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Whether you plan to self-publish or chase a traditional publishing deal, you only get one shot, and I’m here to help make sure your manuscript stands out from the rest—a gleaming flash of gold amongst a stack of Amazon listings and slush pile print-outs.


Manuscript assessment

  • Structural/developmental editing (specific chapter/s or all)
  • Developmental manuscript assessment (includes marked-up manuscript)

Coaching (Zoom or phone)

  • $150: One-hour coaching session
    $250: One-hour + up to 6000-word review coaching session (Zoom or phone). Please also supply a synopsis.
    $300: 3 x one-hour coaching sessions
  • Not sure what you need? Email me for a quote.

For manuscript assessments, after carefully reading your manuscript, I’ll offer an overall assessment of its unique strengths and weaknesses, taking into account matters of craft such as structure, plot, pacing, characterisation, dialogue, language and style, and/or any other areas that call for attention. I’ll also offer concrete suggestions for revision using examples from your own work

Or, if you’ve got an idea and you’re not sure how to structure the story—fiction or non-fiction—I can work with you as a developmental editor to develop an outline using tried and true story structure models. My specific areas of expertise are adult fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, and business and self-help books. I do not do science fiction, fantasy, children’s books or poetry.

What does a manuscript assessment cost?

The cost of a manuscript assessment is based on a sliding scale according to word count:

  • $50 + gst printing fee (or you provide a hard copy)
  • First up to 30,000 words = $500 + gst (minimum fee)
  • Next 3x 10,000 words @ $75 + gst per 10,000 (i.e. 40k – 60k)
  • Subsequent 10,000 words @ $65 + gst per 10,000 (i.e. 70k and above)
  • Hard copy, marked-up manuscript (developmental manuscript assessment) + $100 + gst

Therefore, an 80,000-word manuscript would cost NZ$960 + gst (including printing), and you could expect a 10–12 page (single-spaced) report. Or a 30,000-word novella manuscript would cost $550 + gst and you could expect a 5–6 page report. If you would like the marked-up, hard-copy manuscript (developmental manuscript assessment) returned to you, add $100 + gst. Both options include an up to 15-minute phone call (or one email with any questions you have) one week after you have received the assessment, if desired.

I offer a 10% discount to members of the NZ Society of Authors.

For a quote on a manuscript assessment, or additional services, or if you’re not sure what you need, please complete this template, and I’ll be in touch expeditiously.

Why you, Caroline?

I’m an award-winning writerdevoted readerNZ Society of Authorsaccredited manuscript consultant, Creative New Zealand grants assessor, book reviewer and film-industry story-sourcer. Combined with my work with several of Aotearoa’s key literature organisations, including Auckland Writers Festival and Michael King Writers Centre, this gives me a 360-degree view of the industry and current publishing trends. My debut, RIPIRO BEACH: A Memoir of Life After Near Death (Bateman, 2020) won the 2020 New Zealand Heritage Literary Award for Non-fiction. GOLDEN DAYS, a novel, (Affirm Press, Australia, 2023) was well-reviewed in 2023.

I’m driven and passionate about helping writers polish their work, and I take seriously the role of critic and assessor. I have a Masters in Creative Writing (University of Auckland) and a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism (AUT).

For a successful writer/assessor relationship you, the writer, must be open to suggestions and critique, and be willing to rewrite. I don’t expect you to take every one of my suggestions, but remember, you are paying for my professional expertise and opinion.

I am firm and straightforward, but also kind and compassionate. As a writer, myself, I understand how much of your soul goes into a work, and I will treat you with care and respect, whilst pushing you to do your best work.

A sample of books Caroline has helped to be published.

Tell me more about the process?

  •  You complete the template to tell me more about the project
  •  I email you a written quotation and proposed timeline
  •  You sign the quote and return it via email
  •  I send you an invoice for 50% payment
  • You pay the invoice, and this confirms the job
  •  I read your work and write a report within the timeframe
  • You pay the 50% invoice balance within three days of receiving the report
  • You get on with your next amazing draft
  • I squeal with delight when you email me to tell me your book is being published!