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Get a Free Editorial Appraisal of Your Book

NOT SURE IF YOUR MANUSCRIPT IS READY?  Whether it requires copy-editing, proofreading or beta-reading?  No problem; our editorial appraisal is totally free of charge or any expectations to proceed.


We will read through your manuscript and advise you which services we propose are required to elevate it to a standard required for submission or self-publishing, whatever its condition.  Rest assured we will never recommend unnecessary work, and will advise you if we think you have more writing work to do before using our services.

AN APPRAISAL COSTS NOTHING, and you won't be added to any sneaky marketing lists.  


We now offer Pay-As-You-Go editing - you choose the pace and the budget. Learn more.

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What our clients say about us

  • Is an editorial appraisal really free, and will I be spammed with marketing emails if I get one?
    It absolutely is, and you absolutely will not! There is no catch to our free appraisal; of course we want your instruction, but only when the time is right, and you can rest assured we will never oversell to you. And nor are we harvesting data for marketing purposes. We promise that we will never use your enquiry to add you to any mailing lists without your permission, nor will we pass or sell your contact info to others.
  • Is my book ready, or even good enough to publish?
    We have rarely, if ever, encountered a book which didn't have some degree of publishing potential - though admittedly some require more work than others to reach that stage. Our editorial appraisal is totally free and without any obligation or expectation whatsoever. We will happily read a significant sample of your book and advise what work we think is required for it to reach a suitable standard for publishing, though this might include self-publishing. If we think your book would benefit from beta-reading before the editing stage, we will let you know.
  • How can I trust that you won't oversell to me?
    We can absolutely assure you we will never suggest services to you which we don't feel are required. Our first priority is getting your book published, as our intention is and always will be to work with authors throughout their writing career. And, with prices from as low as $6.95 per 1000 words for proofreading, Amazon Kindle eBook Creation at $49 and free typesetting included in all editorial instructions, we don't believe you will find work of this quality, at these prices, anywhere in the world. But don't just take our word for it; take a scroll through the testimonials above, to see what our clients have to say about us.
  • How long does it take to edit and publish my book?
    When you instruct us to carry out an editing or proofreading service, we aim to return the manuscript for your review in 3-4 weeks, though usually sooner. Then it depends how long you take to review our changes and approve your manuscript for completion. It will then take us another week or so to carry out your free typesetting and - if you choose to instruct it - your Amazon Kindle eBook Creation. Following that, there is no reason (assuming you have your ISBN) why you can't self-publish or start sending your book out straight away. Please bear in mind that if your book is being beta-read first, or you decide to instruct our Whole Project Service, it will be a few weeks before you are ready to instruct editorial work. Overall, we aim to help you get your book ready to publish in 2-3 months, depending on the work required.
  • Should I self-publish or find an agent or publisher?
    This is probably the most common question we are asked! Unfortunately, it is also one we cannot answer for you. The answer is entirely a matter of personal preference and need; both have their benefits and disadvantages. Some authors feel the traditional route is the only way to go, but finding a publisher who will represent you can take months or even years! And in many cases they will require you to have an agent first (which in itself can be even more difficult than finding a publisher)! Even then, if you are lucky enough to find a publisher, you may find they are not offering enough to convince you to give up total control and the rights to your book. Self-publishing gives you a lot more control and freedom, but it will be extremely difficult promoting and selling your book, particularly if you haven't the time or money to do so. You should also be aware that, once it is self-published, it is much more unlikely you will find an agency or publishing house to represent your book. We may be in a better position to give our opinion on this after your book has been finalized. For now, take a look at our section on traditional vs. self-publishing on our webpage HOW TO GET YOUR ISBN.
  • Can I pay in instalments?
    Reading and synopsis services are booked via the website payment form, so will need to be paid in advance, but editing, proofreading and book creation services are all payable via dynamic, self-adjusting invoice, and their instruction can be confirmed by just paying the minimum deposit (usually half). After that, you can update the invoice as you much or as little as you wish, as long as the balance is paid prior to our returning the instruction for your review. And, if you don't want to pay half up front? No problem! We now offer Pay-As-You-Go Editing, meaning you can choose to pay as much or as little as you want each month; we will simply edit the word count paid for until we receive your next payment. The invoice is the same as our usual one, updating dynamically, but you can start with just a few thousand words, if you like. Unlike our most usual invoice method, PAYG-editing is all paid in advance of us carrying out the work. More information about this can be found in your free editorial appraisal. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
