“The last thing we decide in writing a book is what to put first.”
— Blaise Pascal
The Manuscript Evaluation is a thorough, written evaluation of an author’s entire book manuscript — from the first page to the last.
It can be used as a stand-alone book service (with, of course, a prior reading).
And it is one of the four, integrated book services recommended for each manuscript:
Reading > Evaluation > Test Edit > Complete Edit
(For more information on these services, please see: How We Can Work Together.)
The Manuscript Evaluation — twenty to thirty pages, or more — begins with a detailed analysis of your book manuscript’s strengths: What works well. What your book’s “successes” are.
This is followed by a lengthy analysis of those areas in need of some additional attention — to strengthen and enhance the work as a whole — so your book is fully realized.
- There may be areas, for instance, that could benefit from restructuring (rethinking the overall framework and rearranging blocks of text), in addition to rewriting.
- Or the manuscript may need another look at certain factual details, or might benefit from additional research.
The intention is always to enhance and strengthen a book’s content and meaning, as well as its presentation and clarity for readers.
I write novels. And while my readers know they’re reading fiction, if there are factual errors, or a plot line seems implausible, my story’s believability will start to slide. So even though I do a lot of research for each novel, I still rely on my developmental editor to make sure that nothing in the manuscript jeopardizes my credibility.
In fact, during the Manuscript Evaluation for the second book in my mystery trilogy, Laurel Marshfield found an error of fact based on my understanding of a particular medical practice. Without her professional discernment, many readers would have seen that mistake and lost interest — for the simple reason that a factually incorrect story eats away at the fictional magic, ultimately destroying the fictive “spell.”
For me, the Manuscript Evaluation is a form of author insurance. I wouldn’t want my books published without it.
~ Andrew Greenwood, Author, Random Sample mysteries
To arrange an initial, free, and confidential phone consultation -– to discuss your manuscript evaluation questions and needs -– please fill out our Contact Us form.