Editorial Assessment

Affordable assessment of your book’s strengths and weaknesses, providing detailed strategy to lift your book to the next level.

Submit for editorial book assessment Try free sample editorial assessment

Assessment and Actionable Solutions

Thoughtful, in-depth assessment of elements such as plot, characterization, structure and style. A detailed strategy of steps needed to dramatically improve your book.

Multi-page Book Editor's Report

Extensive multi-page editor's report, which will highlight and explain in detail the big problems within your book. Benefit from our editorial experience.

Day Turnaround

All edits returned within 28 business days. We understand publishing timeframes are essential and will provide a delivery date before the editing starts.

$15 per 1000 words

We use a simple pricing system based on the cost per 1000 words.

The price we quote is fully inclusive and will be the price you will pay to get your book assessed. There are no hidden costs.

The price includes all editing, consultation, and after-edit care.

Word Count

Assessment Turnaround Time

We will return your manuscript within twenty-eight business days (counting Monday-Friday) or roughly five calendar weeks.

We are a small and dedicated team. We pick the best editor for each job. We have professional editors and robust quality-control systems. We can’t rush the process.

If you submitted and paid today, your feedback would be returned no later than June 25.

What Your Get With Editorial Assessment

Our editorial assessment service will provide the guidance and overview you need to lift your 'first draft' book to the next level.

We'll identify the big problems and provide a complete strategy for your best next steps in the writing process.

If you've just completed the first draft of your book but you are now filled with questions, we can help.

  • Is my book good enough?
  • Have I left huge plot holes?
  • Will the readers like my characters?
  • Will my book fit the reader's expectations?
  • Is my book boring?

These worries are natural, in fact, they are an essential, part of the process.

You've spent months, perhaps years, writing your book, the last thing you want to do is let people read it when it contains problems that still need to be fixed.

No book emerges fully formed.

You might have planned your novel from the start and now worry about character development. Perhaps, you're a discovery writer and have just let the story flow, now you worry that the plot isn't up to scratch. You might have even written a non-fiction book and now you have concerns about the content and the readers 'getting' your book.

All books need a little help to smooth off the rough edges.

So what should you do?

You could ask your friends and family to give your book a read, but the feedback they give is normally, well... biased.

Beta readers can help but their feedback can be hit and miss. How do you know the changes they are suggesting will make your book better?

This is where our editorial assessment will be invaluable.

We will read your entire manuscript and provide an honest, detailed and critical assessment of your book.

In this overview, we'll show you what's working, but more importantly, we'll highlight what's not working. We'll them explain why the problems exist and suggest at least one solution as to how they can be fixed.

You'll come away with a complete understanding of your book's strengths and weakens and know exactly what you need to do next.

Editorial Approach

The role of the editor is to ensure that a book is of a publishable standard.

We are looking to ensure that all of the 'big' elements of your book are correct and you have a solid foundation on which to build.

The way in which we do this is to read your book and ask a number of relevant questions.

Here are a few of the questions (there are more, but they are often genre specific):

Editor's Report

The editor's report provides a broad, but detailed, overview of your book's key issues.

We have been editing books since 2007, and during this time, we have developed a detailed structure for our reports. This acts as a start point when compiling the report.

The report will consist of two main parts: general thoughts and chapter comments.

In the general thoughts section, we will highlight any key issues that have surfaced during the edit. We will explain why we feel that the issue needs addressing, we will provide examples of where the issue is a problem and then provide at least one solution that you can be applied to fix the problem.

For example, let’s say that we feel your book is slow to start. There are a number of reasons why a narrative might start slowly. It may be that the writer has included too much ‘setup’, which though they feel is essential to the plot, is actually slowing the pace of the book. It might also be that the writer has not really written the book with any defined structure and the story lacks any kind of inciting incident in the opening section. This would produce a story that has no real narrative drive. It may also be that the writer has simply started the story at the wrong place in the plot.

The problem with a slow start is that it leaves the reader feeling disconnected from a story and the writer risks ‘losing’ the reader.

If we were editing a book with a slow start, this would be a major issue that we would examine in the editor’s report. Our first job would be to work out why the start was slow and then suggest solutions to fix the problem.

This means that in the example above we might suggest one of three solutions.

