A manuscript evaluation by Margaret Langstaff Editorial can save you a lot of grief, disappointment and money in the end. It involves an in-depth reading of your existing manuscript to determine its strengths, weaknesses and viability/marketability in today’s book market.
It is a succinct, on point analysis of what your manuscript has got going for it or working against it, and suggests, if necessary, methods to remediate its flaws through our editorial services. It is not an edit, but a “big picture” overview of how your nascent “book” would fare if it were published “as is” from the point of view of a publishing consultant and writing consultant.
Oftentimes, as publishing consultants, we suggest types of editing it needs by identifying weaknesses in plot, character development—even originality—when viewed in the company of the books already out there and selling well.
If it is non-fiction, we put on our non-fiction editor hats, and the emphasis of our manuscript evaluation is on your argument, support, credibility, tone and effectiveness in making your point: the cumulative “picture” you present of yourself and the strength of your support of your ideas.
Generally, a manuscript evaluation runs several pages and puts your book in the context of other books in its genre, compares it to those written by authors well known as being exemplary and accomplished in the genre, and suggests pertinent reading and references that will help you better understand and practice your craft. Writers and their works don’t exist in a vacuum, and the reading public routinely makes comparisons, rates and analyzes new works through reference to titles already published by accomplished, well-known authors.
A manuscript evaluation can be a revelation, stimulating and a spark to your creativity in improving your book, particularly for self-published and first time authors. Technique is something acquired over time and even seasoned writers may have blind spots when it comes to the inherent quality and shortcomings in their most recent book that only a veteran book editor can recognize.
Unless you are a veteran author with several books to your credit, engaging a veteran book editor and manuscript consultant for this analysis is money well spent.