Frequently Asked Questions

GETTING STARTED MEETINGS & CRITIQUES MEMBERSHIP TECH ISSUES

Getting Started

What do you offer? What's right for me?

First of all, welcome! We know writing can be stressful, and getting published–well, even more so. We’re here to help.

To choose the best program for you, think about which problem you’d most like to solve:

  1. I don’t know why my query isn’t working, I need editorial feedback and notes, and/or can someone please tell me what I should do about a unique situation.
  2. There’s so much about the industry I don’t know or understand. I don’t know what I don’t know!
  3. Some combination of 1 and 2.

So, if you’re more 1, we recommend you check out our consultations with agents and editors. Everyone is nice, promise. No one’s going to tell you you did a bad job. Live consultations start at just $49, and include personal, thoughtful feedback on your work. 

If you’re more 2, we recommend our classes, panels, and live events where you can ask our faculty what’s on their mind. Monthly memberships start at just $49, with no monthly minimum. If you can somehow watch 30 hours of content in one month, we applaud your dedication and, yes, you’ll just pay $49.

If you’re both, we recommend our gold membership, which is a meeting ($49 value) + all the classes ($49) for just $69/month. You can also cancel at anytime and, yes, if you can learn everything in a month, $69 is all you’ll pay.

Check out our page about memberships here. 

Have a unique situation? You’re welcome to get in touch here.

How do I know if I'll like your classes?

Your best bet is to check out our free podcast, and then imagine a more prescriptive (do this, then do this) versus conversational (I like this) style.

You can listen here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/podcast

What are the consultations like? Should I be nervous?

Please don’t be nervous–we purposely chose faculty who are warm, supportive, kind–and also quick on their feet, ready to give thoughtful feedback. You don’t have to worry about judgment here. This is a judgment-free learning zone. They’re here to help.

Think of it as a conversation over coffee (or tea, or bourbon–whatever you like best) with a friend who happens to have years of experience in publishing.

We have a number of tips on our podcast (see episode #6, How To Spend Ten Minutes With an Agent, here: https://soundcloud.com/user-965795498/episode-six-how-to-spend-ten-minutes-with-an-agent) and soon, will have episodes with real live consultations.

You can listen here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/podcast

I'm on a budget. What does everything cost?

We have a full range of resources at multiple price points.

Free: Our podcast, with interviews with agents, editors, and authors. See: https://manuscriptacademy.com/podcast

$9.99: Live event tickets–Q&A’s with faculty, live recordings of podcasts, some first page panels. Join our list to hear about these limited-time events when they become available: https://manuscriptacademy.com/subscribe

$25: A la carte recorded, edited classes. If you have just one topic (first lines, pitch letters, publicity, platform, etc.) that you want to learn about, this is a great way to move forward. Each comes with a ticket to the live event (if you attend live, you can ask questions!) or the recording of the live event, so about 1.5-2 hours of content.

$49: A meeting with the agent or editor of your choice, with one page submitted ahead of time for review. View meetings here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/10-minutes-with-an-expert

$49: A month of access to our full library of classes. If you can watch 30 hours of content in one month, we’re impressed. If that’s you, and you cancel before your renewal date, $49 is all you’ll pay.

$69: One month of access to our full library of classes ($49 value) PLUS a ten-minute consultation with the agent or editor of your choice ($49 value). Like with the $49 membership level, if you’re super caffeinated and watch everything in a month, yay you! You’ll just pay $69.

$69 and up: Written critiques with the faculty member of your choice. Not tech-savvy? Super busy? Want to just open your inbox one day and have all (okay, not all, but a lot!) of the answers? This option is for you. Written notes will be emailed to you on the date on the calendar. Book here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/all-written-critiques/

$99: Submit 10 pages of your work to the agent or editor of your choice, then discuss for 15 minutes to get feedback. This does not include written notes. You can book here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/10-minutes-with-an-expert

 

Meetings & Written Critiques



Do I have to be a member to book meetings?

You do not! Anyone can book meetings and written critiques. However, members get a 24-hour head start when meetings are posted each month.

My Skype/Hangouts/Internet/computer isn't cooperating and I have a meeting RIGHT NOW

Hey, it’s okay! Your faculty member also has your phone number and email address, and will get in touch–either now, to have your meeting over the phone, or in a few minutes, to reschedule.

