I offer three other basic services: please email as below, for specific price quotes. Prices start at $75 and depend on your book's length, subject, and required turn-around time (my standard turn-around time is 3-4 weeks: longer (or more complex) reads may require more time. Rush service is available on a per-item determination, based on when you need it and my current workload.)
I can work with ARCs, drafts, .pdf formats or bound galleys: the only stipulation is that the book be typed or bound in some manner (i.e. not handwritten!).
For this fee I will read your book and provide you with a write-up about it (3-5 pages in length), with assessment elements to include discussion of its overall strengths and weaknesses, suggestions for changes or tweaks, and reference as to what audience it could reach. I’ve worked for over 35 years as a book reviewer and review all genres, from fiction to nonfiction and children’s books.
A critical assessment is different from a review, in that a review covers ‘what is’, not ‘what it could be’. Reviews are slated for publication in my column Donovan’s Shelf at the Midwest Book Review and on this website. A critical assessment, in contrast, is a closer, critical survey intended for your personal use in ‘tweaking’ your manuscript before publication, and is not slated for online review.
(Please note: this is NOT the same as my editorial service. You are paying for a critical assessment when you request a critique; not for services that involve re-writing, editing, or identifying grammar, syntax or spelling errors throughout the text; though the critical assessment would include mention of such problems if they were prevalent throughout the book. I do provide editing services for a different fee.)
For more information, please email me and put 'Critique Inquiry' on your subject line:
Please include your book's page count, subject, and your turnaround time requirement.
These accolades from just a few of my many satisfied customers tell what you can expect:
1. D.R. Bell (author of The Great Game and The Metronome): "Diane wrote a well thought-out review of my novel The Great Game. It is intentionally a complex book trying to combine political and personal realms and I was concerned that a reviewer will focus on only one side of it. To Diane’s credit, she was thorough and perceptive in reading and reviewing multiple dimensions of the book. I was so pleased with her work that I asked her to provide a critical assessment of my next novel, The Metronome. Diane was professional and punctual in providing the assessment which was to the point and very helpful in identifying the areas that need further work. I look forward to continuing to work with Diane."
2. Maria Fox (author of Comfort: A Mother's Life, A Daughter's Story, The Soul's Journey): "What a surprise to receive your critique so quickly! I find your feedback incredibly useful, insightful and I must say, encouraging. I appreciate your thoughts on marketing and confess I hadn't considered any of these avenues for sharing my work. look forward to exploring the options you presented."
Unlike a critique, copy editing identifies grammar, syntax and spelling issues and makes recommendations for text changes. (I will NOT rewrite your words - that is work for a ghostwriter.) All work should be ideally submitted via email in an electronic format (.pdf or Word file format recommended). Hard-copy-only work will be an additional charge. Handwritten manuscripts are not accepted.
I also do content editing, which means that I help writers with rewriting their manuscripts. I focus on making any genre clear, flowing, and compelling.
Quotes are for either are based on subject of your writing, length, and required turn-around time. Please email for me details and put 'Editorial Work Inquiry' in your subject line. My email is:
Payments are made via PayPal or check and work begins when payment and manuscript have been received. Acknowledgement is made upon receipt, work begins, and I will confirm the agreed-upon turnaround time.
If you wish to order a critique AND an editing job, please email for a 'bundled package' rate. Please put 'Bundled Package Inquiry' in the subject line of your email.
Feedback for My Editing Work:
Vivek Sardana (author of Straight From the Gut): "I had a wonderful experience working with Diane Donovan on my maiden book project related to my personal memoirs. With years of experience, her honest feedback and proposed suggestions were both exceptionally helpful and extremely insightful. From grammar and writing style to overall plot and story progression, she helped convert an amateur piece into a professional product. I will certainly seek her help in my future writing projects and would highly recommend her services to other aspiring writers. A thorough professional with the highest standards for timeliness and quality, it was a real pleasure to work with Diane."
If you've self-published your book and don't know what steps to take next, I can produce a Marketing Plan review just for your book.
This isn’t ‘boilerplate advice’ for generic marketing; but a custom-made set of tips on how to market into different areas. It would point out a myriad of directions you can go, provide links to different media sources for your specific book, and outline steps you can take to get your book recognized. I’ve worked in the reviewing industry for 35 years now, so this reflects accumulated knowledge of the ever-changing field of book publicity and marketing.
For more information just email me and ask (please put 'Marketing Plan Inquiry' in your subject line.):
Ilse. O'Brien (author of Taming the Diabetes Wave): "Diane Donovan is a highly experienced book reviewer with a strong reputation for excellence. As a result of her professional involvement with authors and publishers over many years Diane is also skilled in creating a marketing plan crafted for a specific title—a plan that weaves together every conceivable element that the author will need to have their book widely recognized and accepted.
The plan that Diane has produced for my book, “Taming the Diabetes Wave: The Fast and Easy Way to Control Diabetes”, includes sixty-three website addresses, all of them relevant to the challenging tasks involved in bringing my new book to the attention of readers and purchasers within an environment that has for years been replete with published material about this widespread disease. Nearly twenty percent of these referenced websites offer free placement of e-book versions of a title—a very promising marketing opportunity for authors.
The twenty-three page marketing plan that Diane has produced for my title is focused on the unique approach I have taken to self-management of this complex and dangerous disease, based upon the “wave” metaphor; and opens multiple pathways for reaching the roughly 30 million Americans who have diabetes, as well as the estimated 75 million Americans who reveal the symptoms of pre-diabetes."
Rajesh Williams (Publisher of V.K. Green’s The Tale of the Wulks):
Many thanks for developing such a detailed marketing plan for V. K. Green’s The Tale of the Wulks. It is not only ingenious but also feasible, and I'm sure that it will serve as a guiding star to our marketing efforts. Your marketing plan has also given me valuable information on how I can use social media to promote the book.
I sincerely appreciate the good work you have done for the author; and I'm pleased to say that I've got my money's worth!
Anthony Elgin (author of The Alcatraz Rose):
Since discovering Donovan Literary Services, I have been making big strides in developing publicity and promotional ideas for my latest mystery novel, The Alcatraz Rose.
It all began with a review of my book that Diane Donovan wrote for Midwest Book Review. Soon thereafter I found that DLS was a trove of information, know-how and a myriad ways to help promote authors books, particularly new writers and those who are self-publishing.
Recently DLS has compiled a 15-page marketing plan for The Alcatraz Rose. The blueprint is detailed and comprehensive. It not only identifies the many methods and resources that are available to promote the book, get reviews, generate publicity and identify other marketing techniques, but also includes many URLs that allows the author to go direct to the various sites. Brilliant.
If you are an author looking to further promote your book, I recommend that you contact Donovan Literary Services. You’ll be most impressed, as I was and still am.