If you can’t afford someone for a full edit of your book, many editors – myself included – can assess your manuscript and give you professional feedback as to how you can enhance and improve your work.

Seeing as an assessor may be the first person to read your manuscript, apart from yourself and family or friends, their ‘fresh’ eyes can be so welcomed!

Manuscript Assessment

What does a Manuscript Assessor do?

An assessor will read through your completed manuscript and focus on the overall structure, content and style of your manuscript. If it is a fiction novel, they will look specifically at your narrative; voice; plot; pace; characterisations; dialogue; readership; title; length and presentation. For non-fiction titles, they will look at the text’s appropriateness; flow; style; structure; clarity; facts, as well as title, length and presentation.

A manuscript assessment provides a thorough review of the above aspects, detailing how they are working, or what they lack. Examples and suggestions for improvements are also included. As well as this, assessors can demonstrate how grammar, spelling and punctuation may need to be corrected; however, they will not correct all of these errors in this appraisal.

A manuscript assessment ensures you have professional advice on the most important overall aspects of your work, and it gifts you with valuable guidance for reworking and polishing your manuscript before editing it yourself or having it professionally edited – a very important part of the self-publishing process.

What do I send the Assessor?

Things to check before sending your manuscript to an assessor:

  • Your manuscript should be typed with a 12-point font, 1.5 line spaced, with page numbers.
  • It should be printed single-sided.
  • Include a cover letter stating the genre, word and page length, who your intended audience is, and what aspects you are particularly concerned with.
  • If you have written a synopsis, feel free to include that for comment as well.
  • Ensure that you have at least completed a ‘proofread’ yourself, correcting any glaring errors.
  • Your manuscript should be at a point where you are proud of your efforts, happy with the majority of what you have written, and are looking for guidance as to what more you can do to take it to that next level in order to make it publishable.

A manuscript assessment is an encouraging way to gain professional insight into what shape your manuscript is in, and it can give you an indication as to whether you have met your writing goals.

Find out more about our manuscript assessment and editing services.

Written by Michele Perry