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Manuscript Assessment FAQs

Did you know that we've been running our manuscript assessments with our editor, Leanne, for more than a year now?! And in that time, Leanne's expert advice has helped many authors get published both with Ethicool AND elsewhere! It just shows how feedback can go a looonnnnggg way in the hyper-competitive industry that is publishing. 

Along the way though, many of you have asked some really great questions, so Leanne has taken the time to answer them for you, right here. 

1. If I go through an assessment, does that guarantee a publishing contract with Ethicool? 

Undergoing a manuscript assessment with Leanne does not guarantee a publishing contract with Ethicool or any other publishing house. What this service offers is a personalised and comprehensive review of your manuscript with honest and actionable feedback for improvement. How you choose to execute this feedback is completely up to you!

Many authors who do go through the assessment process find that their writing and story craft is significantly improved, though. And in even better news, many find success with other publishing houses, and with Ethicool, of course! 

2. If I choose to resubmit my manuscript after I've incorporated feedback, how long will it take until I hear whether I've been successful or not? 

Here at Ethicool, we receive thousands of manuscripts so it can take our tiny team a little bit of time to come back to authors who have resubmitted their manuscripts (up to several months). If you haven't heard from us within 6 months, please assume that your story hasn't been successful. 

If, for any reason, you need to follow up, our Editorial Assistant Jess will endeavour to get back to you as to the status of your manuscript. 

3. Every manuscript assessment includes a meeting with Ethicool's editor, Leanne (woohoo!). What sort of things are discussed in the meeting? And do you, as the author, need to prepare anything? 

Essentially, the meetings allow Leanne to more thoroughly explain the written feedback to authors so that she can shed some light on her reasoning for her feedback, as well as for her to recommend actionable steps towards improvement. Don't worry, she always tries to leave room for questions at the end!

In terms of preparation for the meeting, it’s a really great idea to take notes. While Leanne does her best to condense everything in the written feedback, the beauty of the meeting means that Leanne and you, the author, can collaborate and come up with new ideas and directions on the fly. 

Another thing to be prepared for is a few questions from Leanne. Even if you’re a beginner in writing, you should be an absolute expert when it comes to your manuscript! While Leanne doesn't expect (or need!) a perfectly written out cover letter for the meeting, please be prepared to talk in detail about your manuscript with her. She needs to be able to understand the vision for your story in order to help you improve it in that direction. 

4. Can authors record the meeting with Leanne?

Authors are certainly welcome to record our meeting, however there are a few things to note:

  1. As online meetings are conducted on Google Meets, authors are responsible for downloading their own program or software to screen record the meeting ahead of time. Leanne isn't able to record the meeting on her end.
  2. Authors are responsible for testing their recording software before the meeting to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
  3. Please let Leanne know if you are recording the meeting. 

5. Can Ethicool or Leanne recommend the right assessment option for my manuscript?

There is a misconception that the assessment tiers are according to how ‘weak’ or ‘strong’ your manuscript is. This is not the case. 

The different assessments are according to how much guidance and feedback you’re looking for. Choosing an assessment will then follow accordingly:

  1. The brief assessment is a concise and general overview of what to improve on. This is a very straightforward assessment that’s more like dipping your toes into the water.
  2. The in-depth assessment is a more comprehensive review of your manuscript which offers you not only what the weaknesses of your manuscript are, but also the various ways in which you might be able to improve it specifically. This also includes a line-edited version of your manuscript that comes with grammar and punctuation corrections as well as line-by-line comments for improvement. 
  3. The full assessment is a fully guided and intensive review of your manuscript and its edit. You get all the benefits of an in-depth assessment, while also receiving a follow up assessment of the edits that you’ve made to your manuscript. This is by far the most comprehensive overview of your manuscript and its next iteration. 

In saying all of this, it’s difficult for Leanne or the team to give you advice on which option to choose as it really is dependent on your preference for guidance.

6. I’m not sure I can commit to a full assessment straight away. Is there any way to upgrade or add on assessments?

Most definitely. If you want to ‘test’ out the assessment and Leanne's editing style first, you’re more than welcome to book in a brief or an in-depth assessment to begin with.

If you then want more guidance and resonate with Leanne's feedback style, you can let her know via email that you’d like to upgrade your assessment package and she will be able to organise that.

7. When will I receive my written feedback? 

All authors will receive their written feedback after their meeting with Leanne has concluded. 

This is the most efficient process as the meeting discusses the feedback in great detail, while the notes are a more simplified summary of that advice.

8. My manuscript is over 1000 words. Can I book an assessment to try and cut it down? 

Unfortunately, this is not possible to do.

To be fair to all authors that need to meet the same criteria, Leanne kindly asks that you cut down your manuscript to 1,000 words or less first, and then she can fix any other issues surrounding that change during the assessment process.

9. What is your cancellation policy?

Any cancellations without 12 hours notice will only be given one opportunity for reschedule before the meeting is forfeited entirely. So it’s very important to show up on time or to give Leanne notice if you can’t make it! 

Leanne asks every author to please also ensure that they double, even triple check their meeting times as the confirmation emails use her timezone (AEST).

9. Can Leanne check the time conversion for me?

Unfortunately, Leanne is too busy working with authors and shortlisting our next round of books to convert timezones on behalf of authors!

If you're unsure, please use this tool to convert your timezone.

10. My timezone and Leanne's timezone are completely clashing! I can't find a suitable time, so what should I do?

The best solution for this situation is to conduct our meeting through email. I will provide more detail and explanations in the written feedback and then you can ask any follow up questions via email.

Normally, the meeting functions as a way for me to explain the feedback in more detail, so it is effectively accomplishing the same thing - just through a different medium. You still receive the same amount of time and attention from me. 

If you find yourself in this circumstance, please just email me to let me know that the times are not suitable for you. I can then go ahead and organise an online meeting through email.

11. I'm booking a manuscript assessment with the goal of resubmission in mind. How do I resubmit my manuscript? 

Once you complete a session with Leanne, there are two main options:

  1. If you’re feeling extremely confident in your edits and think that you’ve nailed the advice and feedback, then Leanne recommends resubmitting straight to
  2. If you aren’t feeling so confident, or would like another round of feedback and guidance just to be safe, you’re more than welcome to book another assessment with Leanne - whether you upgrade to a full assessment or add on another one. Then go ahead and resubmit. 

In both cases, once you’re ready to resubmit, make sure that you send your resubmission back to Please ensure that in your email title, you put: ‘RESUBMISSION - [Name of your manuscript]’.

12. I'm ready to book my assessment! What's my first step? 

All authors - whether they have been personally invited by Jess or not - are welcome to book an assessment with Leanne to order to improve their stories and, ultimately, improve their chances of being published. 

To book your assessment, email Leanne on and she will send you more details of the booking process. 


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