The first part of being a writer is squirreling yourself away in your little hidey hole and banging away at the keyboard. Once you are done with that, it’s feedback time!!
It’s often a scary time for writers, having someone else have a look at your manuscript. But here’s where you need to qualify who that ‘someone’ is going to be. And then know that quantity is as important as quality. Send your first draft out to a bunch of people and then work through the feedback to be able figure out the revisions you need to make.
Teachers and Librarians
These are the people who have their fingers on the pulse of your audience. Unfortunately, they are also very busy people!! But work at building a relationship (if you don’t already have one) and then pop the question. Teachers and librarians are also people who know the importance of children’s books, so you might just get them to give your book their time.
Local Writing Groups
Check at the local library and the bookstores in your area. You might chance upon some active writers’ groups in the vicinity. Join as a member or request them to review your book. If you get even couple of members to share their thoughts, you will begin to understand how the story appears to a reader.
Online Feedback for Writers
There are plenty of online writing groups who undertake doing a critique of manuscripts for members. It is worth joining since these forums are ideal for getting sharp, constructive criticism that is critical to improving your work. In addition, you can also hone your own critiquing skills.
Professional Critique Services
If you have a budget for it, having a professional editor look at your first draft may be a worthwhile investment. This gives you access to expert opinion that is difficult to obtain if you are only relying on the people you know.
The Big Read: Getting your own feedback
Some authors swear by the technique of letting the manuscript lie for a while, then getting a printout of the whole thing and seeing it on paper. Sometimes, reading it on paper is really different and the writer may feel like she is reading it for the first time. This gives her a fresh perspective on the work, allowing her to assess it better.
Make it easy for people who are giving you their time and resources; be specific about what kind of feedback you want, by when and whether you prefer it by e-mail. It is not easy to get tough but fair critique for your work. So whenever you do receive it, make it count.