So, you’ve written a book!

First off (I think), congratulations. There are a lot of people who think it’s easy to write a story, and you know now, having finished, that it’s NOT EASY.

What do you plan to do with your book next?

Most people will tell you to have your book edited, and that’s smart. As an editor of nearly 20 years, I totally agree with this response.

BUT, might I add another suggestion?

Have your manuscript evaluated prior to having it edited.



You might be asking why you would need your manuscript evaluated–isn’t that the same thing as an edit?

Not quite.



Here’s my pitch for manuscript evaluations.

Manuscript evaluations are a great way, especially for first-time writers and those writers who have a first draft that they are iffy on, to deal with the most important part of a book first–the content. It doesn’t matter if your spelling is spectacular and punctuation is excellent if you have a weak story premise and even weaker character and plot developments. You write nice sentences? Great! But what if your nice sentences have nothing to do with your non-fiction’s purpose, nor do they connect the content with the purpose? Not so great!

So, that’s why I say, “Get that manuscript evaluated ASAP!”

Here’s why a manuscript evaluation isn’t really an edit.

You can check out my editing page on the site to learn in detail about various types of editing, but let me paint you a scenario here.

I typically perform three types of edits: content editing, copy editing, and proofreading.

Out of these three types, a manuscript evaluation, for me, is related to the work I do when content editing as with both, I focus more on the story than the grammar, punctuation, and spelling issues within a manuscript–though I do work on the latter for a content edit, too. I charge $.016 per word (essentially $4 per page) for content editing.

A manuscript evaluation is MUCH CHEAPER than this.

With copy editing, the manuscript I receive has a tighter story than a manuscript needing a content edit. In copy editing, my goal is to improve a manuscript’s consistency. I charge $.012 per word (essentially $3 per page) for copy editing.

Again, a manuscript evaluation is MUCH CHEAPER than this.

With proofreading, I expect the story received to be fairly polished, and my goal will be to look at spelling, grammar, tense and incorrect usage, use of white space, typographical errors, etc. I charge $.008 per word (essentially $2 per page) for proofreading.

Let’s break this down and focus on the money for a second.

If you have an 80,000-word novel,

  1. to have a content edit performed, you would pay $1,280.
  2. to have a copy edit performed, you would pay $960.
  3. to have a proofreading performed, you would pay $640.

And these would be considered low-end editing fees (in price, never quality).

What will a manuscript evaluation cost?

A fraction of what a proofreading costs–nearly a 40% discount!

For books up to 80,000 words, the cost is $250.
For books between 80,001 words and 100,000 words, the cost is $300.

NOTE: Once we’ve connected, I’ll discuss turnaround time as it depends on the length of work and condition of the work.

What will you get for $250 (or $300)?

  1. A full reading of your manuscript and an evaluation memo that discusses various elements of your manuscript. (NOTE: There will be some comments in your manuscript to show specific examples of things I comment on in the evaluation memo.)
  2. A Skype meeting (or other means of communication) for up to 45 minutes to discuss memo and the inevitable question, What next?
  3. A discount on editing (25%) if you choose to use me to edit your work upon finishing your rewrites and revisions.

The chart below illustrates elements to be evaluated in your manuscript.

Fiction Non-Fiction
  • Story premise
  • Review of the story’s first page and first chapter
  • Plot
  • Conflict
  • Tension
  • Setting(s)
  • Character development
  • Dialogue
  • Point of view
  • Voice
  • Issues such as overuse of adverbs, passive-speak, overwriting
  • Pacing
  • Scene development


  • Clarity of book’s ideas and arguments
  • Text Structure and Organization
  • Overall Connection between Your Book’s Purpose and Its Content
  • Table of Contents
  • Headings
  • Subtitles and Subheadings
  • Special Print (words in bold or italics, for example)
  • Captions
  • Photographs
  • Graphs
  • Charts
  • Illustrations
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • Labels
  • Maps

What will I evaluate?

I have extensive experience in editing and critiquing various fiction genres, to include mystery, thriller, romance, erotica, sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy, literary, urban, and faith-based works.

Regarding non-fiction, my experience includes working with academic works (essays, dissertations, theses dealing with digital media, literature, mass communication, technical communication, education, etc.) and faith-based self-help books.

I will not work on any projects that are based in racist content and hate speech or that deal with pornography. If you have a question regarding your genre, you may email at the address listed below.

Ready for that evaluation?

I know you are!

If you are interested in having your manuscript evaluated, then please head to my manuscript evaluation form to tell me about your book, and we can begin this new adventure together!

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