What You Can Expect…
I’ll read your entire manuscript and give you an appraisal of its marketability.
Most book editors seem to feel that they can evaluate a manuscript by reading the first fifty pages, or maybe the first three chapters. I don’t understand that. How can you tell if a novel’s central conflict evolves throughout the novel and is resolved in a satisfying way if you only read the opening scenes? How can you tell if a memoir or other narrative nonfiction book is presented to the reader in a way that will keep him or her turning pages all the way to the end if you read only the introductory material? You can’t. It’s as simple as that.
I’ll assess your book’s strengths and weaknesses.
If you’ve written a novel, I’ll give you detailed feedback about opening scenes, central conflict, characterization, background events, physical setting, viewpoint, and manuscript mechanics.
If you’ve written a nonfiction book, I’ll give you feedback on introduction and organization of material, development of anecdotes and examples, and background events.
I’ll assess your writing skills.
If you don’t know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, then you won’t grow as a writer. With my evaluation in hand, you’ll know where to focus your efforts to improve your writing skills.
I’ll give you guidance about your publishing options.
Should you seek a publishing contract with a traditional commercial publisher, or should you self-publish your book?
If your book has a reasonable chance of snagging a reputable literary agent and commercial publishing contract, then you should go for it. If it doesn’t have that potential, then there’s no need to spend a year or more sending queries only to be rewarded with one rejection after another.
Still Working on Your Book?
While I typically evaluate completed manuscripts, authors sometimes feel that they need some feedback before they’ve finished writing their books. Sometimes they just want to make sure they’re on the right track, and sometimes they have questions about how they should handle specific story elements as they continue working.
I’ll be glad to read and evaluate your work in progress if you feel that some professional feedback would be helpful. If you have an outline or synopsis, or even just a vague idea of where the story is going, send that along, too, so I can give you my feedback about that.
Thank you again for the work you’ve done. The book is so clean now I’m jealous I couldn’t get it up to that level myself.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a wonderful evaluation. It will challenge me to be a better writer. As you pointed out, I need more dialog and action in my story so it doesn’t slow things down. I needed guidance in how to put these things into context. You did that for me. I do respect good criticism and learn from it. I intend to use your suggestions and comments as I do a restructure of this novel. There are so many things you wrote to help my book and me. I assure you that I am grateful for each one.
Thank you for your spot-on critique. The overall manuscript improvements that came from it were astounding.
Thank you very much for these insights. As I mentioned on the phone, I was particularly impressed by the way you spotted each point in succession that I would have put in a list to ask you about – but of course didn’t in order to give you an unfettered approach to the story. The fact that in our discussion you touched on each question I had before I asked the question made this exercise even more helpful than I thought I should be able to expect. Now with this helpful and insightful list of how I can improve the manuscript, I have a path to follow on my next draft.
Thank you for your thorough evaluation! And thank you for the encouragement! Every one of your suggestions on improving my novel rings true. I’d never be able to see all these myself. I’m too close to the writing, plus I don’t have the skill set that you do of knowing exactly what’s called for in a contemporary suspense story. I’ll go back and fix the mechanical problems you’ve detailed. I’ll also clean up the portions with unclear viewpoints. And I’ll further develop Mike’s history and motivation. It’s Ted’s character that’s going to take a truckload of work. After reading your observations, I now see that I need to change him from a carefree house cat into a spirited tiger.
Invaluable info. Have to dissect it all now. Everything you said resonates strongly. I’m all over it. Thank you so much.
Any success I’ve had in the rewrite is due directly to your plot analysis, coaching, suggestions, and teaching this novice writer. I confess, at first I had a hard time accepting, and then absorbing, your critical comments. I didn’t want to waste all that research and storyline. But gradually as I began to rethink the project and then to employ your suggestions, it all began to make sense and I liked the story a lot more. I especially like the new scenes involving Masterson and his adventures.
Bill, thank you so much for your editorial evaluation! That was exactly what I was looking for. I appreciated the specific points that you mentioned, about the central conflict, nailing down the viewpoint, and developing a stronger introduction to my protagonist. As I was writing the novel, I felt that the thriller angle was weak and lacking in urgency. I like the idea of making it a gentle read, as that seems to be the strength of what has been written so far.
Thank you for your professional evaluation of The Honors Jacket. I appreciate every word you have written. As I read through your evaluation, I saw suggestions and guidance coming from not only a professional editor but a longtime and trusted friend as well. Thank you.
Bill, this is exactly the type of astute feedback I was seeking. Very insightful and with every problem, you’ve provided several very excellent solutions. I love having someone who’s feedback I can trust and doesn’t just tell me what I want to hear.
Manuscript Critique………………………………………$22 per thousand words
My critique will show you how to turn your manuscript into a book with solid commercial value.
Manuscript Editing………………………………………..$40 - $50 per thousand words
I’ll correct the mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.) and I’ll polish the prose to improve clarity and narrative flow.
Book Proposal……………………………………………....$950 and up
I’ll help you avoid the mistakes that can make the difference between sale and rejection.