THE MS ANALYSIS SERVICE
For the past dozen-plus years and on a strictly limited basis, I have occasionally agreed to read the ms of another writer and report back on what I see as strengths, weaknesses, and possible fixes. These reports are detailed, extremely frank, and substantive, but while I frequently edit segments of the ms in order to illustrate what I'm suggesting, this is not an edit. It is an overview of how a promising project can be raised the required number of notches to bring it to the point where an agent and a publisher are most likely to take it on. Call it an extended and very detailed Master Class.
I bring to this effort the experience of 30 years and some 18 novels – published by the likes of Random House, Bantam Doubleday Dell (before they were one and the same) and currently – as Beverly Swerling – Simon and Schuster and Viking Penguin. (Who are now, of course, Penguin Random; my writing life has come full circle. ) Before that I was a free lance journalist working for major publications. My fiction has been translated into over a dozen languages and is for sale in Europe, Asia, and S. America.
I take two weeks to read and report and the charge for this service is $3,000, payable in advance (the slot isn't promised until payment is received).
I am also happy to look again at a ms for which I've already done a Ms Analysis on the following basis:
• I am always happy to communicate by e-mail while you are rewriting. There is no charge for this.
• I will read a specific scene or scenes up to a total of 3000 words (generally 10 – 15 pp) at no further charge.
• For lengthier material that is sent to me as discrete scenes, or is highlighted or otherwise marked for reading within the ms, I will happily do so and edit/annotate if necessary at my customary rate of $200 per hour, billed on completion. I try to turn the project around in two to three weeks time.
• If a full second reading is required the price is the same as for the first as the same amount of my time is required.
At the end of all this, and presuming the ms is at a point where we agree it's ready for prime time, I will be happy to take it with my personal recommendation to a selection of agents (up to seven or eight) whom we both agree are right for the work. (You'll have veto power after seeing their track records.) I can of course make no guarantee that you will be offered representation, much less that the agent will sell the book to a publisher, but I can guarantee that the agents will take a serious look.
If you are interested in pursuing this possibility, please fill out the email contact. If I think I “hear” you (everything isn't for everyone and if I don't get your voice I'm of no use to you) I'll write back telling you of my times of availability and we can arrange for payment.