'How Strong Is Your Book Idea?' is a unique editing service for writers immersed in the opening stages of the creative process and looking for informed, objective opinion on the concept of their book.
This service offers valuable and constructive feedback from both an editor and literary agent, who will provide a report based on your synopsis and opening chapter. Your editor will comment on the strengths and weaknesses of your narrative, while the agent will focus on the commercial viability of your book in relation to the current marketplace. Specific 'next steps' will be set by both the agent and editor, and the editor will round off the report with a concluding statement about the overall strength of your book idea.
How it works
Read our short guide explaining the How Strong is Your Book Idea? process.
- Your book idea will be evaluated from both an editorial and commercial perspective by industry professionals.
- Your report will include recommendations on how to take your book idea forward, and returned to you within 10 working days of an editor and agent being allocated.
What you need to submit
Before payment, you will need to complete our online form providing information about the book idea you wish to submit.
Please upload the synopsis and opening chapter of your work. Your opening chapter should be no more than 3,000 words. If you are a writer of picture books or early readers' stories, you may submit your full manuscript provided it is no more than 500 words.
Your synopsis should be between one and two sides of A4. Please read our Writing a Synopsis guide. If you're writing non-fiction, you need to upload a chapter outline instead of a synopsis. This should be no more than 5 pages. Please read our Writing a Chapter Outline guide for more information.
Pricing and next steps
(inclusive of VAT) and payment will be taken at the time of your booking.
After payment, please upload the required documents via the 'Services In Progress' area of your dashboard.
You must visit this area of the site to upload all relevant documents. The service cannot begin until all the documents have been uploaded.
"Grounded sci-fi and fantasy is incredibly sought after at the moment. But from the brief synopsis, which is what the agent and editor has to consider, I can't find the hook, the thing that makes it special, why we should read it. There are lots of references to organisations which we don’t yet understand which is confusing and as it’s a fantastical world, we need to understand the basic identity and facts about the alternative world we’re entering before reaching the story.
Focus on finding a succinct explanation for the book that intrigues a reader, even if they don't know this world yet."
Section from a report written by literary agent Hayley Steed
"The opening really needs to set the tone and draw the reader in - at the moment this isn't quite doing that. Make much more of the relationships here and really get across the characteristics of Mike. It seems to jump around without getting deep into the story too. Draw out that initial description of the home, let the reader know of the family dynamic at play."
Section from a report written by associate agent Megan Carroll
"I actually think your first chapter would be much better if you just cut the first four paragraphs and started with 'Mum went upstairs to Wilf's room…'. You could actually stitch in all the content from the first four paragraphs subtly over the first one or two chapters. But it is the immediacy of this 'bang straight into the action' approach that would work much better for you in terms of reader impact and focusing your efforts on a more carefully constructed story."
Section from a report written by editor Ben Seales
Accessible to All
It’s of real importance to Writers & Artists that our editing services, events and writing courses remain accessible to all.
- As part of our accessibility scheme, Writers & Artists are pleased to be able to offer financial assistance towards selected editing services. Please visit our bursaries page for further information about how to apply.
- Our 2023-24 bursary funding runs until the end of February 2024.
- Bursary applications for 2023-24 funding must be submitted by no later than 31st January 2024.
- Please note that payment instalment plans are available for all W&A events, writing courses and editing services. Contact W&A Admin on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can find a payment schedule that works for you.