A manuscript critique (sometimes called a “manuscript evaluation” or “editorial letter”) is high-level report on strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. Your book may be complete or just halfway done, but you need someone knowledgeable to review your manuscript and tell you where the issues are (or to tell you you’ve done a great job!).

The evaluation tries to answer high-level questions like:

  • Does this book fulfill its intended purpose?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Does it have a solid structure?
  • Is the material compelling?
  • If a story is being told, does the chronology flow properly?
  • Is the subject matter and/or language appropriate for its intended audience?
  • And for nonfiction books used as marketing tools, does the book accurately represent the author and their services?

Included: A short report (3-5 pages) detailing high-level issues of your manuscript. Does not include inline comments or suggested fixes.

  • Children’s Books (under 2000 words): $375
  • Everything else: $.020/wd, with $500 minimum

Should you get a manuscript evaluation or a developmental edit?

Since a manuscript evaluation is usually much cheaper than the more involved developmental edit, some authors start there, and then proceed with a developmental edit if needed. Some people might jump right into a developmental edit. I provide a discount on a developmental edit for clients who start with a manuscript evaluation.