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Editorial
Evaluation

If you're here, then you're probably feeling pretty lost with your novel right now.

Do any of these sound familiar?
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I've worked so hard on this draft, but I know it's just not quite ready yet.

I've had feedback from beta readers, critique partners, or even literary agents, but everyone gives me different, sometimes conflicting feedback, and it's confusing.

I've finally finished my first draft, but I've never revised a book before, and I'm not sure where to start.

I'm starting to doubt whether I should even bother continuing to work on this book.

I get it! Revisions are the hardest part of the process for many, many writers. You're not alone in feeling out of your depth. But what if I told you...
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You can have a straightforward revision plan that finally gets your book ready for the next step to publication.

You can evaluate and sift through various feedback to decide what applies to your story and what doesn’t.

You can tackle your first-ever revisions with courage and confidence that you’re headed in the right direction.

You can believe in your writing ability again and fearlessly jump back into working on your book.

This is exactly what an Editorial Evaluation is for! You don’t have to feel confused, frustrated, or hopeless every time you sit down to revise your book. You can feel encouraged, determined, and confident instead!

Knowing your draft’s strengths and weaknesses is key to making it into a novel that entrances readers.

Get an element-by-element assessment of your manuscript by a trained editorial eye so that you can stop guessing and start making real progress on your quest to publication.

So what exactly is involved in an Editorial Evaluation?

I read through your manuscript from a bird's-eye view, looking at the major elements and how they all work together. This is a broad overview of the entire book, assessing your story’s strengths and weaknesses in each category. That way you know if your worldbuilding is on point but your characters need more work, or if your plot is perfectly paced but your grammar and punctuation could use some cleanup.

An Editorial Evaluation looks at these 8 elements of your novel:

  • Storytelling choices. Does the book fit well within its genre and work for its intended readers?

  • The hook. Do the first pages grab the reader and make them want to keep reading?

  • Characters. Are the characters unique, deep, and realistic?

  • Setting/Worldbuilding. Is the setting clear and easy to imagine? Does the worldbuilding make sense and have consistency?

  • Plot. Is the plot engaging and interesting? Does it earn its ending?

  • Pacing. Does the story move too fast? Too slow?

  • Voice/Style. Does the story have a good balance of narrative “telling” and in-scene “showing”? Do the author’s word choices suit the genre and intended readers?

  • Mechanics. Are there a lot of distracting spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or punctuation errors?

I don’t just leave you with a list of problems, either—at the end of every Editorial Evaluation, I list out a personalized set of next steps for your book. For some, that might mean another round of beta reading. For others, it might be a total rewrite of the entire book. For others still, it might be time to hire a proofreader and hit the Publish button!


And it doesn’t end there! Once you’ve read over your Editorial Evaluation, you also get to ask 5 questions of your own choosing about what I wrote in the evaluation, specific problems in your story, or writing and publishing in general. This is to make sure we don’t leave any gaps as you set out to start your revisions.

Revisions aren't just about fixing what's not working—they're about augmenting what's already amazing.

What will I actually get, though?

That depends on what you and your book need! I value your time, so I'm not going to throw in a bunch of extra fluff just because I can. Your Editorial Evaluation will include 1 to 3 documents:

Mockup of an Editorial Evaluation report from Toni Suzuki at editsbytoni.com. The image shows a desktop computer screen with the PDF of an Editorial Evaluation open. A hand can be seen on the wireless keyboard.
  1. The evaluation. This PDF document is guaranteed no matter what—this is the main element of an Editorial Evaluation!

  2. Your marked-up manuscript. (Optional) Sometimes, it's hard to illustrate the points I'm trying to make in the evaluation document without giving you direct examples from your book. If that's the case, I'll leave comments and marks directly in the book to expand on what I mean. Not every book will need this.

