Fees and payment process

Fees are calculated according to the length of your manuscript. To help illustrate what we mean by each category (Novella, Novel, Epic!) we've listed some examples (all of which we recommend reading!). 


  • up to 40,000 words

  • Novella fee: £480

  • Some examples: The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (35,000 words); The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark (26,000 words); Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King (32,000 words)


  • 40,000 - 90,000 words

  • Novel fee: £540

  • Some examples: Breath by Tim Winton (61,000 words); After the Fire, a Thin Small Voice by Evie Wyld (74,000 words); The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx  (84,000 words)



  • 90,000 words +

  • Epic fee: £600

  • Some examples: Suttree by Cormac McCarthy (117,000 words)



Please note that if you'd like our senior editor M.J. Hyland to work on your novel (alongside a second editor, as outlined above), the following fees apply (click here for more details). 


Finally , we can work with you on an extract from your novel. Novel extracts should be between 10,000 and 20,000 words long, and accompanied by a synopsis. The appraisal you'll receive is exactly the same the one detailed above, but will naturally be shorter: 10-15 pages on average. The fee for this service is £300.

(Tip: if your book is teetering on the edge of the fee price-breaks, why not try to cut it down a little before sending it to us, so that you're eligible for the lower fee? Almost every book can do with a shave!)

What you receive


  • 20-30 page report (the most detailed in the industry), which includes:


  • In-depth reviews of your plot, structure, pace, setting and tone/atmosphere, and characters (plausibility/credibility, vividness, character motivations, and dialogue). If something’s not working in your novel, we’ll show you how it can be fixed.


  • Clear and fair discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of your novel. We suggest specific story fixes which complement your story’s style and intent, with a view to helping you come up with your own solutions.


  • Advice on language and style. We identify the aspects of your writing that are unique and appealing, as well as pin-pointing key writing tics, bad habits etc. The author can apply this advice to any story or novel and avoid mistakes they may have been making for years.


  • Book prescription – a list of minimum of novels that echo your themes, characters or style, with specific advice on what can be learned from each novel with respect to your own book. Authors tell us that these lists are of immense help, functioning both as a guide and an inspiration as they tackle their new draft.

  • Advice on how best to appoach agents, and on submitting your work to editors/publishers.

How it works

  • Complete the online contact form below in full. You should expect a confirmation of receipt (and a big hello) from us within 48 hours.

  • During an initial informal consultation with Trevor and Maria (via email exchange, or, if you prefer, over the phone, Skype, etc) you get tell us some more about yourself and your writing generally, and to detail (if you like) any specific concerns you have about your manuscript specifically. Your input at this preliminary stage helps us to properly gauge and understand your manuscript in its right context, and gives you the opportunity to shape the kind of work we'll do for you. At this stage you also get to choose your preferred two-editor team.

  • You send us your manuscript via email in .doc or .docx format. Please make sure your manuscript is in a clear, unfussy 12 point font, with 1.5 line spacing.


  • Your two-editor team gets to work. To start things off, each editor reads your book and begins the process of creating your in-depth appraisal independently; after this, your editors work collaboratively, debating your manuscript's strengths and weaknesses and exchanging notes. This process ensures that no single editor’s stylistic or genre interests limit the appraisal of your book; instead, you and your work benefits from a broad, rich range of knowledge, skills and interests. All of our team are award-winning authors and Creative Writing teachers, as well as editors. For more on our team, click here.  

  • A final report - your co-authored appraisal - is written up and sent to you.  

Appraisal (Novel)

Our appraisal system works just as well for beginning writers as it does with literary veterans with many publications, and all writers in-between.


We can help the beginning writer to master the fundamentals of their craft, helping you to improve your novel and to become a better and more confident writer generally; while for veterans and the unfairly precocious, the focus is on language, on story, on characters: on how to get your novel just right for submission to an agent, or for publication. 

"Without the wisdom and advice of the  appraisal service, my novel wouldn't have achieved this success. Their editing advice absolutely transformed my writing and I recommend them to all writers without hesitation." 

Barbara Henderson, author of the acclaimed children's novels Fir for Luck, Punch and Wilderness Wars 

How to apply

It's simple. Just fill out the contact form below. You'll receive an email from Trevor, and before you know it, our team will be working away on your manuscript.


For now, all you need to do is let us know how long your novel is (in words). And be sure to put Novel Appraisal in the subject line. (Oh, and it'd be great if you could let us know how you came across The Editing Firm, too!)

If you'd prefer not to use the contact form below, feel free to send us an email at

"Trevor and Maria's appraisal and editing work was quite brilliant, far exceeding anything I was expecting. My novel was floundering and their encouragement, honesty and clear-sighted analysis was exactly what I needed. They are also highly approachable and truly interested in new writers. I can't recommend them highly enough."


Jonathan Budds, author of Consumed

"The feedback was so incredibly detailed – so intuitive and insightful – that I’m stunned at how much they’ve given me. Not only are Trevor and Maria both exceptional writers, they’re both exceptional readers, and I highly, highly recommend this service to any writer no matter the stage of their project or career."


Sharlene Miller, author of The Retreaters

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"First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about."

Bernard Malamud