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Best Children's Books Author Services reviews and testimonials

We love our customers. And, very often, they love us!

I just read your critique and want to thank you. Absolutely fantastic. Much more than I had expected. I still need to study and internalize each comment before I decide what/how to remedy.

I had no idea about viewpoint and appreciate the time you spent explaining it to me.

Your comments about [the character]’s feelings and responses to events were perfect so I tried to communicate [his] feelings and observations at critical parts in each story. I can see how important that is to... character development.

I wish I had found your web site sooner.

I cannot adequately explain how much your critique helped – thanx.

-Vincent M.

What a wonderful critique. I couldn't ask for more. It gives me a great lesson in children's picture book writing. I will take everything you suggested and rewrite the story with more depth of character as well as implementing many of your suggestions. Thank you for your time with my little story. I really appreciate it and I look forward to submitting more stories in the future..)

After another critique

Once again you have out-done yourself. All your comments are absolutely correct.

What I have learned so far is priceless. I have learned so much from you. I didn't realize how important every word is to a story. Putting them correctly together is another story. Pun intended.

-Gina Ciricione

Your Critiquing service is awesome!... (Read the whole letter.)

-Harvey Rosenberg

Steve Barancik took my book from “wonderful,” his words, not mine, to “exceptional,” my words, not his. For the $65.00 fee I got several pages of notes on my book, with both positive comments and constructive criticism. I also got my manuscript back with comments throughout. It was the best $65.00 I’ve spent so far. (Read the whole letter.)

-Susan Ross

Steve's a seasoned professional with the scope to handle just about any sort of material. His feeling for structure is incredible and he gets you to make better choices. I'm a paid writer in several mediums and thought I knew my stuff, but Steve has taken my work to a whole new level.

-Rick Schwartz

Thank you for all your great ideas and hard work! I love it. You came up with the transitions I couldn't figure out and put what I wanted to say in words. Exactly how I would have put it. Could not have done this without you!

Everything makes sense. Great learning experience for me. I thank you for that. Now for the illustrations! Wahoo!

-Lorna Martin

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your insight.

-Meg Collins

I am so stunned at your response that I cannot even absorb it...

Your suggestions are wonderful. My mind is already buzzing with ideas to improve the story.

Your service is one of the best investments I have ever made. I did not expect such a thoughtful and expert response. I will be using you additionally after I have rewritten the story. I am not sure what service to use next but we can figure it out.

Thank you for offering this service to people. This is the first time I have felt encouraged to write since I was a senior in high school.

As they say in the South, "You sir are a gentleman and a scholar".

-Mary (last name withheld)

Ouch! I loved your critique. I will work on it. And try again with you soon.

-Jo Biel

Steve, I just spent the best 45 dollars I've ever spent. Thank you. Let me incorporate (or rewrite as the case may be) these changes and get it back to you. This may take a while. I plan on using the question "why?," to attempt to better communicate Julie's feelings, and the promise of eternal life, while better explaining the temporary separation that death brings.

-Christine Emmick

Pam Rooks is professional, patient and flexible, three qualities which are invaluable in this business. It is so exciting to see the final product! Thank you.

-Monique Montiel

Steve, thanks a million for your kind guidance. Your informative critiques have made it possible for someone like me, whose only background in writing is her passion, to finally finish my children’s picture book. I know most people would cringe at the thought of being critiqued, but you were so kind and, more importantly so clear in your critiques that I found my confidence as a writer.

By the way, I read your books 44 Ways to Fracture a Fairy Tale and 22 Ways to Rethink a Story. They were an education.

-Maha Huneidi

The graphic you created [to illustrate story structure] was so helpful. Especially to a visual person like me. You are an inspiration.

-Lorna Martin

Thank you for your timely and constructive critique. I have printed it and will refer to your comments often.

-Mary Furlong

Recently I wrote an article on self-publishing. Since then I have discovered another secret to having the best book you can possibly have and it happened by accident. GET A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR.

I sent in my manuscript for a review to Instead of the review I expected, I got an extremely helpful critique for the paltry sum of $65.00. And let me make myself clear, considering what it costs to have a book self-published, that is, indeed, a drop in the hat to ensure your book is the best it can be.