  3. Answers to your 5 questions. (Optional) Every Editorial Evaluation comes with 5 questions. You can ask about my evaluation, your book, or writing and publishing in general. But you don't have to ask any questions if you don't want! Or you can ask just a couple of questions instead of using all 5. This is totally up to you, so don't feel obligated to make up questions if you don't actually have any.

Who can benefit from an
Editorial Evaluation?

New Writers

Your first-ever revision can be a hugely overwhelming process. Turns out there's way more to writing than just finishing that first draft! An Editorial Evaluation can light the way forward so you can go from feeling like revision is too much to feeling like it's totally doable. Your second draft will be that much easier to handle!

Experienced Writers

You've revised books before, but maybe this one's just not clicking. You know the book could be better, but you've got analysis paralysis. An Editorial Evaluation can help you take a step back and see more clearly what you might have missed while deep in the depths of your story, so the path forward becomes clear.

Writers on a Budget

As an editor, I know that editing costs add up quickly. Fortunately, Editorial Evaluations are able to provide big-picture developmental feedback at a lower price. If you've got the DIY spirit but need a bit of direction to get going, then an Editorial Evaluation will be perfect for you.

At what point in the writing process is an Editorial Evaluation helpful?

First Draft

After finishing your first draft.

If you want to start your revisions on the right foot, or if you're less experienced and just want some guidance, this is great timing for an Editorial Evaluation.

Second Draft

After draft two or three.

After doing a couple rounds of revision by yourself, you still might not be feeling confident in your story quite yet. An Editorial Evaluation can help you iron out any lingering story problems before you send the book off to beta readers.

Beta Reader/CP Feedback

Third Draft

(& beyond)

Querying/

Self-Pub Prep

When you get confusing reader feedback.

Especially if you're getting conflicting feedback! An Editorial Evaluation can help you untangle what your readers are picking up on so you can decide what advice to leave and what to take.

Publishing!

After querying  agents unsuccessfully.

If your book's not getting any bites from agents, it could be because there's a problem with the story. (Or it might just be the market!) If you suspect the story might be the problem, an Editorial Evaluation can help you suss out what's putting agents off.

After self-publishing.

If you're working on a series but your readers just aren't buying book two after finishing book one, it could be a story issue. An Editorial Evaluation can help you pinpoint what's stopping readers from picking up the next book.

Bonus: Any time you're stuck.

Sometimes, you'll reach a point in revisions where you just don't know what to do or if you're making the story better or worse. Revisions start to feel neverending and overwhelming. It happens a lot, especially if you've been working on the book a long time! An Editorial Evaluation can help you take a step back and see your story clearly again.

Who will be my editor?

Sci-fi/Fantasy editor Toni Suzuki sits in front of her work desk, where you can see the edges of two computer monitors. She's leaning forward, clasping her hands, and smiling. Toni's reddish hair is down and wavy, and she wears purple glasses.

I'm Toni (she/her): fiction editor, bookworm, hobby writer, and your trusty guide through the tricky revision stage of your novel writing journey.

I have a bachelor’s degree in creative writing—which means I did a ton of writing, rewriting, and revising in my college years. I know what it’s like to get stuck in a story and not know how to improve it further!


But I also know how hazardous feedback can be. Unkind, generic, one-note feedback can do more harm than good when you’re trying to improve your story. It can lead you in the wrong direction, confuse you, or even make you feel like giving up writing entirely. I have certainly been on the receiving end of this type of feedback more than once! 

That's why I'm so determined to help you through the revision stage with kind, applicable, and personalized feedback on your novel.
Sci-fi/fantasy editor Toni Suzuki stands in a park in front of twin rows of orange conifers. She's holding a sable Shetland sheepdog in her arms, and she wears a black facemask, a blue windbreaker, and jeans.

I’m not gonna lie—it’ll still be a lot of work. But it’ll be purposeful, directed, impactful work. I want you to come out the other end of your next round of revisions with a draft you’re proud of, whether it still needs more work later or is ready to publish right away.


