Editorial Assessment


Did you know that literary agents (and other readers!) often make up their mind about your book within minutes?

Yes, the power of the first impression is real, and it affects your book, and your writing career.

By reading the first few pages of your book, at most the first chapter, an agent or a reader can tell whether they want to keep reading.

What is an editorial assessment?

Different literary professionals can have different methods for carrying out an editorial assessment, but in general, they will read a representative portion of your work and provide you with a detailed critique that can help you to determine:

 How commercially viable your book might be.

*written anStrengths and weaknesses in your writing.

How your book fits into the literary marketplace.

What your unique style and voice are.

Whether your characters are relatable.

Potential plot issues.

Whether you plan on publishing conventionally or going the indie route, whether you are finished with your book or starting out and wanting to make sure you’re on the right track, an editorial assessment will help you to gain confidence and provide you with concrete tips for how to improve your book, at a rate far lower than a full developmental or line edit.


What kind of writers can benefit from an editorial assessment?

-Authors who cannot afford a full edit, have been making use of beta readers, but know they could benefit from a professional opinion on appeal and marketability.

-Writers who are trying out a new genre or new style, and are not sure if it’s really “working.”

-Writers who are not yet done with their book, but want to make sure they are “on the right track” with it before they continue.

-Writers planning on hiring an editor but who are not sure whether their work is ready for it.

-Authors who have had critical beta reader feedback and want an objective, balanced view.

-Writers getting ready to query who want to make sure their work comes off as polished and professional and leaves a good impression.

-Self published authors experiencing poor sales or bad reviews who want to improve their book in a second edition.

-Authors who feel there is a specific issue with their book, whether it’s with plot, characters, or pacing, and need a clear road map to fix it.

What does and editorial assessment by writing coach Karena Akhavein, Ph.D., look like?

Once your project is accepted*, you provide me with your payment and a rough outline and/or synopsis and the first chapter of your book. Within five business days, I will provide you with my written feedback. If you have any questions, they will be answered in a timely manner.

 *Note: I cannot accept all manuscripts- I only have space for a few assessments a month. If I accept your project, it’s because I believe it has potential…but also, if I don’t accept it, it may simply be because my schedule was full, so feel free to reapply after at least a month has elapsed. Please fill out the form below to apply for a spot in my schedule. 


About Karena…

Karena Akhavein earned her PhD in literature from Columbia University. She has written and ghostwritten a number of novels and non-fiction works as well as screenplays, and served as senior editor for national and international magazines for over a decade.

Karena prides herself on implementing both “big picture” thinking and attention to detail as she strives to make your book shine.