Writing Info

Would You Pay for a Critique?

Continuing on my theme of critiques after my last post about having a writer’s critique circle, I’ll tell you something fascinating I saw today.  Irene Goodman, a literary agent, puts a post on Ebay the first Friday of every month to do critiques on the first thirty pages of a manuscript.  She says on her website that she’s even picked up an author client from reading their pages through this critique.  So you bid on this critique, and if you win then she or another agent in her group will critique your pages within a month.

So I thought, why not?  I’ll bid on that.  The proceeds go to charity.  How good can it get?

But then I looked on Ebay today, the first Friday of September, and guess what?  Her last critique went for over $700!  That’s right!  Not the $100 that a 10 page critique costs at an SCBWI conference.  No, at least 7 times that!  That’s a little too rich for my blood, but my goodness, who is bidding on this?  The first bid starts at $350!

I thought other agents should get in on this…charge ppl money for a critique.  But then again, I guess that would be like a reading fee, and all legit agents say that’s a scam–that those aren’t real agents.

So my question is, would you, as a writer, pay for a critique if you then had a chance to be represented by the agent?  And how much would you pay?

5 Comments on Would You Pay for a Critique?

  • Sharon K Mayhew says:
    September 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I paid something like $80 to do a picture book workshop on line with an agent and she did a critique on a pb manuscript. The workshop was good and the critique was beneficial, but I sure wouldn’t pay $700 for a critique. If I had that much money to spare, I’d hire an editor.


    • Antonio says:
      October 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      From author C.J. Lyons: In honor of her new reealse, URGENT CARE, CJ Lyons is hosting a contest. One lucky winner will have their query package critiqued by my agent, Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency. Check here for more details.


  • Nancy Tandon says:
    September 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I have heard that in all legitimate publishing relationships, “money flows towards the author,” not away from them. I think it’s good that the bidding gave you pause.


  • girl101 says:
    September 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I think this critique from Irene Goodman is a benefit for charity, so that’s a good thing, but yes, in general, money should flow to the writer. The writer shouldn’t be paying too many people. For example, no reading fees! Everyone out there in the legitimate industry has told me that it’s a scam.


  • Lalaine says:
    October 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for wirtnig such an easy-to-understand article on this topic.


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