Our Feedback Approach
Our goal at the Spun Yarn is to make the feedback experience more objective, less painful, and as actionable as possible for writers.
We ask our Spun Yarn Readers to be just that. Readers. They aren’t copy editors or publishers or literary agents. Instead, they’re book nerds from all around the country, selected for their unique perspectives and with experience using the Spun Yarn feedback approach.
We assign multiple Spun Yarn Readers to each manuscript. Utilizing the same evaluation criteria — a mix of quantitative and qualitative input — each Reader provides feedback on your book. Our Spun Yarn team compiles this feedback into a summarized report that helps you as the author spot trends in the book. For example, if all three Spun Yarn Readers thought that Dave was their favorite character in your novel or that the first quarter of the book was exceedingly confusing, this starts to look like objective data that you as the author can use to improve your manuscript.
We’ve built a trusted network of safe and anonymous readers. They lead diverse lives all around the country and work as contractors for the Spun Yarn in the spare moments of their days. Our Spun Yarn Readers don’t know you. And you don’t know them. It’s like getting feedback from an anonymous stranger who cares.
No one sees your Spun Yarn Feedback but you. The feedback on your book is safe and as private as you want it to be. It’s up to you as the author to decide what to do next.
Actionable as Possible
The Spun Yarn feedback process provides clear insight into which aspects of your book are working best and the areas most in need of improvement. We can also guarantee that our Spun Yarn Readers will read your entire book.
Whenever possible, we pair Reader feedback with actionable next steps. We'll highlight focus areas to really hone in on during future edits, as well as books to read for inspiration and resources to consult. At the Spun Yarn, we’ve worked hard to make feedback the most powerful tool in your writer’s toolbox.
What to Expect from Spun Yarn Feedback
Writers receive a Spun Yarn Feedback Report with four major types of feedback:
1. Flash Feedback
At the quarter, halfway, and three-quarters point in the book, Spun Yarn Readers provide input on the reading experience so far. What are they liking most? What’s not working so far? Once this feedback is compiled across the Readers assigned to your manuscript, it provides excellent insight into what people were thinking in real time as they read your manuscript.
2. Quantitative Feedback
Once they’ve finished the book, Readers provide a score from 1 to 10 across nine key aspects of your book, as well as a brief explanation for their score. Quantitative Feedback categories include: Plot & Structure, Characters, Craft, Stickiness, and Believability & Authenticity. We’re the first to agree that assigning a rating to an aspect of a manuscript can be subjective. But by asking multiple, experienced Spun Yarn Readers to do so and then focusing on trends, correlations, and deviations across Reader data, we’re able to provide clear insight into the strengths and improvement areas in your manuscript.
3. Qualitative Feedback
Spun Yarn Readers provide actionable Qualitative Feedback on what they thought were the best aspects of your book, along with their opinion on the focus areas most in need of improvement. Our Qualitative Feedback approach emphasizes prioritization, as opposed to exhaustiveness. As the author, you’ll also have the opportunity to pose a few questions directly to your Readers at the outset of the feedback process. Some author questions so far have included: “Who is your favorite character and why?” “Is my ending believable?” “If I were to submit one of my chapters to a short story competition, which one should I choose?” Readers provide answers to these questions as part of their Qualitative Feedback
4. Action Steps [BETA]
Whenever possible, our Spun Yarn team pairs Reader feedback with actionable advice from our network of writing experts. Books to read. Resources to consult. Tools or methods to try when revising certain aspects of your book, all based upon your specific strengths and improvement areas.