Part of pitching to publishers is to find that hook or special quality that will grab their attention. Manuscript evaluation is something that all serious writers should consider if they want an objective set of eyes to go over their work before they send it to an agent or publisher.
Rates for manuscript evaluation are varied so it really pays to shop around.
Here are some rates that I came across during my research:
The Writers Union of Canada offers $132.50 for a ten page submission, or a full manuscript for $125.00 plus $2.00
for every page thereafter making it about 535.50 for a 200 page book.
The Manitoba Writers Guild offers members $40.00 for a 1-10 page submission with each additional page being $1.50.
Allograph- A Vancouver firm offers a 250 page single spaced manuscript ( approx 62,000 words) anywhere from $360-$495 but they also offer something called a Readers Report for $325-$415
gal-friday and other freelancers can offer anything from $35.00 dollars an hour to $65.00 or they can often work out at flat rate of $250.00 or higher.
When looking for someone to evaluate your manuscript it's important to have a contract with and be given something about their background. Whether they have a portfolio or a blog, or a website, the more you know about the person you are about to enter into business with the better.
Generally you will be given the options of two types of reports:
1. A Reader's Report- which is a three page summary that identifies the main strengths and weaknesses of your document and provides a critique of organization, content, and style.
2. Manuscript Evaluation- a more comprehensive, five page briefing on your work. This critique includes notes in the margins of the manuscript, identifying common examples of errors.
Freelancers usually opt for the second choice as they find this is really the best way to give the client a full overview of their work. The purpose of a manuscript evaluation is to save the writer some money down the line with editing and to whip it into shape for agents or publishers.
Some freelancers have specific guidelines for their submissions, others like to go on a case by case basis. An average evaluation can take up to six weeks.
Agents offer manuscript evaluations as part of their contracts, but you can also have them done seperately so that your manuscript is ready to go to an agent or publisher.
Whatever your publishing route, consider having an evaluation done- a second set of eyes is invaluable!