Pre-publication Manuscript Reviews

Before submitting your work to a literary agent, a publishing house or, more importantly, before you self-publish your work, consider having it evaluated by CBR’s team of editors and manuscript evaluators. Many of our manuscript evaluators have worked as acquisition editors at top-drawer publishing houses.

A manuscript overview is one of top traditional publishing tools that authors can use to accelerate their writing careers. 

Have you ever wondered how best-selling authors can churn out a book or two each year? 

How they can continue to hit “home-runs” with each new title? 

They use the tried and true tools that have built the publishing industry. Authors will benefit from taking the best tried and true methods of traditional publishing and combining them with today’s best publishing practices.

One of the best tools that traditional publishing houses and literary agents make available to their authors is the power of a manuscript overview. Most best-selling authors have great editing and feedback from agents and senior editors from the very beginning of a work. This feedback comes in very early in a work’s process and allows for the author to publish more works and not as an afterthought.

The Editing Process (when one is working with a literary agent and/or publishing house) goes like this:

The author works on a rough draft – the early drafts of a novel. He creates the theme, the characters, the setting, the tone, the story, the plot lines, the dialog style, and selects the genre and has an audience in mind (YA or mystery fans, fantasy or Science Fiction readers, etc.). After the author creates the story with a beginning, middle, and end, he then sends this early unedited draft of the story to his editor or agent to read and to get feedback.

To read more about how  this process works, we suggest that you click on this Chanticleer link to the Number One Must Have Tools for Authors. 

Have you ever wished that someone would give you objective feedback about your manuscript? Or that someone would give you the feedback that will take your work from good to great?  

What is a Manuscript Overview: It is an objective evaluation of a story idea that is fully formed with a beginning, middle, and end, but still in an early draft stage. The MO comes before LINE EDITING and COPY EDITING.

What is the process:  The entire manuscript is read and evaluated by a top editor for the following:

  • Does the work have a compelling story?
  • Is there more than one story in the manuscript? It is quite common for a manuscript to have two, three, or more storylines.
  • Are the characters engaging? Interesting?
  • Are there too many characters? See above.
  • Are the characters pathetic, sympathetic, or empathetic?
  • Is there inconsistent character development?
  • Are there plot holes? Smoking guns?
  • Does the story wander?
  • Is there “head hopping” or unplanned POV changes?
  • Does it take to long too engage the reader?
  • Does the story stay within its world construct?
  • Does it follow the “laws” of the setting?
  • Does the story sag in the middle?
  • Is the ending satisfying?
  • Does the beginning intrigue?
  • Is the dialog appropriate?
  • Is there too much backstory? Too many details?
  • Does the scenery and setting work with the story?
  • and so forth
  • Or is it spot on and ready for a Line Edit?

The editor then writes a brief and honest evaluation of the work that addresses the above questions.

If you do not have an agent or editor, you can still get this type of brutally honest feedback with a manuscript overview from Chanticleer Reviews.


I’m incredibly appreciative of the many positive and helpful things the reviewer had to say in the manuscript overview. The feedback is terrific and more comprehensive than any other I’ve received… Many thanks, again! Brian L.

All of her suggestions were right and I hope to make them to the best of my ability. It’s like taking a powerful and quick course in advanced writing. Please thank her for me….Working with someone of her caliber would take my writing to another level. – L.V.

 Please thank the editor  for her insightful and pinpoint comments as to how I can make the book better. They were very good and I’ve already incorporated many into the manuscript. –D.S.

When the author decides that the story is ready (and the lit agent and/or publisher agrees), she may send it off for another manuscript overview with either the same editor or get a second opinion. Or the author may decide that the work is ready for a Line Edit.


Fundamentally, the manuscript overview allow authors to WRITE and CREATE rather than rework and reword a story idea again and again while trying to get it “right.” The honest feedback gives the author an advantage of the traditional publishing houses where authors continuously get feedback and are under contract to produce. Manuscript overviews allow the author to spend creative time developing stories, characters, unique language, and new plot twists rather than trying to dissect their own works. They also allow for the author to gain fresh perspective.

The manuscript overview saves the author time and energy, and if the author is self-published, then money in editing fees.

