The Spun Yarn offers a revolutionary new approach for getting feedback on your manuscript. There isn’t anything else like it in the whole wide world. Naturally, this means that you probably have questions. Below are answers to many of the most frequent questions we’ve received over the last two years. But if you have others, please contact us here and we’ll happily answer them. Thanks for writing!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET FEEDBACK ON MY BOOK?
The feedback process takes 30 days or fewer once we receive your manuscript, and we back this with a money-back guarantee. Readers have up to 21 days to read a book and give their feedback to the Spun Yarn Editor. It usually takes us a little more than a week to aggregate feedback from the readers assigned to a manuscript and compile it into your Feedback Report.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BOOK IS READY TO SUBMIT FOR SPUN YARN FEEDBACK?
Every book is different, but read over the Get Feedback page to learn about the three most common moments when Spun Yarn authors have have found feedback to be most helpful.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IN MY REPORT, AND WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Each Complete Manuscript Report includes an introduction to our method, a brief profile of your three readers, their answers to four Flash Feedback questions at the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 4/4 points of the manuscript, their answers to four Overall Qualitative Feedback questions, their answers to two questions posed by you, scores, explanations, and Spun Yarn editorial analysis in each of eight major categories like Plot and Character, our Editorial Suggestions in a Five or Fewer section about trends we saw in your feedback, and a Final Thoughts page from your readers. Check out a sample manuscript report here.
We also offer a Mini Manuscript Report, which includes feedback from one reader on your first 15,000 words, and a Smart Start Manuscript Report which includes feedback from three readers on your first 15,000 words.
WHO ARE YOUR READERS?
Over the past two years we’ve built a diverse and talented network of readers. We found them in book clubs, universities, writers’ groups, and sometimes, they find us. We select readers for their insight and written communication skills in their application and test manuscripts, as well as for their diversity in age, genre preference, gender, geographic location, worldview, etc. Our goal is to give you a consensus of honest, thoughtful feedback from a group of people who might actually read your book. If you write a YA, we assign your book to at least one teen reader. If your historical fiction takes place in the southern U.S., we find a reader from the area. Our readers are all experienced writers and beta readers, but they’re also everyday book lovers. Check out the Spun Yarn Blog to learn more about some of our readers.
HOW DOES THE QUANTITATIVE SCORING WORK?
In each Complete Manuscript Report, we provide your three reader scores, average, standard deviation, and our analysis in eight key categories like Plot, Characters, etc. With a database of more than one hundred manuscript scores and by tracking average scores in each genre as well as controlling for individual readers’ average awarded scores, we have a pretty good idea of how your scores compare to the average manuscript in your genre. If you ask, we’re happy to give you more info about how you scores stack up. We recognize that any quantitative measurement of art is inherently subjective. At the same time, we’ve been doing this for a while and we do recognize general scoring trends that help our Spun Yarn editor to assess the strength of your manuscript, and which elements you’d do best to focus on in your next revision.
DO YOU OFFER A SATISFACTION GUARANTEE?
Absolutely. If you’re not happy with your report and are willing to tell us why, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee. We’re happy to report that we’ve yet to encounter a Spun Yarn author who wasn’t impressed by the depth, breadth, and actionable feedback in their manuscript report.
HOW DO I KNOW THE SPUN YARN WON’T STEAL MY MANUSCRIPT?
You as the writer maintain all ownership rights in your manuscript (obviously!). If you are a bit worried about sending out your manuscript, you could consider filing for an official copyright. But it’s also true that your book is copyrighted automatically from the moment you write it. Additionally, all of our Spun Yarn Readers sign nondisclosure agreements.
IS THIS FOR FICTION OR NONFICTION?
At The Spun Yarn, we’re focused on providing honest feedback first and foremost. So that means we’re happy to provide feedback on both fiction and nonfiction books, and we have readers who specialize in every genre of fiction as well as readers who specialize in nonfiction. That said, our readers are not subject matter experts. So if you’re curious to know how your nonfiction masterpiece lands with an average reader, go ahead and submit it. But we aren’t the place for you if you’re looking for detailed technical critique on your aeronautical treatise on the history of Zeppelins.
HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH MANUSCRIPT REPORT IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Many authors benefit most from the Complete Manuscript Report, because reader consensus is what makes The Spun Yarn unlike any other manuscript critique service out there. One of the hardest parts of revision is planning where, when, and exactly what to edit. Do you listen to your Mom, who thinks you should change the setting? Or your editor, who wants you to completely rewrite the second half? Using independent, totally unbiased feedback from three different readers who love your genre, The Spun Yarn Editor identifies areas of consensus and disagreement. We find that with this level of consensus, the path forward is often clear.
At specific points in the publication journey, a Smart Start Manuscript Report can be a great tool to help you make important decisions. For example, perhaps you’ve been querying agents for six months now with nary a bite. You need to find out whether your hook isn’t sharp enough, whether your basic foundation has a problem, or whether your opening is as kickass as you thought it was and it’s your query letter that’s not doing its job. Or, maybe you do have an agent who’s requesting some changes you’re wary about. A Smart Start Manuscript Report is a thorough but cost-effective way to confirm or challenge your instincts about the next revision.
A Mini Manuscript Report is a great low cost way to leverage The Spun Yarn process. Some authors use it as a final check on their manuscript’s opening, because we choose a veteran reader to give specific, detailed advice on your first 15,000 words. You’ll also see the level of insight our readers provide, and will know if a Complete Manuscript Report is right for you. If you do choose to purchase a Complete Manuscript Report at any point, we’ll subtract the price of the mini manuscript report from your package.
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