Are there paid editing and submission services out there that are worth while for someone who is looking to work with a real publisher?

I have been doing research into what it takes to get published. Advice for getting your manuscript read seems to be having a "good" cover letter and sinops, having accolades in the industry and knowing the industry. I have none of those things. I have a full time job in a different field, and while I enjoy writing have little interest spending time researching publishers, or going to conventions.

Are there paid services to help a new writer bridge that gap.Someone that would read your manuscript guaranteed. Give feedback on it honestly as an editor would for a publishing company. Know what companies this script could be submitted to. Only submit works that they think would have a chance to be published, and thus get you a better place in the pile by having the paid editor's gold star on it. And do it for non exploitative rates.

This would be nothing like a vanity publisher that just charges money from the author to publish a book. A company that would have the reputation to charge you and turn you away, or open a door to a real publishing company.

  • 1
    There are services that do this: they're called agents. Usually, they don't charge you until they've successfully found a publisher for your work.
    – Jules
    Dec 31, 2017 at 13:03
  • Aren't agents that are not scamps even harder to find than a publisher?
    – Andrey
    Dec 31, 2017 at 17:54
  • Sure, you can even buy your way onto the NYT best-seller list: pajiba.com/book_reviews/…
    – Tanath
    Jan 3, 2018 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Yes, a Manuscript Assessment Service will provide what you're looking for. Reputable companies will not only assess your manuscript and provide feedback, they will also find you the right agent/publisher to submit it to if they think it’s good enough. But it’s costly.

Reputable companies will also provide a full bio of each editor to help you decide if they are worth your time and money.

In the UK, I have used the services of The Literary Consultancy and their feedback was excellent. They come highly recommended here. But if you're US-based, that may affect your decision to use them.

With regard to your other points, let me dispel a few myths by laying out my step-by-step guide to getting published:

  1. Write a book that's absolute gold dust. With the public demanding books for 99p each, publishing is harder than ever, so it's essential that your book has something really special to make it stand out from the crowd.

That’s it.

Yes, a good cover letter and synopsis are important but the best cover letter and synopsis in the world won't market a book that hasn’t gone through step 1.

Yes, accolades and knowledge are nice to have, but unnecessary. No agent or publisher is going to turn down a writer who has completed step 1, simply because they lack accolades or a knowledge of the industry.

No, agents who are not scamps are not hard to come by. If you’ve completed step 1, they will fight each other tooth and nail to get your book and you’ll have to interview agents to find out which one you’d rather work with.

But, there is a caveat to all this. Without studying creative writing and understanding the mistakes that so many fledgling writers make; without reading heavily in your genre, and understanding what makes a book stand out from the crowd; without gleaning an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the craft and figuring out how to balance its plethora of intricacies on one page; without spending weeks/months/years fine tuning and editing your work until nothing can be taken out and nothing more needs putting in, it is EXTREMELY difficult for a fledgling writer to complete step 1.

The wording of your question suggests that you are looking for a fast-track to publishing. And I’m sure the majority of writers on here will agree with me in cautioning you that there is no such thing. It takes a lot of time, dedication, failed attempts, and flipping hard work. But, if you love it, you’ll keep going, and I wish you all the luck in the world with it.

  • Following your link, you may want to mention in your answer is that what I am looking for is a "manuscript assessment service, then maybe recommending a service. I do not want this question becoming off topic.
    – Andrey
    Jan 16, 2018 at 19:38
  • Andrey, I'm not sure you've helped yourself with the title of your question, which is why you've got comments such as, 'There are services that do this: they're called agents.' and 'Sure, you can even buy your way onto the NYT best-seller list'. Rather than post a similar comment, I have suggested a manuscript assessment service and recommended one for you. I have used TLC in the past myself and they are excellent. The rest of the answer is in direct response to the title of your question and your other comments about cover letters, synopses, accolades, and all agents being scamps. Good luck!
    – GGx
    Jan 17, 2018 at 7:59
  • i am pretty happy with the answer i got. Googling "manuscript assessment" game me exactly what I was looking for. All i am saying is that recommending specific companies i feel is off topic, and being in the US and not UK as i bet most people are, having the words "manuscript assessment" would let people skip a step using this answer for themselves
    – Andrey
    Jan 17, 2018 at 14:30
  • Oh, I see what you're saying, my apologies. Yes, of course, that would have been helpful, I'll edit my answer and pop that in.
    – GGx
    Jan 17, 2018 at 14:34

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