Manuscript Evaluation

Editorial memo assessing commercial and literary potential and areas for improvement.

A manuscript evaluation is one of the most common starting points for engaging The Editorial Department. Based on a careful review and analysis of a manuscript of any length, the evaluation includes both a detailed written editorial memorandum and a session of phone consultation with your editor, all with the goal of identifying what’s working, what can work better, and what specific steps can be taken to give your manuscript the best chances of successful publication and warm reception in the marketplace.
Writers with promising manuscripts that simply need some objective editorial insight to improve their odds of successful publication can expect just that. Writers whose work isn’t yet ready for the marketplace will get candid, comprehensive feedback on what’s not working, what they need to learn, and what we see as the best path to get the manuscript on a better and/or more salable track. All writers can expect a thoughtful, thorough assessment of their manuscript’s literary and commercial potential with attention to any relevant points of craft. For fiction this includes plotting, structure, pacing, characterization, dialogue, writing style, mechanics, grammar, and punctuation. For nonfiction key considerations include content, organization, structure, clarity, flow, suitability for intended readership, writing style, mechanics, grammar, and punctuation.

Recommendations can range from suggestions on how to make an excellent book irresistible through advice on major structural or stylistic changes to help making a good idea work better. In cases where a story’s premise or conceptual weaknesses significantly limit the likelihood of its evolution into something with a reasonable chance of being published, the report will explore and explain the challenges in further detail with the follow-up phone consultation becoming the main vehicle for exploring how you might go about rethinking the project and getting it on a better track.

Included in the price of the evaluation is up to a half-hour of phone or e-mail consultation with the reviewing editor. This session gives our editors the opportunity to answer any questions about comments made in the report and to discuss and respond to any ideas the author may have about the manuscript. Consultation beyond the time included in the evaluation package, if desired, is available at our standard rate of $75 per hour.

Evaluation pricing for the manuscripts over 50,000 words is $0.01 per word.  Pricing for shorter manuscripts is as follows:

37,501 — 50,000 words:        $500.00
25,001 — 37,500 words:        $405.00
12,501 — 25,000 words:        $315.00
6,251 — 12,500 words:           $225.00
Less than 6,250 words:         $120.00

Turnaround time for manuscript evaluations is typically five weeks.
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