Have you ever wondered what actually happens when you submit your work to a publisher or agent for a book assessment?
While this is often seen as a major 'make or break' moment for your story, there's a way to make it a less scary process. I'm talking about simply learning what the process entails.
To be frank, a book assessment is where an editor or publishing assistant looks over your work and decides it's a valuable asset for them to take on. If they decide they should go through with your book, they will evaluate whether the manuscript needs any editing or changes and to what level, or whether it can be published as is. It is often broken into two sections - an initial review and a final review.
When deciding whether to take the book on in the first place, they will ask themselves a few questions in regards to your work.
This will include confirming whether it was a commissioned piece or not, what the audience demographic will be, how much the readers know from previous material and what their expectations may be, as well as the general purpose of the book in terms of being published.
They will examine a publisher's brief if there is one and any guidelines already determined within, and will finally consider what the best form of publication will be (e.g. print, eBook, audio or a combination).
After getting past these initial questions, the assessor will branch out to further inspect the manuscript in full.
They will review the synopsis but make their own brief summary about what the story contains as well as its general strength and weaknesses. They will also give a final, more in-depth assessment of what changes need to be completed and the amount of revisions that will need to occur.
Any technical issues will be addressed with a note, especially if it revolves around presentation. This includes aspects of font design, obvious edits and grammar. Lastly, any potential or existing legal issues for the manuscript will be taken into consideration - such as permissions, defamation and especially plagiarism.
If there are too many legal concerns found surrounding the book, even if it seems to be a sturdy manuscript in all other fields, it is unlikely to be published as it will be considered a liability for the publishing house.
Once all these points are squared away, the assessor will gather their notes and pitch whether your book is a worthy manuscript to invest in, and all the steps that may involve.
It's a great idea to consider these different steps before submitting your work to a publishing house, as you might up your chances of a successful selection if you have less issues surrounding your manuscript for their assessment.