Manuscript Appraisal

What is a Manuscript Appraisal?

 

photo of writing materials for manuscript appraisals

A manuscript appraisal, also called a manuscript critique or assessment, provides you with an expert opinion on your manuscript.

Why do you need a Manuscript Appraisal?

As an author, you feel a tremendous sense of achievement when you finish writing your book. Congratulations!

However, having been closely involved with your book, you can no longer see the wood for the trees. What you need now is a critical, objective eye to review your manuscript and point out what your readers will notice but you may have overlooked.

After an unbiased assessment of your manuscript, you will be in a position to work towards producing a polished final draft. You will then feel more confident about publisher or agent submissions, or moving forward with self-publishing your book.

A Worthwhile Investment

A manuscript appraisal is a worthwhile investment, especially for first-time authors. Writers tend to repeat the same types of errors throughout their manuscript. This may include any of the following. Not having a clear plot or storyline. Not following a narrative arc. Insufficient character development. Narrative-heavy writing. Overusing adjectives or using unnecessary adverbs. Telling instead of showing … When an objective professional points out these issues in an appraisal, you’ll be able to refine and possibly redraft your manuscript.

How do I benefit from an Appraisal and what do I get?

When I do an appraisal on your manuscript, I prepare a comprehensive report. The length of the appraisal report depends on how long your manuscript is, and the number of points that need to be raised. The report points out the strengths of your manuscript and suggestions for improvement, and may include consideration of the commercial potential of the manuscript. You receive as the output of the appraisal your commented manuscript and a comprehensive appraisal report.

 

photo of woman writing report for manuscript appraisals

Optional follow-up

After I return your commented manuscript and the appraisal report, you can opt for a follow-up 30-minute Skype/Zoom/phone review with me to cover specific questions arising from the appraisal. This is included in the price of the appraisal at this time.

Who does the Manuscript Appraisal?

I am a professionally qualified Accredited Editor, qualified journalist and author who has worked in the publishing industry. Having worked on hundreds of manuscripts of all genres, believe me, by now I know what good writing is! I can give you an unbiased opinion about your manuscript that will guide you on the next step in the journey of your book.

Will the Appraisal be subjective?

Some authors may think a manuscript appraisal is subjective and not valuable. It’s true that there’s bound to be an element of subjectivity, just as there will be if a publisher or literary agent reviews your book. However, any subjectivity is mitigated by my years of professional experience in the book editing and publishing sectors.

Will the Manuscript Appraiser criticise my book?

There is a huge difference between a critique and criticism. I give you a critique – an appraisal – of your work, not a criticism of it. My aim is to give you kind, constructive, sensitive feedback that will encourage and instruct you. I will point out the strengths of your manuscript, not just the areas that need attention; but I will not offer meaningless flattery, as this is not in your best interests. I understand that the journey to publishing is more often than not a challenging one, and aim to inspire you along your way.

What an Appraisal cannot do

No matter how skilled an editor is or how many years they have been involved in the world of publishing, no one can or should make the claim that after an appraisal, your manuscript is guaranteed of being published. It would be unrealistic and false for a professional to make such a claim. However, by taking on board the suggestions given by a good manuscript appraisal, you are sure to learn from your mistakes and become a better, stronger writer, with a greater chance of succeeding in your goals.

Please note also that an appraisal is not a substitute for an edit; it is a step before a professional edit. The purpose of an appraisal is to give you pointers that will help you redraft and improve your manuscript in any number of ways. (When you are ready to have your manuscript professionally edited and you commission me to edit it, I will make an allowance in the overall price of the edit.)

 

What is the turnaround time for an Appraisal?

Generally within two weeks. The turnaround time depends on work in progress at the time, and the length of your manuscript. I will give you a definite delivery date upon booking in your appraisal.

What does an Appraisal cost?

A manuscript appraisal involves a full read of the manuscript, adding comments with suggestions to the manuscript and preparing the appraisal report. Please send me an email with the total word count of your manuscript for a quotation.

Enquire here today about our manuscript appraisal service. The manuscript appraisal service includes a comprehensive editorial report.

laptop pens and paper for manuscript appraisals


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