Manuscript Assessors and Editors
We recommend that you get your manuscript professionally assessed before submitting it to a publisher or before you embark on a self-publishing venture. This will give you confidence that the work is up to the required standard and promotes you to your best possible ability, and tells the publisher (and your readers) that you are serious about your work. Publishers are more likely to give consideration to a manuscript that they know has been through this process.
Manuscript Assessors provide a close reading of the text and a detailed report covering the strengths and weaknesses of the work. This should include comments on plot, structure, characterisation, point-of-view, language and style. An assessment gives the author pointers on how to revise the text to make it more publishable. While an assessor may make suggestions, they do not generally market work to publishers. Make sure your draft is as close to complete as it can be. Be prepared to receive both praise and constructive criticism, as you definitely will.
Structural Editors re-arrange ideas within the manuscript to ensure it flows in a clear and logical manner. They will also look at style and suggest changes if appropriate.
Copy Editors fine-tune a manuscript once it is ready to go to the publisher. They cover spelling, grammar, usage, fact checking and style such as length of sentences.
Do not try to edit or assess your work on your own. It may seem like a good idea to cut corners and avoid spending the money, but it isn’t. The best thing about assessors and editors is that they are bringing fresh eyes to your work and therefore will see all of the things that you can’t. You will not be able to edit or assess your own work as well as professionals can.
We recommend that you get at least three separate quotes for your work confirming price and timeframe.
For further suggestions see our Assessment Guidelines.
More information can be found in our leaflet Getting help with your Manuscript (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information) or in our booklet Getting Published, which is available from our Online Bookshop.