Manuscript appraisal

Price: $300 per 5,000 words

You’re 40,000 words in and want to know if you’re on to a good thing? Want to have a taster of what the author/editor relationship could be like? Send a summary of your work and receive a written report, outlining: strengths and weaknesses, common punctuation errors that need to be addressed, notes on structure and form and overall ‘readability’.

Structural editing


A good way to think of structural editing is, ‘big picture’ editing. A structural edit involves evaluating the manuscript as a whole and asking the question, ‘does this work as a book/publication?’
Most publishers won’t look twice at a book that hasn’t been through the structural editing process. This may mean sitting down with your red pen to do it yourself, or, giving Tara Edits a holla. If you write fiction and decide to go for a professional structural edit, you can expect to receive feedback and advice on the following: plot (does it make sense), thematic structure (are you beating the reader over the head with symbolism?), character development, point of view, tense, dialogue, flow.
For professional publications it looks a little different, but the principle is the same. A structural edit for a textbook or other professional publication would include: fact-checking, organisation of information, tone and voice, exposition.



A good copyeditor is your best friend. A copyeditor’s job is to check for mistakes, repetition, inconsistencies and generally ‘tidy up’ your publication. Your partner in publication will check for: grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, inconsistencies of form (for example, is it ‘pg. 112’ in one instance and ‘page 112’ in another?), errors of fact, instances of libel, sentences that are too long and phrases that are too clichéd. They’ll also examine your characters to make sure that they’re behaving consistently and that nobody accidentally arrives again despite being killed off three chapters previously.

Proofreading is the final step, and happens after the manuscript has been printed. If you’re here looking for a proofreader the chances are I don’t have to explain to you how it works, but I’ll add a little detail here for posterity.
A proofreader’s job is to go through the original edited copy and compare it to the printed manuscript (or proof), making sure that no errors have slipped in during typesetting and layout. A proofreader may do some light copyediting (spelling errors, etc), but if too many errors are found in the publication it’s more than likely that they’ll return the manuscript for further copyediting.