What is it?
A manuscript assessment is a written, in-depth assessment of your manuscript, covering its strengths and weaknesses, and offering specific suggestions and advice for improvement. It will include comments on structure, plot, characters, style and format, among other things. Some would call this structural editing or substantive editing, although I emphasise that at this stage of the process the focus is on analysis and suggestions; no changes are made to the manuscript itself. I read through the manuscript three times. Following this process, extensive revisions are likely to be required, so at this stage there is little point in correcting spelling or grammatical errors. Having said that, repeated or persistent grammatical errors will be highlighted. You will typically submit a manuscript for assessment after its second or third draft, and you might expect to do one or more drafts subsequently. The length of the assessment will vary according to the length of the manuscript, its complexity, and the number of issues identified.
It is my job as an assessor to be as objective and honest as possible, and you may not like some of the comments that are made. While we are very possessive of our own work, we are also too close to it. If you submit a manuscript for assessment, be sure that you are prepared to take the comments seriously. Think about them for a while before reacting. You are, of course, entirely free to accept or reject any suggestions or comments as you see fit.
$15.00 administration fee plus $5.56 per thousand words. Word count is based on the word count estimated by MS Word. All prices quoted in Australian dollars.
I also offer to prepare a ‘mini’ assessment. This will be like a review, and therefore nowhere near as detailed, thorough and in depth as a full assessment. It will be based on a single reading of the manuscript only (whereas for a full assessment I read the manuscript three times). The report will be shorter than that of a full assessment, but I will include some annotation directly on the manuscript itself. This assessment is NOT intended for publication as a review. The purpose of this is to provide a quick evaluation and some guidance for writers who cannot afford or are not yet ready for a full, comprehensive assessment.
$15.00 administration fee plus $2.78 per thousand words. Word count is based on the word count estimated by MS Word. All prices quoted in Australian dollars.