If we felt the ‘set up’ was the issue, we would suggest that the reader reexamines the opening section and looks to remove the set up that is not immediately essential to the plot. We would then discuss ways this set up could be reintroduced later in the book (perhaps via speech or new scenes).

If we felt the structure was wrong, it might be a case of trying to enforce a very loose three-act structure. This would provide a natural inciting incident (an event that drives the character to action) and, therefore, give the book a natural narrative arc.

If the story has started in the wrong place, then we would provide suggestions as to how the opening section of the book can be restructured. It might be that we feel moving the start of the story to a more significant event would provide a better structure. If this were the case, we’d highlight where we feel the story should start and then provide strategies to ensure that nothing essential to the plot was lost in the restructuring.

The aim of the report is to be a document that you can use to understand the issues within your book and how they can be fixed. We never just say 'fix this' but will instead explain why it is an issue and what you need to do to correct the problem.

Many authors tell us the editor’s report quickly becomes an invaluable tool. Before each editing session, the author will refer back to the report and get a 'feel' for the bigger picture.

Editorial Assessment Sample

Finding the right editor for your project is not easy. The chances are that you have spent months (a recent survey suggested that the average time to write a book was seven months) writing your book and you, rightly, want to make sure that you have the correct person for the job.

The first step is to ask us all the questions that you have, which are niggling away. We are more than happy to answer any questions.

The next step is to submit your book for a free sample assessment.

The sample assessment process is almost identical to the full editing process. We will look at the opening section of your book, normally the first 2000 words, and produce a sample editor’s report.

This sample will give you a great indication of not only what we can do for your book, but also what might be wrong and what needs fixing.

The only thing we can’t do is comment on wider narrative issues. We need to read the full story before we can make a judgement on certain technical and structural problems.

The sample will take twenty-four business hours to complete. Once the sample is ready, you’ll get an email with instructions on how to download your sample edit.

If you have questions about the sample edit, we will be happy to answer these either via email, phone or Skype.

Try free sample editing

The Editorial Assessment Process

The assessment process involves the following steps:

  • Click this link to go to our secure sample submission page.
  • Create a free BubbleCow account using email and password.
  • Complete the submission form and attach your manuscript. This will need to be a Word document.
  • The manuscript is submitted to BubbleCow and uploaded to our secure server.
  • A senior editor will download your manuscript onto their local machine and assess the book. If we feel we can add value, the book is ‘accepted’. If we feel we can’t add value, the book is ‘rejected’ and deleted from the editor’s local machine.
  • The first 2000 words of the ‘accepted’ manuscript are assessed by the senior editor. A sample editor’s report will be completed.
  • The sample editor’s report are uploaded to our secure server. An email is automatically sent to inform you that the sample edit is ready. The editor deletes any files from their local machine.
  • You log into your BubbleCow account and download the report.
  • When you are ready to proceed, you log back into your account and submit the final manuscript for full assessment. Additional information is required at this point, and you will need to fill out a new form and upload the full manuscript.
  • Once the file is uploaded, a senior editor will download the file to their local machine and assess the book. If the book is accepted an email is automatically sent to the writer. If we feel that we can’t add value to the book, it is rejected, and the writer is informed by email. The editor will delete the file from their local machine.
  • If accepted, an email will be sent with an invoice for your assessment and a link to our secure payment system. We work with writers from all over the world, so we can 'bill' you in the currency that is best for you. We use PayPal's secure payment system, since this will allow you to use any major card for payment. You will not need to create a PayPal account.
  • Once payment has been made we will email you with a receipt for payment. You will also be given a date for the lastest possible return of the assessment. This will be twenty-eight business days from payment.
  • An editor will be chosen for the book. The choice of editor is based on the editor’s experience in the genre, their desire to assess the book and current workload. In most cases, an editor will express a desire to work with the writer and the project.
  • An editor will be assigned to the book, and they will then be granted access to the online files. The editor will download the files to our Dropbox system, and they will have access to the files on their local machine.
  • The editor will complete the assessment, producing an editor’s report in the process. Once complete, they will upload the report to the secure server and delete the files from their local machine.
  • A senior editor will access the files via our internal Dropbox system and check that the assessment is ready to be returned to the writer. When the senior editor is happy, the files are removed from the Dropbox system, and the writer is informed (by email) that the assessment is ready.
  • You logs onto your account and download the file.

