Will you read my manuscript?
A question I’m asked at least twice a week.  Some people ask me out to “coffee” or “lunch” and then hand me a manuscript. Bummer.  I thought I was making a new friend. I was at a business meeting, I just didn’t know it. There are lots of ways to be my friend (real not Facebook). And there’s one way for me to read your manuscript. When you become my client. Want me to read your manuscript? I’d be happy to.

Manuscript Development Review

This service is $80 per hour with a four-hour minimum:

• Read the manuscript (in addition to other readers or singularly)

• Provide in-manuscript notes

• Provide cover page summarizing manuscript strengths and opportunities to strengthen further

• 45-minute follow-up phone session to answer your questions about the content of the review

The time I spend reading depends on the manuscript. From my own experience of working with Developmental Editors, clients can expect that this will take me about 10 hours. It is common for a Developmental Manuscript Review to cost anywhere from $800 to $1400. I’ve spent this much money three times in the early stages of my career.

For authors on a budget I will cap my read of your manuscript at four hours and provide:

• In-manuscript detailed notes

• Cover page overview and

• Follow up phone session based on what I read during that four-hour cap.

Reader Feedback Coaching

This service is a good fit for first-time authors who have not had wide reader feedback. Authors will benefit from others reading and reacting constructively to their work.


• Coaching on how to effectively obtain and apply reader feedback

• What to Accept, what to Ignore

• Revise support based on reader feedback

For this service, I do not read the manuscript. I coach authors on the Reader Feedback and Revision process. Authors will learn much from reader observations from which next steps with the manuscript will be clear.

I provide this service on a monthly basis at $225:

• Two phone calls per month – the initial intake and second calls are 30 minutes each. I keep calls short to focus our exchange on DOING. It will not take me longer than 30 minutes to learn where an author is in his or her process and to coach on next steps. I have found that people talk about writing as a form of resistance to doing it. I know that from personal experience as much as anything.

• An email check-in once a week to further the plan we established during the call.

Book Doctoring a/k/a The Manuscript Mentor Service

• Authors who wish for more detailed manuscript support. I will read and provide feedback on revisions.

To keep the costs in check and the work productive, I contract in four hour blocks with specific goals for each block. Cost is $80/hour so each four-hour contract is $320.

I do not line edit. That is technical, not developmental editing. That said, if I come across any technical aspects of the writing that impede reader access to the story’s heart then I will comment.

After taking your advice and revising this piece, I am so much happier with the results. A thousand thanks and more.


Jan Mann author of Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket(3rd edition 2012) and How I Won the West (December 2014)

Thank you so much for reading a chapter of my book and giving me, first, your thoughts of what was not working and why – to my mind the most helpful advice – and then later, where I could make cuts to tighten up and sharpen the focus.

I was especially blown away by all the thought and detail you put into your comments.


Let’s get started!

Cost: $80/hr (4 hour minimum)