Book Doctor, Editor, UK, Sally O-J, Sally Orson-Jones

Initial contact

As a first step, please email me with a short note about the work you’ll be submitting and any other information you’d like me to have about yourself and your writing experience.  If there are specific issues that you’d like me to address in my report, let me know.

It’s likely that I’ll then suggest a short telephone or Skype conversation to discuss your needs before you submit your work.

Submitting the manuscript

Once we have spoken, I’ll ask you to email me your manuscript, covering letter and synopsis as Word documents.  I’ll let you know as soon as I receive them.

You should read your manuscript through very thoroughly before submitting it, and check carefully for spelling mistakes, typos etc.  It will be very much appreciated and it will also save a lot of time. Please also make sure that there are no previous editing notes on the manuscript of any kind.

All submissions should be in Calibri 12 point font, double spaced, on A4.  Each page must be numbered.

Once I hear from you I’ll let you know how to pay, and will acknowledge receipt of both email and payment as soon as I get them.  Please note that I won’t be able to read manuscripts until I have received the correct fee.

Book Doctor, Editor, UK, Sally O-J, Sally Orson-Jones
Book Doctor, Editor, UK, Sally O-J, Sally Orson-Jones


I will provide detailed and constructive feedback on your work in a written report and will also return your manuscript to you, marked with my annotations.  The two documents are designed to complement each other, along with our discussion (see below).

Of course, each writer will have different strengths and areas that need work.  Therefore it’s difficult to say exactly how long your report might be and what it might cover.  However, each critique is usually somewhere between 10 and 30 pages, and will focus in detail on the particular issues raised by your submission.  These can include things such as: plot and characterisation; structure; writing techniques such as ‘Show Don’t Tell’; dialogue; narrative voice; how to add detail and texture and sub-plotting.

If necessary, I will also provide advice on layout, punctuation and grammar.  I always use examples from your own book to illustrate my points.

We will then have the opportunity to discuss each point and any other issues raised, during our face-to-face meeting

How long will it take?

I work on manuscripts as I receive them, and will let you know at once where you are in the queue and when it’s most likely that I’ll begin work on your book.  However, it can be very difficult to judge how long an individual read and report will take, including those before you in the queue.  I will keep you posted throughout the process, but I can only give you an educated guess about how long things will take.

You send me:

  • The whole manuscript of your book, up to 450 pages.  (There will be an additional charge of £10 for each 25 pages thereafter.)
  • A covering letter, as if you were submitting the chapters to an agent.
  • Synopsis.

I will provide:

  •  A written report, with feedback and advice on the manuscript and on the covering letter and synopsis.
  • Your returned manuscript, marked up with my comments and suggestions.
  • One face-to-face meeting or Skype call of up to four hours to give additional feedback and support. This can be talking through the written report in more detail, or focusing on particular areas.  You must be able to travel to Brighton for the meeting, and travel is at your own expense.  We will meet in central Brighton, very close to the station.
  • Up to three hours of additional feedback and support via telephone or email.  Please note that you would make the telephone calls.

Overseas clients

I am happy to accept work from outside the UK.  I don’t accept foreign currency, so please email me to discuss payment options.  Please bear in mind that when paying by PayPal, for instance, I still need to receive my correct fee in its entirety, so please note the exchange rate and what PayPal will take very carefully.

A note on drafts

In this context a draft means a full reading of the manuscript as stipulated above.  If you come back to me with the whole manuscript to re-read at any point, that will be a new draft, and as I’m sure you will understand, I will charge as for a new read.