week.
Please only send manuscripts under 1,000 words. For manuscripts over 1,000 words, and additional fee of $50 will apply.
I will provide you with payment details via PayPal.
I have been critiquing picture books for nearly 20 years (oh my!) and believe that honest and constructive feedback is an essential (or perhaps even THE essential) component to becoming a better writer. I know that without my critique groups, I would never have become an award-winning published author. In addition to my long-standing online critique group, I am also a member of the Stockholm Writer’s Group as well as a founding co-director of the Dutch chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I have been a guest speaker at the Children’s Media Association in New York City and am on the faculty of the Stockholm Writer's Festival. I have also conducted writing workshops for children throughout Europe and the US.
As an award-winning picture book author, I have had the privilege to work with some of the most talented editors in the business who have provided me with their editorial insights – which I’d now love to share with you. My books have been published by the world’s leading publishing houses such as Random House, Simon & Schuster, Atheneum Books for Young, Bonniers/little bee and others. As a European-based author, I’ve also been able to bridge both continents – US and Europe – tapping into both markets for eventual publication.
I can’t wait to meet you and start this fun process together!