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Writer's Circle > Has anyone ever used Manuscript Evaluation

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message 1: by Naghilia (new)

Naghilia Desravines | 7 comments I will be done with my book next week and I was thinking on getting the manuscript evaluate. Any suggestion or advice?

message 2: by Pattimari (new)

Pattimari | 66 comments Congrats on almost done with your book. Getting the manuscript evaluated? Humm... do you have a publisher? If not, you might do some research on publishers and pick one you think would fit your book.
I had professors, other writers valuate my first book, along with friends, and ended up winning a contest and was honored with my first publication.

message 3: by Naghilia (new)

Naghilia Desravines | 7 comments I am self publishing. Thanks for the advice I will definitely look into that.

message 4: by Abby (new)

Abby Vandiver | 10 comments Get a beta reader. Some are free, others cheap. Inbox me if you need help finding one.

message 5: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 27 comments Naghilia wrote: "I will be done with my book next week and I was thinking on getting the manuscript evaluate. Any suggestion or advice?"

I had my novel assessed. I wanted to know if I could write and if the story was interesting. Friends had read the MS and commented on various parts etc, but I wanted an outsider’s opinion and genuine feedback. Friends don't want to hurt your feelings. After I’d corrected / altered the MS from the assessor’s input I then sent the MS to an editor for her comments. I wanted input from both sexes outside of my circle of friends – BTW the assessor was a male. After 35 knock backs from agents & publishers I self published in paperback format, and a few months later as an e-book.
About a year later the e-book was picked up by a UK publisher. In 2013 it was republished in hardback, with a different title and cover. The assessor’s comments and suggestions were very helpful during my ‘learning period’ for self publishing. The UK publisher sent the book to be edited once again, but I am pleased to say that the few changes (about six or seven) were minor, so the assessor & editor that I used, were correct in their feedback & suggestions.

message 6: by Naghilia (new)

Naghilia Desravines | 7 comments That's very interested cause I feel the same way. I feel like I need other sources feedback and suggestion before I email book to editor.

Thanks for your advice.

message 7: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments I do manuscript evaluations myself. I'll let you in on a secret: You get "more bang for your buck" by hiring me, or someone else, to do developmental editing, because the ms. will be evaluated pretty much the same in the course of editing; it's just set up differently. Cost is usually not so different between the two. If, however, anyone knows what ms. evals cost, I'd appreciate hearing it, in case I'm wrong and I'm not charging correctly.

message 8: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 36 comments I got two of them, and hired a copy editor afterwards. (I've done all content editing myself, although I used what the manuscript-evaluating editors said in order to do it).

This step is invaluable. You need editorial feedback to make sure your book is in good shape. The editors I hired (one with 35 years of experience) really took me to task -- and I'm grateful. They are far more discerning than most readers.

Now, before self-publishing, I'm going to get reader feedback. I might make last-minute changes after their feedback. Once the editors pick apart your book, you'll want regular readers to tell you what they think (kind of a Sundance festival to test out the audience).

By the way, I spent a total of $2,000 on these editors. It was worth it.

message 9: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments Thanks for the info Cindy. Would you mind breaking down the $2K to how much was for what?

I love a writer who knows the value of good editors!

message 10: by Marc (new)

Marc Brackett | 74 comments From my limited experience the money spent on editing and formatting are good areas to spend a little extra. These are some of the few areas where there are some clear right and wrong answers.

The bigger problem I had was obtaining unbiased feedback prior to publishing, friends and family are great but in most cases they cannot separate you from the work. After publishing my book the next challenge was obtaining reviews. As a result of my experience I have created a free service called Bookvetter which can provide authors with feedback on books prior to publishing them. There are also published reviews in which the best books are then passed on to the book review blogger community for additional review and promotion. If you are interested please use the link below. Thanks


message 11: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments Marc, I just visited Bookvetter, and I have to admit I do not fully understand how it works. At first I thought you were accepting authors' books to be reviewed, and passing them on to reviewers who'd joined; but then it seemed like it was more about giving writers feedback and comments on our books. I am unclear which it is.

message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc Brackett | 74 comments Hi Marcy,

Thank you for the question, it clearly shows I need to work at better defining the service.