Besides my creative writing degree, I also have a certificate in editing from the University of Washington, and of all the books I’ve edited since starting my business, only one was not sci-fi or fantasy. And my love of these genres extends far beyond my education—I’ve been reading in them since elementary school!


You can rest assured that I’m familiar with the tropes and conventions of SFF, so I won’t give you random advice that only applies to some other genre that has nothing to do with your story. Everything I write about in my evaluation is to help you create the book you want to write, not the book I think you should write.


I can give you the little bit of direction you need fine-tune your story into one that will capture and keep readers for the rest of your writing career. Are you ready to get started?

With an Editorial Evaluation, you’re getting more than a list of the problems in your novel—you’re getting direction, encouragement, and personalized feedback that takes into account your book’s genre and ideal audience.


And this doesn’t just apply to this one book—an Editorial Evaluation can make you aware of your personal sticking points as an author, so you’ll be able to look for those in your next book, too. This isn’t a one-off. It’s a learning experience.

But you're here for the price, so here it is:
$200 USD

for any manuscript 100,000 words or less.

(If your book's longer, I'll adjust the price based on the word count!)

This offer is less than half the total value of an Editorial Evaluation, and the price will be going up over time!

There are only 3 spots left at the $200 price mark.

How much will this cost?

Why would I pay for this when I can get beta readers and critique partners for free?

Look, I don't want you to pay for something you don't want!

The truth is, you can do it all yourself. You can read all the craft books and blog posts from experienced writers and editors, trade manuscripts with a critique partner, get feedback from beta readers, and tackle your revisions on your own. Many people do this, and it’s a totally legitimate way to revise a book. I'm not going to tell you that you can't do it, because you totally can with enough time and resources.

However, the DIY approach takes both significant time and significant knowledge. Good revisions require fresh eyes—reader's eyes—to truly see the story for what is actually on the page, not what you want to be on the page. And learning the ins and outs of story structure, character development, pacing, worldbuilding, and plot construction takes time, too.

Not just that, but it's easy to get led astray by well-meaning but inexperienced critique partners and beta readers, who often tell you what they want to see in the book rather than what's actually not working, even if that has nothing to do with your story goals. They're also not bound by a contract, so they may never give any of that extremely necessary feedback at all, or it may be vague statements like "I thought it was good." In an Editorial Evaluation, you'll get specific feedback that focuses on what will work for the story, not what I as a reader would want to see. And that feedback will always be prompt and detailed—you won't have to wait for months just to get a couple of vague statements.

So if you find yourself...

  • ...struggling to figure out how the craft book advice fits into your own novel

  • ...unable to get beta readers or critique partners to actually give timely, applicable, specific feedback

  • ...wishing there was someone who could give you some guidance in your revisions

  • ...feeling confused about all the different advice you're receiving from beta readers and critique partners

  • ...itching to speed up the revision process

  • ...yearning for someone else to take a little of the revision load off your shoulders

  • ...or even just wanting an editorial opinion on your book

 

...then I'm here to help with that! And there's no shame in getting help when you want it.

FAQ

What kinds of books do you evaluate?

I evaluate fantasy and sci-fi novels for middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult audiences. This includes all SFF subgenres. If you're not sure what your book's genre is, don't hesitate to get in touch!

How soon will I get my Editorial Evaluation back?

I schedule every Editorial Evaluation to take up a two-week time slot on my calendar. If you're lucky and your book is the only one on my plate at the time, you might get your evaluation back as quickly as one week!

Is there anything you don't read?

Thanks for asking! I can handle most content, but my tolerance does go up and down depending on my current life circumstances. If you could provide a list of trigger/content warnings when you contact me, I would really appreciate it!

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, I do offer payment plans in two or four installments. If you need an extended payment plan, feel free to reach out to me. But do keep in mind that this will likely affect how quickly I can return your completed evaluation.

Other questions? I'm just an email away!

Or, if you're ready, book your Editorial Evaluation below.