“Upon finishing Scheherazade, I wasn’t sure if I’d produced a masterpiece or a complete mess (a feeling common to aspiring writers). In any case, I knew I needed a comprehensive and fully objective report from a professional reader. Sending it direct to an agent or publisher was one option, but such people are frequently beleaguered with other submissions (often from their established writers) and rarely feel the necessary motivation to commit themselves to an unsolicited manuscript. In the end, I selected two manuscript assessment services, including Lynk, and I haven’t looked back. As well as providing a long list of itemised suggestions (which I promptly acted upon), Lynk’s assessor wrote a ‘Letter of Recommendation’ that was my magic carpet to the world of agents and publishers. Scheherazade has since been published internationally and translated into six languages; likewise my subsequent book The Lamplighter. Lynk is the essential link to writing success.”
- Anthony O'Neill
FOR SEAN DOYLE
“ I have worked with Sean as the editor on several of my books, and have found him a rare pleasure to collaborate with. An author needs an honest, technically skilled editor who can see the whole structure of a book and improve it, as well as fine points of wording or grammar. Sean manages to be respectful and motivating, even under the usual last-minute pressures of the publishing world. I would recommend him without reservation.”
author of Manhood, Raising Boys and The Secret of Happy Children
“Sean’s assessment of several chapters of my first-draft manuscript was as valuable to me as attending a week-long workshop on the craft of novel writing. With pinpoint precision he identified where my writing was working well, and where and how it needed to be strengthened. His detailed and sensitive feedback equipped me to go forward with much more insight and confidence.”
author of Reinventing Success (Random House)
FOR LYNK MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENTS
Here are some comments from the last few months that Lynk authors have made upon receiving their assessment reports:
“I have just had a quick read through the assessment report and am absolutely rapt. Every comment articulated what I had instinctively felt were the weak areas, and wonderfully confirmed for me where things felt stronger. This makes me want to attack all the bits that, deep down, I knew were not working properly yet … Fantastic! I am so keen to start work – this is JUST what I have been yearning for!!!!
Could you please let the assessor know that I could not have ever wished for better feedback, and that I feel inspired to dig deeper into those places that I need to and make the manuscript all it can be. Thanks so much. I will certainly be in touch when I’m ready to do so! Kindest regards and admiration for all the work …”
“Thanks for the assessment. A few of things stated confirmed what I already thought. A few I hadn’t thought of. Also, as the assessor guessed, this is my first real attempt at writing, so I consider it a positive report. I always knew there would be areas that needed working on, but I needed a professional to look at it so I knew exactly in what direction to take it. I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble paring it back. Thanks again for all your help.”
Young adult fantasy
“I have read the report, and I’m very satisfied with it. I can see that the MS requires a lot more work, and I will be listening very closely to the criticisms/concerns raised by the assessor. I’m very thankful at having my mistakes pointed out, because I was simply not aware of many of them! I’m looking forward to improving. I won’t start revising the MS for a while yet, as I think it would be a good idea to do some research on writing first, and take a look at the recommended books. Please be sure to give my thanks and kindest appreciation to the assessor of my MS.”
“Thank you very much for the detail you have given me in your assessment. It has given me a lot to work with and I feel excited by the next stage of the process. Thank you also for the opportunity to re-submit the work once it has been re-worked. I look forward to the mini-mentoring relationship.”
Young adult historical fiction
“Your help and encouragement is greatly appreciated. To say that I am thrilled is putting it mildly. I look forward to receiving the hard copy by snail mail and will begin the required revisions as soon as it arrives.”
“Please thank my assessor very much for her invaluable insights, and perhaps we’ll talk again once I have implemented these (many!) suggestions. And it’s been great to feel not so utterly alone with it – I’d have no hesitation returning the MS to Lynk or in recommending your service. It’s been enormously helpful, and you’ve been very kind with your time and your advice. And now to the graft …”
“I’ve just read the assessment. To say it’s thorough is an understatement. Thanks very much to you and your team. While it was a little bit alarming (to my ego) to read how much work it needs, I want this book to be publishable and readable and I believe you’ve given me the guidance I need to get there. On that note, not long after I sent the MS to you, I started working with a freelance editor whom I met at an on-line writing group. She’s great and is helping me proof and polish, I guess she’s adding ‘hair and make-up’ to my manuscript. Mind you, now that I have your report I can see that hair and make-up aren’t going to be enough … it needs an extreme make-over.
By the way, I loved that the assessor thought my sex scene was ‘hot’. I did, too.”
“Thank you, Sean, for providing the critique and the much-appreciated suggestions for improvement. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me, and your assessment will serve as a guiding light for the re-write. Thanks once again for your services, and I would gladly recommend them to anyone seeking an assessment.”
Humorous mystery fiction
“Thanks for the comprehensive report. It might sound strange, but I needed someone to explain my novel to me; you did a very good job of it. Your main criticisms confirmed my suspicions – a trimming is nigh. I wasn’t expecting you to copy-edit my MS as thoroughly as you seem to have (thanks!) – I expect I’ll be even more impressed when I receive the marked-up hard copy. So thank you for a job well done. I won’t thank you for the favourable report, just for your skill as a reader.”
“Sean, thanks for a such a marvellous assessment – have been floating beautifully today as a result.”
“While I have only briefly skimmed the report at this point, I have to say it seems pretty spot-on and very informative. I appreciate the service and the advice. It generally reflects some of the concerns I had myself with the ms and highlights what I was beginning to suspect may have been the case: laziness got the better of me sometimes, I must confess, as well as a rush to finish!! Thanks again for the service and please pass on my regards and appreciation to the assessor.”
