Jane Spencer Editorial

Manuscript Evaluation

If you’ve finished your book and taken your own editing as far as you can, but you’re still not sure how it’s hanging together and would like professional feedback, a manuscript evaluation is a great choice.

Also known as a manuscript assessment, critique or appraisal, a manuscript evaluation is a high-level analysis which provides comprehensive editorial feedback. It’s not a full developmental edit*, but it will tell you which bits are working well and which could benefit from improvement.

My manuscript evaluations look at elements such as:

  • theme
  • plot
  • narrative arc
  • voice
  • setting
  • point of view
  • characterisation
  • dialogue
  • writing style
  • marketability

I will read your entire manuscript and provide a report which looks at each element in turn. The level of detail will depend upon the length of the manuscript and what needs to be said about it, but you can expect a report of at least 2,000 words. I will usually make reference to particular passages or scenes throughout the report and, if appropriate, I will include suggestions for further research and/or reading.

I also offer a follow-up video call, during which you can ask for clarification on any points made or ask further questions.

*Developmental editing is a deeper process in which an editor works with an author to improve a manuscript. It usually takes place over several rounds of editing back and forth and may involve an element of coaching. As a result, it is usually pretty expensive! Not all writers need this.

I am so glad I discovered Jane Spencer Editorial! Jane recently undertook a manuscript evaluation of my first novel. Her detailed report and follow-up video call were invaluable. Jane’s advice is clear and constructive, with plenty of examples and links to articles and books for further help. Her assessment covered everything from plot and structure to characterisation, dialogue, setting, writing technique and more. Jane pinpointed exactly which areas of my book require attention, so I have a step-by-step action plan of what to do next. When I have rewritten and edited, I will definitely ask Jane for a final evaluation before submitting it to an agent. I highly recommend Jane Spencer Editorial to any writer.

Clare S, March 2024

What you’ll receive

You will receive:

  • a comprehensive written report of at least 2,000 words (it’s often many more), broken down into sections covering the elements mention above
  • your manuscript returned with sections highlighted and/or comments made in track changes which illustrate the elements commented on in the report
  • suggestions of ways to work on those elements which could benefit from improvement
  • links and/or book suggestions for further reading
  • the offer of a one-hour video call with me to discuss the report, if there are areas which you would like clarifying. (Additional calls can be requested at a costof £30 an hour.)

Cost and timescale

The cost is £300 for a manuscript of up to 60,000 words.

For books of 60,00 to 100,000 words, the cost is £300 for the first 60,000 words, then an additional £5 for each additional 1,000 words (or part thereof).

For books of over 100,000 words, please contact me for a price.

A £50 non-refundable deposit is payable on booking to secure your slot. An additional amount (to be agreed) will be payable before the evaluation starts, with the remainder being due on delivery of the evaluation.

The time a manuscript evaluation takes depends on the length of your book and how full my schedule is, but I’ll always aim to fit it in as soon as I can.

To enquire

Send me an email! Please include the name of your book, the genre and the wordcount. Please also tell me what your plans are (such as seeking a traditional publishing deal or self-publishing) and whether your manuscript has been through any previous rounds of beta reading or professional editing, plus any other details you feel might be important.

I’ll get back to you and we can take it from there!