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Silver Spring, MD
United States


Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

The Value of a Manuscript Evaluation for Your Book

Sarah Hoggatt

The Value of a Manuscript Evaluation for Your Book

Are you in the later writing stages of a book or have a manuscript or two set aside? Are you wondering if the book is marketable to a wider audience or do you struggle with a problem you don’t know how to solve? Even with a very rough draft a professional editor can answer your questions and help you to plan your next steps.

Courtesy of Pixabay

We offer what is called a manuscript evaluation which includes both a written report and a phone conference with your editor to help solve these very problems and to answer your questions. By reading and evaluating your book early on while it is still fluid and open to major revision, we can help correct any major problems, suggest changes that would greatly improve the book, and give you guidance on where to take it next.

With nonfiction we focus on the following aspects of your manuscript:

  • Idea: Is the focus of the book clear? Are the ideas communicated clearly throughout?
  • Organization: Is the structure of the book clear? Is it chronologically or topically organized in a way that readers will understand?
  • Completeness: Is the draft “done”? Are there missing ideas or unanswered questions?
  • Clarity: Are there any areas that are unclear, or difficult for a reader to understand?
  • Cohesiveness: Do the sections of the book flow smoothly? Are there clear transitions?
  • Purpose: Does the book have a purpose and fulfill its goal to inform, persuade, or entertain? 
  • Tone: Is the author’s tone consistent with the purpose? Does the author have a voice throughout?
  • Illustrations: How do the illustrations enhance the book? How can they be used most effectively?
  • Introduction and Conclusion: Does the book have an effective frame? If not, what could the frame be?
  • Goals: What needs to be done to complete your draft?

With fiction we examine these features of your book:

  • Plot Organization: Is the structure of the book clear? Is the book’s plot/conflict well focused and logically developed? Does the narrative flow smoothly?
  • Setting: Is the setting presented in a clear and convincing manner? Does it contribute to the effectiveness of plot development?
  • Scene: Is the plot revealed in scenes that contain characters, setting, description and dramatic events?
  • Characterization: Are the characters unique and multi-dimensional?
  • Dialogue: Do the characters speak with unique voices? Does the dialogue have the feel of real speech?
  • Narration: Does the author use a consistent method of narration, either omniscient or through single or multiple points of view?
  • Exposition: How are exposition and backstory communicated? Does it complement and explain the action without slowing or departing from the plot?
  • Theme: Does the book have a central focus that is well developed?
  • Clarity: Are there any areas that are unclear, or difficult for a reader to understand?
  • Goals: What needs to be done to complete your draft?

After  a manuscript evaluation  you’ll have a much better idea of where your book needs work before moving on to the next step of the publishing process at a relatively inexpensive cost of $299 (up to 40,000 words, then $.0.03 per additional 100 words). Such knowledge can pay huge dividends as you work on revisions and editing. Click here to contact us about a manuscript evaluation.