Steve Barancik took my book from “wonderful,” his words, not mine, to “exceptional,” my words, not his. For the $65.00 fee I got several pages of notes on my book, with both positive comments and constructive criticism. I also got my manuscript back with comments throughout. It was the best $65.00 I’ve spent so far.

I have to admit that I thought I was sending him my final draft for my book. And I must also admit that I was not thrilled about changing the text two months before printing. HOWEVER, I want this book to be a classic soooo… I bit the bullet. I didn’t make all the changes he suggested, but I made many of them. Reworking the book also gave me the chance to view things from a different perspective and improve on parts of the manuscript of my own volition.

You may think you will find all your errors without assistance. You won’t! It is very hard to see the faults in your own manuscript, even when they are obvious. You’ve rewritten and reread the story so many times that you become blind to its flaws. (One of my inconsistencies was glaring but I NEVER would have noticed it). Yes, I did have numerous people including classrooms of children, friends and family (and this includes teachers and professors) help with the book. I thought that was sufficient. I was wrong. None of them picked up on the mistakes Steve found because he is a professional.

Your professional editor will point out flaws in logic, inconsistencies, spelling and grammar mistakes, and make additional suggestions on how you can improve your book. Get advice well before you intend to publish and before you illustrate the book. (You may end up making changes that affect the illustrations.) Keep in mind that the opinion is that of one person, albeit a skilled one. You should not compromise your story if you disagree with the advice. The words and writing style must remain your own. Do not let one failed review or a critical critique make you give up your dream. (On the other hand, you have to face reality. If no one but your best friend likes your story, or if your test audience doesn’t like your work, you have a dud. I had to throw out one story because, what I found funny, kids found mean.) Nevertheless, whether you use every word of advice offered, or just a part of it, the feedback you will get from a professional will be an invaluable tool to be used not only on your current book, but for improving your writing on future projects.

So thank you very much Steve Barancik, for your (often humorous) words of advice. I strongly recommend your services to self-published authors. They are worth every penny. (No, I don’t think you should raise your rates; self-published authors are poor!)

-Susan Ross

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Your Critiquing service is awesome!

You critiqued my possible picture book and showed me what's missing the mark, how it can be improved, where it's lacking. Thank you.

I now know the story has potential but needs lots of rewrite work, something I wasn't certain about before hiring you. Had I not used your services, I would have remained ignorant of the glaring mistakes I was making and could possibly proceeded to have self published a book that would have failed miserably.

You saved me a lot of money for a very reasonable/low fee, a BIG thanks!

Steve, I happily and gratefully recommend your service to anyone needing both a reality check on what they've written as well as wanting expertise to improve their work.

What a great investment I made. Plus, I can't believe how quickly you performed the work.

You truly are a professional, I appreciate it. Thanks again.

-Harvey Rosenberg

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After a quick once-through of your notes, I feel totally energized and so grateful to you for your help. I really understand what you've said and now I have to plug it all in to see what happens. Two things pop out that I'll probably tackle first - boring Burpy and boring sentences. Those are the most fun things to play at anyway for me - character and language. Initially I was trying to avoid being corny but now I realize that children don't read it that way at all. I just don't want to be condescending or cynical. I think once the characters are more interesting, the plot can be much more fun too.

I do appreciate your encouragement. I know I shouldn't value your nice words more than the praises from my kids but I'll be holding onto your kindnesses for a little while longer. Also, I can say for certain that I'll be writing to you again, whether to inquire for another critique or just to update you. I'm sure I'm not the first to thank you for offering your insights and knowledge at an accessible price, but here's another - Thank You!

There's much more I want to say but all I can think of now is getting back to the story problems!

Tamara Splingaerd

I wanted to take a moment and thank you not only for your time, but also for your insight and critique. It was hard and even a little painful to read over it, however, after reading it, I can completely understand the points that you made.

I also want to thank you for helping me to determine where I'm at with this story, so that now I have a clearer understanding of where I need to go with it, in order to eventually get it in front of some publishers. I must agree, after reading over your notes and critiques, that I have some work ahead of me. This has been a very educational and necessary experience, and I will be taking the information you have given me and look over the other manuscripts that I have with a more critical eye towards the emotional journey of my characters.

Kristy Rowbotham

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