Benjamin Evans - Journalist, book editor and copywriter

Are you working on a book and need help making it better?

Over the years, I've helped scores of authors who are at a critical stage in their projects. A number of them have gone on to secure agents, get published  and even win prizes (Finn Clarke, an author I worked with extensively in the early stages of her novel, went on to win the Debut Dagger at the Crime Writer's Association). Apart from romance and children's fiction, I can assist with fiction in any category, as well as general non-fiction (please enquire if you're writing something more specialist).

Bespoke packages are available depending on an author's needs and stage in the project, but the main services I typically offer are as follows:

This entails me marking up your manuscript using the Track Changes and comments features in Word. It encompasses standard proofreading corrections, such as spelling mistakes, errors in punctuation, syntax and grammar, as well as misuses of vocabulary and idiom. However, it also goes further to highlights issues such as inconsistency, repetition, and lack of clarity. In other words, it focuses in on the text at the 'micro' level, so it is more appropriate for authors who are content with their storytelling and are readying their manuscript for submission.

Developmental editing

Using the comments function within Word, I will highlight problems and input suggestions directly into your manuscript. This service is appropriate for authors who are at an earlier stage in the project, and are seeking feedback about storytelling issues at the 'macro' level of the text, including problems with plot development, pacing, characterisation, tone, style, etc.  Please note that this service does not include copy-editing unless requested.

Reader report
Although the format varies according to the type of manuscript, I'll compile a 6,000 to 9,000 word report that provides an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your book. I always endeavour to provide solutions, in terms of alternative ideas and options, for every problem area. Each report is divided into sections, discussing each aspect of the manuscript in turn, e.g. the fiction report will tackle genre, style, plot, characterisation, etc.

This service typically involves working closely with an author on an outline or synopsis in the early stages of a project. Authors send me their outline, which I'll mark up with comments, and that forms the basis of a meeting (conducted either in person, on the phone or via Skype). This process can be repeated for as long as required, and is designed for authors who have plenty of story ideas, but who are experiencing difficulties with structure, narration and plot design.

Please contact me via for more information and a copy of my terms and conditions.

In most cases, I'll need to make an initial assessment by requesting the first twenty pages and a short overview of the project - in terms of length, genre, comparable works and potential publishing strategy, e.g. traditional or self-publishing - before I'm able to give you a no-obligation quote.