Sunday, 29 March 2009

Query

A writing friend of mine has been looking at critique people for her novel - she writes v well, sent her novel off to various agents, had had some encouraging feedback but no one said YES! So she wants to try a critique agency and someone recommended Cornerstones. Looking at their website they only take on people they think have a good chance of becoming published, and they charge the going rate and have a lot of contacts with agents, BUT if she gets published, they take 10% of the advance.
Anyone know anything about them?

10 comments:

Annieye said...

I don't know about Cornerstones, but I used 'Real Writers'. It cost £50 for a critique of the first 10k words and a synopsis. I got some really valuable feedback. I thought it was great value for money. I put a post on my blog at the time, but I don't know how to insert the link here. It was entitled 'Appraisal of my Baby' and it was posted on 20.2.08.

Hope this is helpful.

Captain Black said...

Annie's article can be found here.

KAREN said...

Hilary Johnson's Advisory Service comes highly recommended, as does The Writer's Workshop (sorry not to do links, but Google should bring them up!)

Debs said...

I've used Hilary Johnson's Advisory Service in the past and it was very useful.

Annieye said...

The captain is a genius!

Gem said...

I've been on a Cornerstones course, which I found out about from the novel racers (long time reader, first time commenter). It was brilliant, I'd definitely recommend Cornerstones wholeheartedly...

Flowerpot said...

Thanks for all that. It's the 10% that bothers me - if anyone else has some info about that I'd be v grateful - please email me on flower.pot@btinternet.com

KAREN said...

Cornerstones have a good reputation, but I'd resent them taking 10% to be honest, on top of what they charge in the first place - this would be as well as the agent's 10 or 15% if you were taken on. Writers don't earn that much as it is!!

KayJay said...

Cornerstones are very well respected and I know quite a few people who have been extremely happy with their service, including a new author (known to me personally) who has recently landed a 6-figure deal. They helped him to polish his manuscript and introduced him to several agents before someone snapped him up. Within weeks there was a bidding war for his book on both sides of the Atlantic! (Yes, one of those stories...but it's true.)

A quick google of Cornerstones will bring back mainly tales of positive experiences spread throughout the blogs and forums. In terms of critique, there's no doubt they offer what many consider a good/excellent service at a price.

Critique fee aside, the 10% they charge on the initial advance on the first book published might well be worth getting a manuscript off the slush pile and matching it with the right agent. There are no guarantees, of course - and assuming the talent is there, so much of this business has to do with luck and good timing.

What price to kick start a career?

Calistro said...

I've also heard good things about Cornerstones but the 10% fee would bother me a lot. Once your agent has their 15-20% and the the tax man has his cut another 10% would leave very little for the author (unless it's a HUGE 6 figure deal - and even then the tax man would take 40%!).

Is there any way you can get a cornerstones report done with the caveat that they WON'T sub it to agents for you. Surely you'd be able to tell from the feedback whether it's worth a punt at agents or not. That said I imagine that Cornerstones have a bit more sway with agents than the slushpile as your MS would already have been through a vetting procedure.

I've heard good things about Hilary Johnson's Advisory Service and was planning on using her services if "Haunting..." hadn't got me an agent.