Each stage of editing brings an entirely new set of fresh eyes and fresh perspective to a work. Imagine the kind of polish that will bring to your work.

Put the power of traditional publishing’s collaborative expertise behind your work. Begin with a manuscript overview. Our clients, who have taken advantage of the Chanticleer Reviews Manuscript Overview service, swear that they will never go back to writing another novel without first having a manuscript overview conducted on early on.

How much is the fee for this powerful editing tool?

$425 for 1,000 to 1,500+ word overview/evaluation from one of Chanticleer’s senior editors for a work under 110,000 words.

Get objective, honest, and brutal feedback from one of Chanticleer’s top editors who edit for New York Times and Amazon best-selling authors.

Order your manuscript’s overview today! 

*If you publish with a hybrid or cooperative publishing house, we can work with their Style Sheets. We work with many authors who publish in a variety of ways, but want honest and objective feedback regarding their manuscripts before they submit them.

 Many of the  authors who have submitted their books for review were alerted to overlooked glitches such as  inconsistencies with point-of-view,  story-line trajectory, or inconsistent character development. We have found plot holes that needed plugging, story pacing that needed to speed up,  and overworked clichés that managed to sneak their way into the work.

In the pre-digital age of publishing, traditional publishers had at least 40 pairs of eyes evaluating a galley before it went to press. How many objective, unbiased editors have read and evaluated  your book? 

What We do and How We Do It:

  • Manuscripts are reviewed within their specific genres, although genre blending is encouraged.
    •  We understand that readers of different genres are looking for different types of reading experiences.
  • What we do is an overview of your manuscript. Plain and simple: Is it ready to publish?
  • We select reviewers for their specific genre experience and knowledge.
  • CBR does not place restrictions on dates. We accept current works along with those that have been stored away in a drawer for decades.
  • Novels and novellas shall not be longer than approximately 60,000 to 120,000 words for our standard rate.  Please email if your work is more than a 120,000 words for an adjusted fee.
  • Evaluations are at least 450-to-850 words, but typically 1,200 – 1,800 words.
  • Expect your manuscript’s evaluation in six-to-nine weeks after submission. You may order  expedited service for an extra fee.
  • We evaluate all genres, fiction and non-fiction.

Who Will Review My Book?

Our manuscript review team is comprised of  experienced editors selected for their expertise in specific genres.  While they uphold the long established practices  that readers have  come to expect, they maintain an open-mindedness for emergent ideas, talent and creativity  in the field of literature, media and publishing.
We operate by the time-honored publishing traditions readers have come to appreciate and expect from legacy publishing and apply the best of these traditions to today’s era of unbounded publishing.

Our reviewers are spread across the U.S. and come from diverse backgrounds and are experienced in the publishing arena as editors, journalists, university professors, librarians, booksellers, literary conference leaders, book distributors, published authors, several incognito professional book reviewers for newspapers and magazines, and even a few literary agents.  When we receive a manuscript submission at CBR’s home office, we assign the best editor for that particular manuscript.

A passion for good books and the authors who write them is one that is shared by our reviewers and editors.  Our mission is to help good books get discovered!

Get Started

What happens when the CBR evaluation of my manuscript is complete?

  • We will email you your  professionally evaluated written manuscript overview.
  • The assessment of your manuscript is yours to use to the best advantage of your work.
  • You or your agent may quote blurbs or use the entire manuscript review for promoting your manuscript to publishers.   All that is required is that you give Chanticleer Book Reviews attribution for the review or any blurb of the review that is used in print, on-line, or audio-visual media.  Remember, the CBR manuscript review is yours to promote your book.
  • We want your feedback about the evaluation.

In 2015, Two Million New Titles Will Vie for the Readers’ Attention.

A Chanticleer manuscript overview may, indeed, be the first step in placing your work into the hands of a literary agent or a publishing house representative.

How Will Your Manuscript Grab Attention?

Media professionals, who are always looking for the next bestseller, cult classic, or blockbuster, depend on unbiased reviews to help them sift through the million-plus volumes of new manuscripts that hit the market every year.

Get Started

We would be honored for you to entrust us with reviewing your manuscript.

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