Sunday, May 08, 2016

Time to Hang Out My Shingle: Manuscript Consultation Begins!

So for a while now people have been hunting me down and hitting me up for paid manuscript consultation, and I’ve reluctantly complied, and gotten gratifyingly grateful feedback, but I’ve never committed to it …until now. No, I don’t just apply the checklist (you can do that yourself), I just do an organic evaluation.

I’ve been doing it all: screenplays, teleplays, and lots and lots of novels (my book agent has been having his clients hire me for consultation) which has gone surprisingly well, so try me out and I’ll probably handle what you want read. Here’s how it’ll work:
  • You email me your manuscript. In script format if it’s a script (pdf or Final Draft), or double-spaced 12 pt text (Microsoft word or rtf) if it’s prose.
  • You include an email telling me what you want to do with it and what sort of notes you’re looking for.
  • I read it and mark it up, usually about one annotation per page.
  • I then write you an in-depth editorial letter, about 4-8 single-spaced pages, with notes for pushing the manuscript in the direction you want it to go.
So what’s the price? $2.50 per page of your manuscript. So a 60 page TV pilot would be $150, a 120 page screenplay is $300, a 240 page novel manuscript is $600, etc. It’s not cheap, but it’s pretty comprehensive and my customers have mostly let me know that they’ve been eminently satisfied.

NEW: I also do documents under 20 pages, such as treatments, for a minimum of $50. And, by request, I now do phone consultations for $1.50 a minute.

So here we are. We’ll see how many hits I get from this: maybe just a few, maybe just enough, or maybe too many, in which case I’ll let you know if what the turnaround time will be. So far I’ve been turning them around in about 2-3 weeks.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let me know in the comments or email me! My email is MattMBird@yahoo.com. Please put “manuscript consultation” in the subject line.


Paul Clarke said...

I've been meaning to ask you this for so long, but thought it might be rude to ask.

Great news in my book. Thanks Matt.

Steve said...

Would you consider a short (quite short) story worth the time or are you only looking for longer works?

Matt Bird said...

Sure, send it on.

Paul Clarke said...

Great notes, if anyone was wondering.

Well worth the money.

And unlike many other services you know exactly who is doing the reading. I highly recommend anyone considering the service take the leap. You won't regret it.

Brian Malbon said...

Do you do novels? I'm about a third of the way through my second novel right now. I'd love to have a professional look over when is dope before I send it off

Brian Malbon said...

I mean when it's done. I already know it's dope.

Matt Bird said...

Sure, I've done lots of novels.

C J Martin said...

Hello Matt,

Thank you for the blog. I have your book, and I think it's a cracker - insightful, articulate (I mean crystal clear), and amusing (I was crying with laughter over James Spader and the dogs).

I like to write fiction in my spare time (novels), but I live in Australia. I was wondering if and how the payment process would work for your consultation service, from Australia to the US. Thank you.

Matt Bird said...

Hi C J, I just saw this and I'm not sure how old it is, but yup, I've worked with a few Australian writers and they just paypal to the above email address.

Sluggo357 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sluggo357 said...


My wife and I listened to your book during a twelve-hour drive back and forth to Las Vegas and loved it. I am now going through the paper copy with a highlighter and pencil. Since you are reviewing novel ideas and manuscripts, could you also take a crack at book taglines and plot summaries? I have two book series I'm working on: teen science fiction and adult geopolitical thrillers. I'm a former Air Force pilot raising four boys and lots of experiences on the world stage!

If this is a realm you don't want to travel, could you please offer some good websites which critique book/movie taglines and plots. Thanks for even considering this request as I realize this may open a barn door.

Sluggo sends!

Anonymous said...

I just finished listening to your audio book. The Secrets of Story. Loved it! I love and appreciate the architecture of writing but can't really write myself- sort of like loving to sing but not having the voice to do so (well) :) I have so many stories in my head, but can't seem to be able to put anything down on paper. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for a great book.


Anonymous said...

Hi Matt -

Anyway you can help me fulfill my lifelong dream of writing? Perhaps point me in the right direction? Do you have one on one classes? I've read lots of how to books, but it does not translate to me actually writing. Au Contraire - It keeps me in my head.


Matt Bird said...

Hey Sluggo, sorry I just saw this comment. I'm so glad you liked the book! I will do book summaries (and taglines) but I charge minimum $40 for a job, even if it's less than 20 pages. Sorry about that, but if that's okay, feel free to send them on!

Matt Bird said...

Hi Bridget, sorry I just saw your comments. So glad you liked the book! I don't teach any online classes, nor do I have any to recommend, though I'm sure there are some good ones out there. You can also search around for local classes or writing groups.