Reviewing a book manuscript?

Subject: Reviewing a book manuscript?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 14:42:16 -0500

Pat Glass has <<...been asked to review a book manuscript (I should say
potential book manuscript). I am quite used to reviewing style, grammar,
consistency, etc., but I am asking for your help in determining what else I
should consider.>>

I assume you mean that this is a pre-editing or developmental editing
review? If that's the case, then you need to review the book for
completeness (covers all the required topics?), appropriateness for the
intended audience (e.g., language, level of detail), and consistency with
the larger body of knowledge (i.e., did the author do their homework).
You'll probably also want to examine some substantive editorial issues such
as whether the sequence is logical, whether there's appropriate use of
graphics, whether the book makes for an easy read, and so on. You might even
want to consider whether someone else has already published an identical
book, and if so, how it compares to the present book. In short: Would you
buy this book? If not, why, and how could that be fixed?

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

Hofstadter's Law--"The time and effort required to complete a project are
always more than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's

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