Book Manuscript Evaluations and Critiques
Manuscript Assessment Services
Nothing but the truth …
We start our collaboration from a foundation of honesty and ethics. When you ask for a book critique, we will tell you if your manuscript is fair, good, excellent, or outstanding; filled with potential but in need of professional assistance or further work on your part; or unpublishable in its present form.
New writers tend to have similar issues (e.g., chronological progression, weak characterization, uneven plots, excessive back story, and lack of structure). An evaluation will tell you whether you’re on the right or wrong track (or even have writing talent); a critique deals with specifics. If you opt for a critique, your manuscript will be examined for areas of weakness, inconsistencies, and character development problems.
Accuracy, clarity, completeness, faults in chronology, voice, viewpoint, and overall impact of the work on the reader will also be assessed. When necessary, alternate themes, organization, dialogue, sub-plots, descriptive passages, or tie-ins will be suggested. Both the evaluation and the critique include an opinion regarding marketability.
Developmental Content Editing, Writing Assistance, Query Letters, Book Proposals, Submissions to Literary Agents and Publishers
Fiction and nonfiction: adventure, children’s books, contemporary, education, humor, memoir/biography, mystery, romance and women’s fiction, historical, creative nonfiction, literary fiction
Beth has edited more than 350 fiction and nonfiction book manuscripts, many of them now award winners. Her favorite genres are: women’s fiction, YA (young adult), self-help, psychology, commercial fiction, mysteries and thrillers, science fiction, adventure, memoir, biography, humor, literary fiction, and general nonfiction.
Beth also offers reading critiques, which are less costly than line-by-line editing, and include: reading of the complete manuscript, plus written comments about structure, character development, plot, pace, reader engagement, tone, voice, clarity and richness of language, and overall marketability.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Romance
THEODORA BRYANT has been editing professionally since 1994, ten of those with her fiction-only, award-winning publishing company. She has been a member of the Book Editing Associates network since 2001. During that time her authors have garnered “Book of the Year” in science fiction, and “Finalist” and “Winner” awards in romance and mystery works. Her authors often receive outstanding reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly.
She's reviewed, evaluated, and edited thousands of manuscripts through the years; her work has received the highest marks from her authors for the amount of extra effort she puts into helping them achieve the best results with crafting and perfecting their novels. Combining that with her many years studying the world Amazon/Amazon Kindle created for authors, how to make sure her authors know how to get on the “Top 100 Paid on Kindle,” and her knowledge of how agents and editors work in the traditional market, makes her one of the best “edges” you can have for success.
Award-Winning Ghostwriter, Author, and Book Editor
STACEY DONOVAN, co-author of the Red Shoe Diaries series — Erotic Romance.
I’m the type of editor who likes to get my hands dirty, i.e., really dig into words, sentences, chapters, and of course any story’s big picture. This I might do to my heart’s content in a developmental edit where, in addition to making corrections and adding comments on the manuscript page, I also note Chicago Manual of Style rules and Merriam-Webster Dictionary spellings and meanings of words.
When I’m not “hands-on” in a developmental edit, you will likely find me taking the “hands off” approach in a manuscript evaluation/extensive critique of your manuscript. This means I will do a “clean” pass; I won’t touch the story itself through editing on the page but will plumb the same elements in a comprehensive editorial memo that summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript, whether fiction or nonfiction. I’ll touch on each of the elements mentioned below and provide additional thoughts and suggestions specific to your book.
I’ll look for opportunities for improvement in the following areas:
▪ story and character arcs (relative to fiction or nonfiction)
▪ plot events and turning points
▪ conflicts, stakes, and tension
▪ pacing and information dumps
▪ characterization and likability
▪ goals and motivations
▪ story and character themes
▪ general writing issues, such showing versus telling and point-of-view usage
Developmental editor, copy editor, and writer with a background in criminal law and academics.
Karin specializes in apocalyptic fiction, autobiography, memoir, literary fiction, police procedural, narrative nonfiction, science fiction, thrillers, and true crime.
Karin Graham has a BA in comparative literature, a JD from William and Mary Law School, and a certificate in editing from the University of California Berkeley. If your novel has fight scenes or involves police procedures or the law, Karin is your specialist. Karin is a trained martial artist, with a third degree black belt in tae kwon do and years of training in hapkido. Karin is uniquely able to evaluate the realism of your fight scenes. She has accompanied police on search warrants, observed autopsies, and been to countless crime scenes. She has training in arson prosecution and investigations and has given lectures to investigators on the subject of search and seizure law and to college students about the insanity defense. She can help add realism to your writing.
Book Editor and Author of Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade Fiction, Memoirs, Historical Fiction
Ana specializes in fiction and offers a unique editorial perspective as the author of eight novels. Her books include contemporary and historical children’s, young adult, and adult literature. She has worked with both small independent publishers, such as Roberts Rinehart and Brown Barn Books, and large publishing houses, such as Penguin Putnam and American Girl.
