Editorial Services

Book Diagnosis

This is where I whip out the stethoscope and listen to the heartbeat of your story. I’ll look at your novel’s overall health, identifying big picture issues. Are you skipping a few action beats? Do your characters lack heart? Is your emotional storyline dead on arrival?

Think of it like an in-depth beta read for your book baby. A Book Diagnosis will be most useful if your book has already undergone some critique and revision with alpha readers.

Your Book Diagnosis will come in the form of an editorial letter (generally 3-4 pages), plus in-line notes addressing issues such as:

  • Story Arc
  • Character Development
  • Voice
  • Emotional Impact
  • Pacing
  • Proportion
  • Audience Fit

This is not a line or copy edit. Your Book Diagnosis is a developmental edit and will focus on the big picture.

You might be interested in a Book Diagnosis if…

  • Your story’s not quite working, but you can’t figure out why.
  • You’re looking for objective feedback from an industry professional.
  • You’re committed to the work of revising, even if it means making big changes.
  • You’re open to constructive feedback, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
  • You’re ready to take the feedback and run with it! I provide the diagnosis, but the next steps are up to you.

If that all sounds like you, fill out the online request form to get started. For middle grade novels up to 50K words, the cost for a Book Diagnosis is $350. Add $0.007/word for longer manuscripts. Your Book Diagnosis will be delivered in the form of a 3-4 page editorial letter plus in-line notes. You will also have the option to schedule a free 30-minute Zoom session to ask follow-up questions.

Minute Clinic

Need a quick look at your first 25 pages? I’ll provide a big picture assessment in the form of a short editorial letter (generally one page) plus in-line notes. If your middle grade novel could benefit from a fresh set of eyes, the Minute Clinic might be for you! Cost: $50.


I also offer monthly editorial services to my Patreon subscribers at a reduced rate. Join my Writers Club tier for $7 to receive one query, synopsis or 5-page critique every month! Members of my Writers Club Elite tier receive a 20-page critique each month for only $20.

About Me

KIM VENTRELLA is the author of The Secret Life of Sam  (HarperCollins), Hello, Future Me, Bone Hollow  and Skeleton Tree (Scholastic). Her works explore difficult topics with big doses of humor, whimsy and hope. Her most recent middle grade novel, The Secret Life of Sam, was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2020! Bone Hollow was chosen as a Best Book for Kids 2019 by New York Public Library, and Skeleton Tree was nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal in the UK. For the latest updates, follow Kim on Twitter and Instagram.

Request Editorial Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the payment process?

Once we agree on services, I will complete an initial assessment and then generate a service agreement for e-signature. Once that is complete, I will issue a PayPal invoice for half of your total payment. The second half of your payment will be due upon delivery of the editorial letter.

How long will it take to receive my editorial letter?

I will let you know up front if there’s a queue, or if I can begin work immediately on your editorial letter. Once I begin work, you will receive your letter within 1-2 weeks.

Why do you conduct an initial manuscript assessment before agreeing to complete a full Book Diagnosis?

In quickly reviewing the initial chapters, I may discover that your manuscript may not benefit from a full developmental edit. Why would this be the case? For example, if you submit a middle grade novel for review, but it clearly isn’t suited for that audience, then it probably won’t be beneficial for me to provide big picture notes on the entire novel. In this case, I will ask if you would rather book me for a Minute Clinic (i.e. editorial notes on the first 25 pages). If so, we will proceed with that. If not, we won’t proceed any farther.

What does the overall process look like?

  • You contact me inquiring about editorial services.
  • We discuss your needs and timeline.
  • For a Book Diagnosis: You send the first 25 pages for initial assessment.
  • For a Minute Clinic: Skip to the next step.
  • Good news, we’re all set! I will issue you a service agreement for e-signature.
  • Once complete, I will issue a PayPal invoice for half of your total amount due.
  • Once received, I will begin work on your manuscript immediately if there’s no queue.
  • Over the next 1-2 weeks, I will read and analyze your manuscript.
  • I will deliver your editorial letter.
  • I will issue a PayPal invoice for the second half of your payment, due within 3 days.
  • If you have scheduled a 30-minute Zoom session to ask follow-up questions, we will complete it at this time.

Do you offer a discount for repeat clients?

If you have received a Book Diagnosis on a manuscript, made significant revisions (or even done a full rewrite) and want a second look, then the answer in yes! Inquire for additional details.