‘I believe large numbers of people have at least some talent as writers and storytellers, and that those talents can be strengthened and sharpened.’ (Stephen King, On Writing)
Our flagship service, the manuscript assessment is our first and busiest service. Every day, we work on writers’ manuscripts to provide them with the honest and highly market-aware opinion they need in order to locate the particular aspects of their writing that would potentially fail to convince an agent, a publisher and ultimately the readers. We aim to offer not only honest reviews, but also stimulating and inspiring advice on how to take your manuscript one step further, in your quest to getting published.
Your book may be good. Can it be better? A manuscript appraisal can actualise the potential lying dormant in your book. At each level of your writing, from story arc, to narrative voice, to tone, to tense, to style and word choice, there are potentially aspects that could benefit from a professional editor’s suggestions. A manuscript assessment can help you uncover the weaker aspects of your writing and offer suggestions on how to improve it. Apart from copy-editing, a manuscript appraisal is the one single thing that will add substantial value to your book.
We work with complete manuscripts only and would not be able to accept partial submissions (of only a few chapters, for example). Once received, a suitable editor from our team will read your manuscript carefully and write a detailed assessment report about it, looking at aspects of story, narrative, characterisation, style and marketability both in isolation and as a whole. Our editors are not only passionate about good writing, with good commercial appeal, but have proven skills for nurturing beginning writers; they constructively build on what is already in the material so as much as possible of its potential is actualised before the manuscript lands on an agent’s desk.
You will receive our manuscript assessment report no later than 3-5 weeks, depending on the length of your manuscript. During this time, you will be able to follow the progress of your named editor on your manuscript from within your own secure account on our online basecamp. Every week, you will receive notifications on progress so you know exactly where we are and how close we are to completing the assessment.
If you submit an exceptionally long manuscript (500+ pages), we may offer a longer turnaround time. Our assessment report will contain an overview of the whole work, structure, narrative (point of view, pace, tense, narrator’s voice, consistency) plot and story, style, characterisation, as well as suggestions on the marketability of your book and the next steps to be taken, including suitable publishers and editors whose lists you can follow.
Please note that, for manuscripts of 2000 words and under, including children’s manuscripts, our assessment reports will focus on marketability and audience suitability and they will be significantly shorter than assessment reports on longer manuscripts. Take a look at our Samples of Critiques to appreciate the quality of our work, the level of detail in our analysis, the honesty of our advice and the depth of our expertise.
If we think your book is ready to be submitted to an agent or publisher, we will submit it on your behalf within a well presented recommendation pack, at no extra charge.
What our clients say about our manuscript assessment reports:
‘I found the appraisal carried out by Miles extremely insightful and I cannot thank him enough for the time and effort he’s taken to provide me with helpful and constructive criticism. As a first-time novelist, I believe that I could have grappled indefinitely, with little progress without his expert shove in the right direction. I have taken on board all of his comments and suggestions and the new version [of the manuscript] is a much better read as a result.’ (Julie Evans)
‘I have been meaning to write back for several weeks to say how pleased I was with Jonathan’s feedback. Since I read his report, I have been incredibly busy working on my manuscript. Everything he said made perfect sense and I know that his advice will have a highly positive impact on my story. I still have a lot of work to do in terms of re-working the script but already I feel that the changes made thus far are doing wonders for my story and its characters.’ (Ryan Irvine)
‘Now that I have had that time I can honestly say I am enormously grateful for everything you said and all the work you put into the report. You have given me just the right balance of positive encouragement and direct, objective, criticism that I need. The key points that resonate most were your insistence that I allow space to develop my scenes in order to give the reader a real sense of place rather than rushing to get to the point. That I should allow the reader freedom to discover the message without forcing them to see it. Finally, and most importantly, that the flashbacks I have included are rather superficial, introducing too many extra characters and doing very little heavy-lifting. (…) I have you to thank for those insights. Your help has been invaluable.’ (Rachel Richards)
By submitting your manuscript, you agree to our Manuscript Assessment Terms and Conditions.