She has seen one of her novels made into film and has won numerous literary awards.
She believes that even in today’s tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of others writers and/or editors.
John David Kudrick
Christian Fiction and Nonfiction
With a BA in theology, an MA focused on fiction, and nearly two decades of editorial/writing experience, John David has been privileged to work with some of the finest publishers in the nation, including Bethany House, David C Cook, Barbour, NavPress, Realms Fiction, Marcher Lord Press, and Whitaker House – where, as senior editor, he worked on James Byron Huggins’ Nightbringer, a book that Library Journal named one of its annual top five Christian novels.
To date, John David has had the opportunity to serve as an editor on more than 175 published titles and to work with authors from across the US and around the world.
During my 35+ years in the literary world, I’ve built experience in many aspects of the field—from non-fiction to fiction, short stories to novels, game creation to publication tips. My first love as a fiction editor has always been science fiction/fantasy and related genres. In addition to many SF/F novels for adults, I’ve also had the pleasure of working on a number of fun and imaginative Young Adult works, mostly fantasy, and always welcome the opportunity to assist writers with such stories. In addition, I’ve also edited several imaginative mystery series, as well as the occasional romance and mainstream work. My greatest strengths lie in manuscript evaluation and developmental editing, especially for works in which science, characterization, mystery, and unusual cultures play an important part.
My education also informs my work as a non-fiction editor. In that realm I specialize in anthropology, history, science, spirituality (including religious and New Age), and memoirs, with an eye on how the topics in these works affect both individuals and societies.
Paranormal Romance, Westerns, Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Psychic, Supernatural Phenomena
Kelly Lynne is the proud “auntie” to over 150 published novels, novellas and short stories, which have sold to Kensington Publishing, Carina Press, Cerridwen Press, Awe-Struck Publishing, Samhain Publishing, Wings ePress, Bradley Publishing, Damnation Books, and The Wild Rose Press as well as author self-published titles. These books have gone on to earn high praise from reviewers and readers, as well as multiple awards and contest wins. As an editor for The Wild Rose Press, she edited contemporary western and light paranormal romances, with heat ratings from sweet to spicy. Outside of romance, her fiction fortes include sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, young adult, and stories of psychic or supernatural phenomena.
Empathic about the “feel” of a story, Kelly provides suggestions so that authors may revise with their own style in mind, preserving the individual voice, while alerting authors to current trends in publishable styles. Developmental fiction editing requires an emotional investment in the work—an investment of time and effort that Kelly is happy to make.
Kelly has published over 100 non-fiction articles, four short stories, and two novels. She knows the hoops authors are expected to jump through and helps authors polish their submission packets. Query letters, synopses and professional quality formatting are as important as a well-polished manuscript.
New York Times Bestselling and Award-Winning Book Editor
Fiction and Nonfiction: Literary, Historical, Mystery, Adult, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Erotica, Humor, New Age, Spirituality
Andrea Robb spent over a decade as an acquiring editor at Penguin Random House, working on key titles for Knopf, Doubleday, Pantheon, Vintage and Anchor Books. Prior to that, she was on the editorial team at The Book of the Month Club, where she evaluated hundreds of titles for club inclusion.
Notable fiction projects that Andrea has edited have included Jennifer McMahon’s NY Times bestselling novels The Winter People, The Night Sister, and Burntown; the NY Times bestselling Veronica Mars mystery series; the Harvard Lampoon’s NY Times bestselling parody Nightlight; the translations of Paulo Coelho’s internationally bestselling novels The Spy, Adultery, Manuscript Found in Accra, and Aleph; Whiting Award-winner Melanie Sumner’s How to Write a Novel; and Latifah Salom’s debut suspense novel, The Cake House.
Nonfiction projects include blogger and comedian Samantha Irby’s We Are Never Meeting in Real Life; Vela magazine founder Sarah Menkedick’s debut essay collection Homing Instincts; multiple anthologies in the bestselling Foxfire series on Appalachian history and culture; the political travel guide The Nation Guide to the Nation; and new editions of Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey’s Driven to Distraction and Answers to Distraction.
Editor for three New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling authors
Caroline T. has been editing popular fiction for over 20 years and has 400+ novels under her belt. Her ability to see the big picture, combined with an in-depth knowledge of today’s publishing market, makes her an invaluable partner in the editing and publishing process.
A former in-house editor at Pocket Books-a division of Simon & Schuster, the premier New York City publisher of commercial and trade fiction-an outside editor for Harper Collins/Avon, and a reader for The Literary Guild and The Rhapsody Book Club, Caroline’s particular expertise is fiction for women: she edits all sub-genres of Romance (including NA Romance), as well as Suspense, Thrillers, Mysteries and general Womens Fiction. Carla Neggers, Karen Robards and Andrea Kane-three New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling authors-had books edited by Caroline.