Consultations for writers and manuscript evaluations

In a consultation you get to sit down with a professional from the publishing industry to get your questions answered or to get immediate concrete help with a writing project of yours. 

Perhaps you want an experienced publishing professional to bounce ideas off of. Or maybe you’d like a writing coach to meet with periodically. Or you might want to discuss the direction or scope of your project.  

Or perhaps you'd like some help with a query letter.  Brian has seen hundreds of them and knows how to fashion a query that will get an agent’s or editor’s instant attention.

If so, you can arrange a consultation with Brian Henry.

Consultations are brief – usually about one hour – and can be done in person (at a convenient Starbucks for example) or over the telephone. The rate is $75 per hour, pro-rated to the actual length of the consultation. To arrange a time, email

What previous clients have to say:
Brian, You helped me re-work my query letter. Before that, I'd queried dozens of agents, and guess how many of them asked to see my manuscript? None. After you helped me rewrite, I sent my new query to six agents and all of them asked to see my full manuscript. It was like I discovered the secret password.  Thank you so much,
Sohan S Koonar, Windsor, Ontario. Hello, Brian.I’m writing to thank you for your help and advice in both tweaking the manuscript and crafting the query letter for my novel, The Name’s George. I’ve had four requests for the full manuscript as well as one request for a partial. I'm thrilled and hopeful that I can write you again soon with news that I’ve secured representation.Thanks again and all the best,
Shauna Clinning,Oakville, Ontario

Manuscript evaluations

It’s an editor’s job to help writers. That’s what editors are trained to do. They work with all kinds of authors in all genres on all sorts of books. Editors don’t just know what works and what doesn’t; they know why it works or why not and can explain how to make a manuscript better.

What’s more, editors understand the business from the publisher’s side of the fence. They have a broad knowledge of the whole industry and the contacts you need to get ahead.

Unfortunately, when you submit a manuscript to a literary agent or an editor at a publishing house, they’re seldom helpful.  If your manuscript is less than wonderful, they won’t explain what’s wrong or how to fix it.  They don’t have time.  They’ll just return your manuscript with a standard rejection letter.

When that happens, you may decide to revise without guidance. Maybe you'll improve your story; maybe you won’t.  Without advice from someone with the broad knowledge of an experienced editor, trying to revise is a crapshoot.

In any case, it's too late to resubmit your manuscript.  The publisher or agent has already given it all the time it’s going to get.  They’ll refuse to read it again.

Maximize your manuscript’s chances

Before you submit your manuscript, it pays to have it critiqued by a professional editor.  Each book is the product of an author’s unique vision, and what makes it succeed – or what needs to be changed to make it succeed – differs from one book to the next.  This is why a professional editor looks at literally hundreds of different elements when he reads a manuscript.

In a manuscript evaluation, Brian will have a long phone conversation with you to discuss your work’s strengths and weaknesses and will explain what you need to do to develop it to its full publishing potential.  In addition to the evaluation itself, your manuscript will be marked-up with detailed comments in the margins and on the backs of pages so that you can see exactly where you're doing something right and where  you're doing something wrong and how to fix it.  Also, if your manuscript is actually ready, Brian will recommend you to an appropriate literary agent or book publisher.


For very short works: Query letters and picture book manuscripts

$75 per hour, plus hst. Assume it will take me about an hour to read and to write in suggestions and edits or to rewrite your query, as needed, and then {included in that time} I’ll email you your edited work and we’ll chat on the phone about it.

For short works, to 52 pages: $50, plus $5 per page. 

For example, three 5-page short stories costs:

3 x $50 + 15 x $5  = $225 + 13% hst = $254.25

For longer works, over 52 pages: $210 + $2.00 per page. 

For example, a 200-page manuscript costs:

200 x $2 + $210 = $610 + 13% hst = $689.30

Note: Rates are based on standard length manuscript pages of 250 words.  To calculate the number of standard size pages, multiply your word count by 4 divided by 1,000; that is, every 1,000 words counts as 4 pages.  For example, a 100,000-word manuscript is 400 standard length pages; a 50,000-word manuscript is 200 standard pages.

Also, add 20 cents per page (includes hst) to partly cover the cost of printing your manuscript and mailing it back to you. 

The easiest and cheapest way to send your manuscript is to email it as an attachment.

And the easiest way to pay is by Interac e-transfer or go old-school and mail your cheque separately.

To arrange an evaluation or to reserve a place on Brian's schedule in case he books up, email