  • Can I review your edited/proofread changes before accepting them?
    Of course. After editing or proofreading your manuscript we will return two post-edited versions to you: one saved and ready to go, the other identical but including tracked changes, which you can go through one by one, and accept or reject each as you wish. You will also receive our Completion of Work Report, which explains exactly how to use the track changes feature, and what you will need to do next.
  • Is print-ready typesetting really free?
    Absolutely! All of our copy-editing and proofreading instructions include free print-ready typesetting as standard, as part of our #ReturnToRealBooks campaign (to environmentally offset this, we plant trees with every instruction). However, for obvious reasons the cost of the editorial service must exceed the price of typesetting on its own, so a minimum spend of $49.00 applies. This means, in practice, that any manuscripts with a low word count, which calculate less than $49.00 to proofread or edit, have been effectively proofread or edited for free once typeset! Typesetting is done in the book size and font of your choice (or our discretion in the absence of this), and it includes all of your interior matter, additional pages, mirrored margins (to accommodate the book's spine), page numbering and header titling. Further details will be available in the Completion of Work Report you will receive when your manuscript is returned for your review, post-editing/proofreading.
  • Do you offer services in my country?
    If you're seeing this website in your country, then we'll work with you! We have worked with authors on every continent in the world, and more countries than we can count. All of our services are priced in U.S. dollars, as the majority of our authors come from the United States, but we are a U.K. company, so instructions received from any country outside the U.S. will be converted into U.K. sterling at the latest Google exchange rate on the day of instruction. Most cards are accepted and payments processed by Paypal or Stripe, so whatever country you are in you have complete peace of mind.
  • Do I need an ISBN?
    You don't need an ISBN until you are ready to publish your book, and then only if you are self-publishing. Your publishing platform will happily provide one for you, but you should bear in mind that this ISBN will always be exclusively associated with them; if you ever decide to use a different publisher or go out on your own, you will need a new ISBN and the old one will need to be retired. You can purchase your ISBN from Bowker or Nielsen (depending on the country you are publishing in). We will ask for your ISBN when your book is typeset so that we can create your copyright page, but you don't have to provide it if you don't yet have it. You don't need an ISBN for digital versions of your book, but some authors choose to have one for every format version of their book - in this case you would need to use a different one for each. When we complete your editing or proofreading instruction, you will receive a Completion of Work Report with full instructions. For now, you can learn more about obtaining your ISBN at our page: HOW TO GET YOUR ISBN.
  • Will you help me promote my book?
    We don't currently offer book promotion services, but we are currently in the process of researching good ones to affiliate on our website, as we are often asked to recommend them. We will also shortly be launching our Author Website Service, helping you to get online and connect your social media as easily and reasonably priced as we can - so watch this space, and keep following our socials using the links in the footer. In the meantime, we're happy to share our thoughts if you want to run ideas by us.
  • What if my book isn't written in English?
    We are an English-speaking company, but that doesn't mean you can't use our services if your book isn't written in English. However, this is one of the few times we would use A.I. or other software prominently, in order to translate your manuscript into English, which we would then copy-edit as we would any other English-written manuscript. But you must understand we cannot guarantee the third-party software translation; only grammatical errors and book creation work carried out after you have reviewed and approved our editing would be covered by the MJV Literary Quality Guarantee. Your A.I.-translated manuscript will be returned to you along with your editorial appraisal. Please note that pricing quoted will be based on the English word count after translation. Please also be aware that reverse translation is not included as part of the service, which assumes you are translating your book for sale in an English-reading market. For more details about translating your book into English, please see our COPY-EDITING & PROOFREADING SERVICES page.
  • Where will you plant my trees?
    We use a website called more:trees, who use expert advice to choose their planting sites, for reforestation and sustainability. These are usually in South America, Africa and the West Indies. You can follow our progress at our virtual forest:
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