08 Mar 4 Reasons Why a Manuscript Assessment Will Save You Time and Money
Not sure if you’re ready for an editor? Get a manuscript assessment.
You’ve completed your manuscript, and the hard work of writing your book is behind you. Now it’s time to take the “next step” and find an editor—right?
While it’s true that your book—no matter how beautifully-written—does need an editor (trust me on this one), choosing the right editor can be tricky. Editing typically falls into three categories: developmental editing, which suggests comprehensive changes to the overall structure and narrative; copyediting, which corrects grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.; and line-editing, a final proofread to catch any lingering typos or errors.
So how do you know when your manuscript is “ready” for an editor? And how do you know “how much” editing you need? If you’re struggling to answer these questions, it’s time to consider getting a manuscript assessment before spending excessive time or money on editing.
During a manuscript assessment, a professional editor will read and evaluate your book. They’ll send a detailed letter outlining its strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations for your next editorial steps. No changes are made to the text during an assessment; it’s simply an evaluation of your work to help you determine your next best move.
Here are four reasons a manuscript assessment can be a great next step for you (and can ultimately save you time and money in the long run!):
1). An assessment can anticipate an editor’s feedback and inspire pre-emptive manuscript changes. Professional editors perform the best manuscript evaluations. With our manuscript assessment, you’re getting an editor’s opinion on your work, at a fraction of the cost of a full edit. Sometimes the assessment alone is enough to confirm problem areas you already suspect in your book, or the feedback may inspire new ideas and connections, enabling you to begin revising right away. The assessment will also typically advise about “how much” editing your manuscript will require—this is incredibly valuable information if you’re considering using the same editor for both the assessment and a future edit.
2). An assessment can help you “vet” prospective editors. If you’ve done your research and identified a prospective editor—but you’re still on the fence due to price, experience, etc.—requesting a manuscript assessment from that editor is a great way to receive a preliminary “outline” of how they will approach your work. If their evaluation feedback resonates with you, then you can proceed to a full edit with confidence.
3). It can shorten the editorial process in the long run. Wait, wait, you say, how does adding a step to the editorial process shorten overall duration? Because a manuscript evaluation can act as your editorial roadmap, and fastrack the revision process with constructive feedback, or empower you to go ahead and commit to a particular editor / level of editing (instead of spending more time agonizing over what you should do next).
4). An assessment can be a source of positive feedback and encouragement. You’ve spent so much time on your book—it can be hard to see the best parts of it! A manuscript evaluation will often provide honest, positive, even enthusiastic feedback on your book’s successes and greatest strengths. Early encouragement can be an excellent refresher and creative boost!
While a manuscript assessment is never a replacement for an edit, it can give you the direction you need to start your publishing journey in a smarter, savvier direction that can save you time and money in the long run.
Curious about getting a manuscript assessment? Check out Books Fluent and see what’s possible for your book!
Rachel is a social media content creator at Books Fluent and also works as a publicist and digital media strategist at our sister company Books Forward. She has a passion for books, writing, and helping authors in the publishing process. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.