Get feedback on your manuscript

by | Mar 13, 2017 | Blog, Editorial Development, Improve your writing, Publishing | 0 comments

get feedback

In my experience, if your manuscript has areas for improvement, they will be obvious to a publishing industry professional in the very first pages of your work, whether fiction or nonfiction.

To an unpublished writer, this may sound harsh, but to people who read hundreds (if not thousands) of query letters and manuscripts each year, it’s the awful truth.

You need to get constructive feedback on your manuscript.

Often I’ll ask to see the first 10-20 pages of a manuscript, only to have the author reply, saying: “Oh, it doesn’t really get going until Chapter 5”, or “unless you read the first 100 pages, you won’t understand what’s going on.”

Unfortunately that’s the express lane to rejection and deafening silence from the agents you’ve queried. Literary agents and publishers don’t need any excuse to say no to unsolicited work, and this kind of thinking makes it very easy for them to pass on your submission. There’s a pile of unread submissions awaiting them, and they live in perpetual hope of finding the next bestseller among them.

If you’re not hearing back from agents or publishers, or if you’re frustrated at your progress using writing workshops and reading groups, I’m here to help.

I have observed that there’s a huge gulf between the short pieces or partial manuscripts that writers work on as part of a group or workshop, and the quality of finished book-length manuscript that publishers are looking for.

I work in the gap between what writers work on alone or in workshop, and the level that agents and publishers are looking for.

I’m in the very unusual position of having experience as a literary agent, as a book editor (both in-house and freelance), and as a twice-published author. I know how authors think, I understand how agents and publishers think. I know what they’re looking for – and what it takes to get published.

Literary agent submissions support

To address the gap I identified between writers’ desires and publishers’ needs, I offer a service that supports writers through the process of submitting to literary agents.

I also offer a quick-turnaround video query review if you just need a temperature-check on the query you’ve been sending out, or plan to send out, to literary agents.

If you’re not hearing back from agents, why not have a book industry professional review your query letter and/or all your submissions materials?

I provide constructive feedback on your writing style and storytelling, your characterisation and subject matter — and anything else that strikes me as worth noting to writers who are serious about getting published.

See my testimonials page for what my clients say about me.

There are loads of self-styled “manuscript assessors” out there, who do not have trade publishing experience, who are nevertheless willing to take a mountain of your money to give you not very much in the way of publication-focused feedback in return. I can guarantee it because I regularly hear from people boasting of having had their manuscript “professionally assessed” or “professionally edited”, whose work is nowhere near ready for submission to publishers.

More details here about how the submissions package and agent query video review services work.

I look forward to helping you.

Check out what my clients are saying…

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