Post-Assessment Support

We see our interaction with writers as a long-term relationship.

We want to be with you for the book you are writing now and all your future projects.

In addition to editorial support, we work hard to provide help with all elements of the writing and publishing process. This might be through blog posts, free ebooks, email exchanges or even one-to-one Skype calls.

Once you have worked with us on one book, we will remain at your side to help at every step.

What does this mean in real terms?

Once you have had your assessment back, it is natural that you will have questions. We will answer these questions in whatever way works for you. It might be that you want to email us the questions or set up a chat, either way works.

As part of the service, you are entitled to a thirty-minute one-to-one chat with your editor.

The next step will be for you to rewrite the sections that need more work. This will produce a new manuscript. As a general rule, we don’t carry out full second assessments. The reason being that we have already said everything we need to say. However, if you have reworked a particular section, we will be more than happy to have a look at that section and pass comment.

If you feel your book has changed significantly from the version we edited, it may be possible for us to carry out a second assessment. If we feel that we can add more value a second time, we’ll book you in for a second assessment. The charge for this edit is the same as the first.

The help will not stop there.

One advantage we possess is that we have experience of both traditional and self-publishing, as well as access to hundreds of writers. The chances are that if you are having a problem with the writing or publishing process we have already seen and solved this problem. It may well be the case that one quick email to us saves you a significant amount of time.

Commonly Asked Questions

Do you accept all books?

No, but we accept most fiction genres and all major nonfiction genres. In fact, we say yes to about 75% of the books that are submitted.

Our goal is to add maximum value to writers. However, for this to happen we have to be the correct editors for your book.

The most common reason we say no to a book is that we don’t have the editorial experience for the genre.

We pride ourselves on both having experience in editing and deep genre knowledge. We spend a lot of time talking to writers, publishers and agents and have a good understanding of what the current trends in the marketplace look like.

This means that if your book is not within a genre in which we specialize, we are not the best people for the job.

We DON’T accept:

  • Poetry.
  • Short stories.
  • Cookbooks.
  • Highly technical non-fiction.
  • Children's picture books.

If you are not sure if we will accept your book’s genre, just email and ask.

If I plan to write/submit more than one book, will I get the same editor?


If you have had a book previously edited by BubbleCow, you will be offered the opportunity to have the same editor for your next book. However, if your book is of a different genre, we may well suggest that we assign a different editor, with better genre experience, to your manuscript. The choice will be yours and we will discuss this when your book is submitted.

Can I pick my editor?


At the point of submission, we will be in touch with you to discuss your book. At this point, you will have the chance to elect a certain editor. If we feel the editor is not ideal for your book, we will discuss this in detail and explain who we feel would be the best choice.

Will you ship out my book to some anonymous freelance editor?


We are a small team, with only a small group of full-time editors. This is the way we have designed the company. We feel that the connection between writer and editor is essential and that this can only be achieved when the writer is confident that the editor is committed to their project.

We don’t hire freelance editors. The idea of short-term, transitory staff, is against the very core of the way we feel editing should be offered to writers. Instead, we focus on hiring long-term, dedicated and highly experienced book editors, that we can train and develop over time.

Is there a minimum word count?


We don’t accept books of fewer than 15,000 words.

The reason is simple. Our secret power is in editing long-form manuscripts; in other words, novels and long non-fiction books. If your book is shorter than 15,000 words, we are probably not the best match for your project.

I want to submit my book in small chunks. Is that possible?


We have a minimum word count of 15,000 words. As long as you submit in chunks of this size or larger, then there’s no issue.

In fact, we have had many authors take this approach in the past, and it always seems to work well. The key, from our viewpoint, is that you let us know that you will be submitting in chunks. This way we can ensure that you have the same editor for each submission.

The only ‘problem’ with submitting in chunks is that it extends the overall time it will take to assess your book. One thing we can do to shorten this editing process is to ‘book’ in each chunk ahead of time. If you know that your next chunk will be ready at a set date, you can inform us of the date ahead of time, and we will be ready to start process the moment you submit.

Do you keep the copyright?


We are simply a service. You pay us; we make your book better. At no point do we take ANY rights. ALL rights remain yours at all times.

In fact, if you are considering using any editorial service that is suggesting that they will be taking any cut of your book’s copyright, or long-term sales, please run a mile.

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