Brisbane Self Publishing

Manuscript Appraisal

A manuscript appraisal (also known as a manuscript assessment or critique) can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your book.

Before embarking on self publishing your book, you should first consider getting your manuscript reviewed by a professional editor. As an author, you may be too close to your book to spot many of its problems and inconsistencies.

At some point, all writers have asked friends and family to read their work and tell them if they think it is any good. But nothing can replace the advice of an experienced editor. An editor will be able to give you an objective assessment of your manuscript based on their professional knowledge and expertise. After months (or possibly years) of crafting and redrafting your book, it may be time for you to entrust ‘your precious baby’ to an editor. They will be able to give you an objective opinion about the general direction of your manuscript.

Benefits of a manuscript appraisal

A professional manuscript appraisal will help you to:

  • address stylistic and language issues in your writing
  • further develop your writing style
  • get a better idea of your book’s suitability for publication
  • identify ways to increase your book’s chance of commercial success in a highly competitive market.

Most importantly, after reviewing your text we will provide some practical recommendations you can implement yourself to improve any areas of your manuscript that require attention.

Steps involved in assessing your manuscript

STEP 1: Prior to having your book professionally edited and proofread, we recommend you take advantage of our manuscript appraisal service as a good starting point. During the initial step in this process, we read through your manuscript and provide you with a brief (2–6 page) written report. This report contains preliminary feedback about the overall effectiveness of your writing, including what is and isn’t working well. It also includes some initial recommendations so you can rework any areas of your manuscript that require extra attention. This, in turn, will help you to save money on professional editing fees.

STEP 2: Following the initial written report, we will schedule an author mentoring session (45–60 minutes) with you via a face-to-face meeting (Brisbane-based authors only) or a phone/Zoom conversation. During this session, we answer any questions you may have regarding the appraisal report. In addition, we can coach you about all the steps involved in your self-publishing journey – helping you to clarify your vision for your book, including your target audience. In the case of our face-to-face mentoring sessions, we are also able to share with you examples of some of our previous clients’ printed books which will help you to envision your own book in print. 

The fee for our manuscript appraisal/author mentoring service ranges between $200–$950, and is based on the total word count of your book, its genre and the complexity of your written content.

Feedback to help you improve your writing

At Brisbane Self Publishing Service, our goal is to encourage you so that you keep heading in the right direction with your manuscript. We aim to be as tactful yet honest as possible with our feedback – offering helpful suggestions about ways in which you can improve the quality of your writing.

Ready to start the manuscript review process to improve the overall standard of your writing? For constructive editorial feedback and author mentoring, please contact us.

Please note: A manuscript appraisal provides an overview of your book and is designed to assess the big picture. Consequently, it does not drill down into the minutiae of your manuscript – identifying every small inconsistency and mistake. If you are looking for a more in-depth assessment of your writing, we suggest you take advantage of our other book editing packages (The Light Makeover package or The Full Works package).

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