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Bedlam Books

a manuscript assessment service


Why choose Bedlam Books?

Bedlam Books recognises that many writers don’t have access to critical readings of their works. We also understand the time, passion, and sometimes anguish, it takes to create a manuscript. This is why our assessments are honest and professional and always treat the author’s efforts with respect.

What do I get for my money?

Bedlam Books offers three levels of service, so that you can choose one appropriate to your needs. Our services are:

Intensive assessment

This type of assessment is best suited to first-time authors. The author should provide only the first 10,000 words of their work in progress. This extract will then be critiqued in detail. The report will discuss style issues and authorial voice, and provide advice about how the author can develop both their writing skills in general and the manuscript in particular. For fiction manuscripts, we discuss how the plot is unfolding, how credible the characters are and so on. For non-fiction manuscripts, we would look at structure, logic flow, credibility of sources etc. In addition, the first chapter will be copy edited.

We have introduced a intensive assessment because we’ve found that most new writers benefit from having a smaller amount of work assessed in greater detail rather than a larger part of the manuscript assessed at a higher level. For example, problems with logic or grammar (or style or voice or characterisation) that occur early on in the manuscript are nearly always repeated throughout. There is very little benefit to new authors in our commenting on later parts of the manuscript where these early errors impact on the manuscript’s overall direction. On the other hand, when we highlight these issues early in the manuscript’s development, the author is able to self-edit and so improve their writing themselves – a very useful way to develop in one’s craft.

Manuscript assessment

This type of assessment is best suited to those more experienced authors who have developed a draft manuscript or book proposal but are not sure what to do next. We will evaluate your manuscript to identify its strengths and weaknesses from a publishing point of view, considering marketability, readability, potential readership, and structural strengths and weaknesses. The assessment will provide advice about how you can best go about developing the manuscript to publishable standard, and what types of publication it might be appropriate to aim for.

Our manuscript assessments also detail specific areas where reviewing, reworking and rewriting may be required to bring a work to publishable standard. Where appropriate, we will also provide advice on possible marketing strategies and information on how to approach publishers and agents.

Copy-editing

Copy-editing means the correction of grammar, punctuation and typographical errors, and can also include advice on how a manuscript is organised. Our standard manuscript assessments do not include copy-editing. If you would like us to edit your manuscript, please contact us to discuss your requirements. A quote for our editing service comes with an edited sample of your own work, so you can see what is involved.

How do I arrange an assessment?

To have your manuscript assessed, please complete the manuscript submission form, make your payment and email the form, along with a Word document of your manuscript, to: info@bedlambooks.com.au

Alternatively, print the form and send a copy of your manuscript (no originals please), a stamped, self-addressed envelope (for return of your manuscript) to:

Bedlam Books
PO Box 227
Rosanna VIC 3084

Payment can be made via the checkout below, direct credit (Bedlam Books BSB: 033 - 090 Account no.: 14-7524) , or cheque. Please make cheques payable to Bedlam Books and post to the above address.

Assessments usually take six to eight weeks.

Our fees

Fiction and non-fiction

Our services

For copy-editing, or assessment of manuscripts of more than 100,000 words, please contact us for a quote.