Bookvetter offers two types of reviews, draft and published. All reviews at this stage are provided by your anonymous author peers whose reading interests match the content of your book. You earn these reviews by providing reviews of other authors work. Because the reviews are anonymous there is no threat of review reprisals or the possibility of review trading, making an honest and independent review possible. As the content also matches the reviewers reading interest the review should reflect the reaction of a regular reader.

In the case of a published review the cumulative review score (six reviews) will determine whether or not the book is passed on (with the authors permission of course) to the book review blogger community. The reality is that reviewers are the scarce resource today as there are far more books and authors. Only those books that the author community feels are exceptional are passed on, Vetted Books. The reviews for Vetted Books are made public while the other reviews remain private and can be used by authors to improve their work.

So you are correct, you understand what Bookvetter does. I just need to work at making the process more apparent. Thanks for the question, if you have anymore let me know.


message 13: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments Thank you for the clarification, and yes, you need to do the same onsite.

message 14: by Cindy (last edited Feb 18, 2014 07:23PM) (new)

Cindy | 36 comments Marcy:

So, I hired three editors in succession. The first two did complete manuscript reviews. One charged $850, and the other $650 for my 120,000-word draft. (These are great prices, by the way. The editors' names are Marcia Trahan and Margaret Diehl). They read the entire manuscript, gave me a few-page review plus notes that they put in the manuscript itself. Extremely helpful. Finally, after slashing my manuscript by about 150 pages and editing the sh*t out of it, I got a copy editor to go through the entire revised draft. He charged $500 for the copy edit (punctuation, usage, syntax, all that good stuff). Seriously worth every penny.

message 15: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments Those prices are very close to mine, actually, and yes, they're lower than what associations like the EFA suggest, by about half. And yet I'm frequently told my fees are too high, especially on job sites like eLance and I gave up on those places a few months ago, I rely now on word of mouth and old and new connections.

message 16: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Armstrong (deboraharmstrong) | 20 comments I used the same manuscript evaluator for both of my novels and I plan to use her for my third. It took three rounds of revision before we were satisfied that each story was ready to go to print.I also used a copy editor and I had my books reviewed before they went to print. In my opinion, this is a very necessary expense.

message 17: by Naghilia (new)

Naghilia Desravines | 7 comments Most editors I contact charge me $0.01 per words which I find very affordable.

Marcy: I used Elance a lot and sometimes I might now hiring someone because you reply to late or you're reply do not match my requirement.

I think Elance and Odesk are great place to build your clientele. You just need to be accurate, on time and pay good attention to your client requirement.

message 18: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments Deborah wrote: "I I had my books reviewed before they went to print ..."

How did you do THAT?

message 19: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Armstrong (deboraharmstrong) | 20 comments Marcy wrote: "Deborah wrote: "I I had my books reviewed before they went to print ..."

How did you do THAT?"

There are various book review websites where an author can have her book reviewed before it goes to print. It's a good way to test the market and get legitimate reviews that can be added to the book insert or comes to mind.

message 20: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments And you pay them for it? This is more strangeness to me. Is that how people get so many reviews?

message 21: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments Readers' Favorite has free reviews and paid ones. The free reviews turn around time is 12 weeks and the paid Express is 2 weeks. I used the Free Review for both of my poetry books. The first book review I received 4 stars and this current one I received 5 stars.

message 22: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments Also, if you go to Poets & Writers website, they also have listings for reviewers.

message 23: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 214 comments Congratualations on the 4 and 5 stars. And thanks for the info. Maybe I'll send my book of short stories.

message 24: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments You're welcome.

message 25: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Proto (sandraproto) | 35 comments And thanks;0)

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