Manuscript Assessments

Assessing manuscripts is my favourite element of my work. It gives me the opportunity to use the skills that I have developed over thirteen years as a freelance fiction editor to make a difference to a novel in the developmental stages. Not only will it give you a fresh prospective on your current project, but it will highlight where further professional development is needed and enable you to grow and excel.

The assessment takes the form of a two-part report:

Part 1: Margin Notes
Your manuscript will be fully annotated with notes as it is read. This will give you a great idea of how the book will be viewed by readers, what is and isn’t working, holding a mirror up to the project for an objective viewing, using concrete examples and suggesting revisions.

Part 2: The Assessment
The final assessment is divided into sections, focussing on key narrative elements. This is the document that pulls together the margin notes to give you an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the project, from which you can then make the necessary alterations if needed. The assessment explores character and plot development, your execution of dialogue, POV, pacing and structural strategies, as well as your unique voice and use of language; additionally, you will receive comments and suggestions on the subject of marketability, your potential audience and the next steps for you to take in your publishing career.       

To keep the service as affordable as possible, I use a price-cap system, charging for the first 80,000 words only. So if you have a longer book (up to 110,000 words), you won't need to pay more.

£4.35 per 1,000 words, up to 80,000 words

£350 for books from 80,000-110,000 words.

The minimum fee for this service is £100.00

Email me to discuss your project further


Client Reviews 

I asked Hayley to help critique my novel and she offered useful and insightful advice on what worked and what needed further editing and what should be confined to the bin! She offered hints on style, language and highlighted areas where the plot was weak or was lacking that certain something to lift it from the mundane. With her help, I managed to fine tune my manuscript and secure a publisher. I cannot recommend her services highly enough.
David Atkinson, Author: Love Bytes


Hayley provided me with a thorough and comprehensive novel review. She was adept at understanding the flow of the book, and the questions posed for continuity were spot on, leading me to closely re-evaluate in places and make changes as appropriate. Her attention to detail was extremely good and obviously beneficial to the finished product. Along with the editing review, I was very pleased with the level of attention that was paid by Hayley. She takes her job seriously, which was very pleasing, and I definitely hope to engage her services again for my next novel when it is ready for review. Consider this a recommendation for anyone else considering using her services.
Peter Drinkwater, Author: The Gold of San Pedro


Working with Hayley Sherman has provided me with the structure and continuity I needed to undertake and sustain a book-length writing project. She has been my guide and has supported me throughout the writing process. I really appreciate her attention to detail and practical suggestions for improving my manuscript. Hayley has a unique ability to look at a first draft and see what is there, rather than what is not. Working with her enabled me to become more confident and professional in my writing. Her coaching is unique, effective and highly intuitive. She combines her experience in encouraging creativity with her people skills. She is also warm and supportive – but challenging when necessary. Hayley gives you the space you need to figure out the next steps in your writing life and asks questions that challenge you to think clearly about your own writing and how it can be improved. If you have a book inside you burning to get out, I highly recommend Hayley to help you with your project.
Kylie Holmes, Author: Intuitive Children; Runes Made Easy; The Angel Journey Workbook; Ben Nevis Time Travel Adventure Series for kids


Hayley Sherman was, quite simply, a lucky find. Her critique of my manuscript was beyond anything I had expected – professional, exact and incredibly thorough. Her involvement was a crucial step towards getting my manuscript to an agent. She’s worth ten times what she charges. Consider yourself lucky if she chooses to take on your manuscript.
Andrew Herbert, Author: The Unspoken


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