Manuscript Assessment Service

Manuscript Assessment Service

Writing (especially a novel) is a lonely old business. Even when things are going well, often you just want a second opinion, a professional writer and editor to shed light on what is, and isn’t working – and why. Whether you’ve finished your novel or are in the early stages, I can help.

Choose from four different levels of critique:

1. ‘Has it Got Legs?’
Fee: £200

This is for those in the earlier stages of writing their novel – for partial manuscripts. (I can read up to 20,000 words).

Want a second opinion as to how it’s going so far?

I will:

  • Read up to 20,000 words of your w-i-p and your synopsis (ideally, no longer than 2 pages) of What Happens Next.
  • Write a two-page report incorporating: An overview of what I feel is working well and what could be strengthened, briefly touching on character, dialogue, plot and the overall quality of the writing.
  • Make some suggestions as to how to approach writing the book going forward.
2. The ‘Good Lord, I’ve written a novel!’: What now?
Fee: £500

You’ve finished your novel. You might even have already sent it to agents and had feedback.

You’d like to know, among other things:

  • If the characters who have lived inside your head for so long have come alive on the page.
  • If you’ve written something that engages us emotionally
  • If it feels fresh and original and would have a place in the market

You’re not in need of an encouraging pat on the back; you’d like constructive criticism and feedback. Rest assured, however, you will also be getting plenty of encouragement! It’s my job to explain what I perceive your strengths as a writer to be as well as point out areas for improvement.

I will:

  • Read the full manuscript
  • Write a detailed, three-page report with separate sections signposting what is, and isn’t working: Do we care about the characters? Does the dialogue ring true? Most of all, have we fallen in love with your story and if not, why not?
  • Suggest the key areas to work on in your next draft
  • Pinpoint where it might sit in the market
3. The ‘Chapter and Verse’: Your full manuscript MOT.
Fee: £750

You have completed your novel; potentially done more than a first draft and already sought advice and worked on revisions. You have taken your work as far as you can and are ready for a professional editor’s approach. This will include suggestions and notes on the actual manuscript, as well as an overall summary of how we feel the different elements (plot, character etc) are working.

I will:

  • Read the entire draft
  • Make line-by-line notes on the actual manuscript thus giving much more detailed feedback.
  • Write (in addition) an overview three-page report with separate sections on character, plot, structure, dialogue etc
  • Include in this report, my opinion of how well the story is working as a whole and suggestions for how it might be improved
  • Suggest the key areas to work on in your next draft
  • Pinpoint where it might sit in the market
  • Offer one phone-call / Zoom session of up to one hour to discuss your book
4. The ‘Cover to Cover.’
Fee: £1200

You’ve finished your novel, probably edited several drafts already, and just want to give your novel one last push before submitting to potential agents.

I will:

  • Read the full manuscript
  • Provide a line-by-line critique indicating where we feel things could benefit from a second look.
  • Write a detailed three-page report signposting what, in my opinion is, and isn’t working in terms of character, plot, structure, dialogue etc
  • Include in this my opinion of how well the actual story is working as a whole.
  • Pinpoint where it might sit in the market
  • Offer a phone-call / Zoom call of up to an hour to discuss your book.
  • A re-read after you have made changes and put in place editorial notes where necessary – plus follow-up phone-call of up to an hour.
  • Help drafting a covering letter to potential agents, presuming we both feel it’s ready

Chris Baker, mentee of Katy from 2020-2023 says

“For my second novel I decided to use the mentoring services of Katy Regan – who was recommended to me by another author.

I chose the full manuscript support, although Katy has a range of different options. Her guidance, support and encouragement were invaluable and simply put, the book would not be anything like it is – without Katy.

At various stages during the 3 year write, Katy analysed the full manuscript and fed back to me -both in writing and through discussion. She guided me on plot, pace, dialogue, the arc and the building of characters. But it wasn’t only her insights that helped, it was her encouragement that got me through, what we all know is a tough task! I highly recommend Katy’s mentoring and The Short Life of Amy Ridley is now selling well. Thank you Katy!”

Who is Katy Regan?

Author of six novels and two self-help books. Ex-commissioning editor and features writer at Marie Claire magazine / freelance editor copywriter.