So, you’ve finally completed your novel! Seriously that’s awesome! It’s a huge task to finish a novel. But, before you send your wonderful masterpiece to a publisher or literary agent, it’s best to get an editor to perform a manuscript appraisal or assessment on it.
A manuscript appraisal is typically a three to four page document that assesses the suitability of a text that is to be published. A manuscript appraisal or assessment is not an edit. During an appraisal I do not edit your manuscript in any way. That is what copy editing and substantive/structural editing is for.
Below is an overview on what manuscript appraisals are and how I can help you achieve the best results possible with your novel.
Why do I need a manuscript appraisal?
It’s important to have a manuscript appraisal to assess a manuscript’s suitability before sending the manuscript to a literary agent or publisher. An appraisal will help assess the strengths, weaknesses, and determine the steps that need to be taken to further develop and prepare for your manuscript to be published.
Who will assess my manuscript?
Me of course! I am a professional editor. I’ve studied a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Publishing) with a minor in Creative Writing and Public Relations. I am passionate about what I do and helping you achieve your creative goals.
“Remember that an editor is a writer’s friend. I totally understand and respect that you’ve put all you blood, sweat, and tears into creating your manuscript. Don’t be afraid, I won’t tear it apart. I am here to help guide you in the right direction and offer you the very best I know as a professional editor and fellow writer.”
What will I receive?
After I’ve read your manuscript, I will then put together an appraisal consisting of about three to four pages of personalised advice. The appraisal will give you tips for improvement, the potential for publishing, marketing advice, the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript and other recommendations. Each manuscript is different and therefore each manuscript appraisal is specific in helping bring out the best in your work. An appraisal can sometimes take up to four weeks to complete. I will advise on how long an appraisal of your manuscript will take.
You will get advice on:
- Use of language
- Character construction
- Narrative voice
- Effectiveness of dialogue
- Advice for re-writing
- Potential for publishing
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Editing recommendations
Does a manuscript appraisal guarantee that my manuscript will get published?
No, it doesn’t. However it can greatly improve your chances. Having a fresh eye to go over your work that is not bias (like a family member) is invaluable. An appraisal is always the first step of evaluating a manuscript to assess what steps need to be taken to make it publishable. Sometimes a literary agent or a publisher may not accept your manuscript because it isn’t what they are looking for at that time.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a manuscript appraisal varies depending on the word count and genre.
(Please provide your name, contact details, word count of manuscript, genre, and what your goals are with the manuscript.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will my manuscript be error-free after editing?
Editing is a multiple round process; not all errors within a text may be caught within one or two rounds of editing. Traditionally published books are edited multiple times throughout the whole pre-publishing process, and even then, it is not uncommon to have a small number of grammatical errors within the book when it goes to print. For this reason, I recommend to go through the copy editing process a minimum of twice.
Q: Will I be able to speak directly with you?
Although it is usually not necessary to speak directly with me as your editor, as the majority of communication is done via email, I do offer my personal mobile phone number to you when editing begins. You can contact me personally via email, mobile phone, and may offer Skype Chats if necessary.
Q: What are your qualifications?
I’ve studied a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Publishing) with minors in creative writing and public relations. I am a member of the Society of Editors (QLD) Inc. I also have a Certificate in Professional Childrens Writing through the Australian College of Journalism. I have 11 years extensive experience in digital media and online marketing, blogging, WordPress, copy writing, and content development and marketing…. and I write fiction and non-fiction.
Q: Do I need Microsoft Word if I hire you for an editing service?
No. However, I do prefer to accept manuscripts in Microsoft Word (doc. or docx. format). In order to accept or reject my suggested changes and review the feedback, you must view and revise your edited manuscript in Microsoft Word. I am also happy to take on editing projects through Google Docs. I can edit on paper too…. but we’re in the 21st century and that’s a huge amount of paper being wasted.