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A quick self-edit won't cut it if you want to be a successful author. A professional editor's perspective will help you build the right foundation.

Editorial assessment

An editorial assessment, also known as a manuscript assessment, evaluation or critique, is a service in which a professional editor provides an in-depth evaluation of a manuscript or book-length work. This assessment includes a detailed analysis of the manuscript's strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggestions for improvement.

A manuscript's first professional assistance typically comes from an editorial assessment. Your editor will give you broad but insightful feedback on the main strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript's plot, characters, pacing, dialogue, and point of view, as well as its overall structure and organization. The editor may also provide comments on the manuscript's style, voice, and tone, as well as its marketability and potential for publication. The author will not receive any comments or examples of rewrites in the manuscript during an editorial assessment. Instead, they’ll receive a separate report that focuses on the big picture.

Editorial assessment is usually used early in the writing process, before an author submits their work for publication, but it can be done at any stage of the writing process. A manuscript assessment can be done on works of any genre: fiction or non-fiction, poetry, scripts and more.

The goal of an assessment is to help the author improve their manuscript and increase the chances of it being successful. For self-publishing authors, it will be much simpler to conduct more in-depth stages of editing in the future if you seek an editorial assessment early in the process. For those seeking traditional publication, an editorial assessment can assist you in determining whether your work is ready for querying with literary agents or submission to publishers.