“You were right. As a writer, we tend to get ‘used’ to our projects, and sometimes miss the small issues that arise in a manuscript. Your notes on point of view, tense and structure have helped me immensely in reorganising my manuscript and making it better. I am also appreciative of the time you spent making the notes for each section and the effort put into helping me make my work better. I am still currently working through a rewrite, using many of your suggestions as the basis. Having had a couple of friendly readers look at the revisions, I have found that your remarks are on the mark. So, basically, thank you. When I’ve finished the rewrite I’ll be sending back again for another run through.
The knowledge and support you pass on to others is phenomenal.”
“Thanks very much for your comprehensive and very helpful assessment. I’m so excited about getting back to work on the MS, especially with your clearly detailed (and well-argued) suggestions to keep me on track! Thanks again.”
Adult commercial fiction (‘realistic romance’)
“I am most grateful for the appraisal, and find it of great assistance. I have allowed a few days to pass before replying as I wished to have a little time to assimilate the substance of the assessment. Having now been able to do so, I am in sympathy with the suggestions made, and feel able to address all of the points raised in the appraisal with benefit, Indeed, I have commenced working on the revision already.
I would be grateful if you would convey to your assessor my appreciation for the thoroughness of the appraisal and the detail in the report. I must say that, having read the MS over many times, I am still astonished to find such errors in the text as typos and repetition of words. Most importantly, I recognise that the MS would be strengthened by adopting the recommendations of your assessor regarding the substance of the story. May I also express my appreciation to LYNK for the valuable service you provide.”
Literary historical fiction
“I was so pleased to receive such a detailed, insightful yet writer-sensitive report from Lynk. In fact, it left me positively exuberant! The writing issues I had real doubts about were addressed and some of those I wasn’t sure of, I now feel able to confidently continue with. My plan is to attend to the key suggestions and then write some more and then send the MS back to Lynk – say, in 2–3 months’ time.”
“I would just like to thank you and my assessor for the extremely positive assessment of my manuscript. It could not have come at a better time. I’m not one for long-winded speeches (perhaps slightly ironic for a potential novelist) so I’ll simply say thank you.”
Science fiction / Horror
“I received your assessment and have examined it thoroughly. I find many of your points extremely useful and will implement them in my next re-write. These are points that I would not have seen myself as many of the questions that have been brought up are already answered in my own mind, and as such I take it for granted that this is conveyed through my writing. This assessment has brought these issues to notice and I can now deal with them, hopefully. Thanks for everything, and if I choose to re-assess I will be sure to contact you.”
“Thank you so much for such a comprehensive assessment of the manuscript. As for the overall report, I honestly couldn’t be happier. The assessor was amazingly helpful, as well as encouraging. I have never been through this process before and was rather daunted by what suggestions/criticism I could expect to receive back. All the suggestions made were done so in a positive and constructive manner, I now feel excited by what my manuscript could become with a little editing.
I was pleasantly surprised with how thorough and wonderfully helpful the assessor was. I am eager now to make changes over the next week and re-submit, I feel that this process is aiding my writing immensely and look forward to the challenge of editing the manuscript further. Please pass on my thanks to the assessor and tell her I look forward to her thoughts on the amended manuscript.”
Children’s picture book
“Thank you for your email. I must say that I am over the moon with the appraisal. It is fantastic to read such encouraging comments. The suggestions that the assessor made were excellent and I will certainly use them in making the necessary changes.”
“Thanks very much for that. The assessor has helped me greatly – with encouragement and also ideas. I'm very grateful. Along with some family members giving feedback, one could almost say that ‘the village writes the book’!”
Life stories/Family history/ Biography
“Please pass my grateful thanks to your assessor. She has made many things about the book so clear and enlightening, and I look forward to following her advice with editing. I can hardly wait to get going! During the writing process I always had the feeling, or fear I guess, that I was coming from the wrong place. Truth demands complete detachment. This realisation, along with the assessment, has given me the emotional freedom and confidence to look at the MS with much clearer vision. Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Your assessor is marvellously helpful. She says exactly what I need to hear, and I can’t thank her enough. I’m looking at everything with new eyes and revising like crazy. I’ve no doubt that when I eventually send it back to her, there will be more revising, but at least I’m on the right path now. Please pass on my appreciation.”
“Many thanks for a wonderfully enlightening MS assessment. You’re worth every dollar I paid … and more. I have been encouraged and guided clearly and I am implementing many of your ideas.
I’d also like to say personally a big thank-you for the encouragement you have given me and the personal comments you have sprinkled throughout your advice. You now know why I was hesitant to let it go from my office, where I’d been writing it for the past four years and where no-one had yet seen any of it. And yes … it was hard to write but also liberating. Many thanks.”
“Many thanks for your assessment. I found it very constructive and finally I have proper guidance to draw out my writing creativity. I haven’t written anything other than a love letter in the past so this has been a great project for me. I never knew what passive voice is (now I do). When the hard copy arrives I will contact you and then continue maturing it. I’d like to send it back to you for further assessment once that is complete.”
“I can’t thank you enough for this report. Outstanding. I will be working on this over the next few months. We are having a baby in the next few weeks so the process may be slightly more drawn-out than I had hoped. You really have given me the push I needed to take this out of mothballs. I will be digesting your comments line by line in due course, but at a first read your high-level observations make perfect sense. Clarity, structure and completeness are what is required.”