Don’t worry. You haven’t missed your chance. 

I'm having trouble booking a meeting.

Not to worry! We’re here to help.

Here’s what to do, step-by-step:

  1. Go to https://manuscriptacademy.com/10-minutes-with-an-expert
  2. Ensure that there are, in fact, meetings available–meetings are posted once a month. If you see the two meeting options–ten minutes with an expert, or a 15-minute consult, you’re good to go.
  3. Click on the meeting type you’d like (either 10 or 15 minutes).
  4. Click on the faculty member you’d like to meet with (need help choosing? See the question on that topic, below).
  5. If you get a flash and just see blank white space, SCROLL UP. We don’t know why this sometimes happens, but we’re working with our developer to fix it.
  6. Click the red Set Time Zone button. If you don’t see it, you may have to scroll up or down. Set your time zone to ensure that you know when your meeting will take place.
  7. Click a bolded date on the calendar, and then click on the time that works best for you. BE SURE that you note am/pm. Some of our faculty are international, and we don’t want you getting up in the middle of the night unnecessarily, or missing your meeting by 12 hours.
  8. If you don’t see any bolded dates, that means the faculty member is booked up for this month. However, if you were looking for a longer meeting, check to see if they have shorter meetings available. Many faculty members set a limit on 15-minute meetings per month, but will still accept 10-minute meetings.
  9. Follow the prompts to insert your correct contact information (if you’re not tech-savvy, phone is just fine! Even if you’re international) and the query or first page you’d like reviewed for your meeting. Please note that you cannot send a new version for longer meetings–you need to be ready with those pages when you book. For 10-minute meetings, you may send a revision later, for $10 each.
  10. Click Stripe or Paypal, and enter your payment information.
  11. Yay! You did it! Look for your confirmation email, which will come from academy at manuscriptwishlist dot com.

I'm not tech-savvy. Can I still book a meeting?

Absolutely! Just choose the Phone option when selecting how your faculty member should get in touch, and s/he will give you a call at the appointed time.

Why aren't any available meetings showing up?

Meetings are posted once a month, at the beginning of each month. If you’d like to get an email when they go up, please visit https://manuscriptacademy.com/subscribe

Help! I missed a meeting!

Not to worry–this happens. Our faculty members sometimes run a few minutes behind. If the problem is on your end (your computer died, Skype exploded), not to worry. Either way, your faculty member will be in touch to reschedule. If you don’t hear from them after 20 minutes, use our missed meeting form here.

Can I cancel my meeting?

If it’s a ten-minute meeting, and your meeting is more than 72 hours from now, yes, you can. Click the red “Cancel” button in your initial confirmation email, and you’ll be able to cancel your meeting yourself. You’ll then receive a refund in 5-7 business days. (This is because of our payment processor, not because of a delay on our end.)

Unfortunately, we don’t allow cancellations on other meeting or critique types, as faculty members often begin reading as soon as they receive your work.

I sent the wrong version of my query! What now?

If it’s a ten-minute meeting, and your meeting is more than four hours from now, you can send a revision here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/send-revision. Each revision is $10 to make up for the additional stress for your faculty member.

If your is a 15-minute meeting, or a written critique, unfortunately, we do not offer revisions. This is why we had so many “I understand revisions are not available for this meeting type” checkbox confirmations on the intake form.

That said, if it’s within 24 hours of booking, we can check with your faculty member to see if they’ll be willing to take a look at a different version. If they’ve already begun reading, however, they will stick with the original version.

Do I have to send my query at the same time that I book?

If it’s a ten-minute meeting, and your meeting is more than four hours from now, you can send a version later from here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/send-revision. Each revision is $10 to make up for the additional stress for your faculty member. When booking, just upload a blank document that says “New version coming.”

If your is a 15-minute meeting, or a written critique, unfortunately, you do need to upload your work when you book.

Should I ask the agent if s/he wants to see my work?

Please rest assured that, if they’re interested, agents and editors will ask to see your work. If you’ve met with an agent and they don’t say anything about this, yes, you can query traditionally–but we recommend that you do their suggested changes first!

Otherwise, asking often makes things awkward, and uses up time that could be spent learning more about how to make your work stronger.

How do I choose a faculty member?

Please note that everyone we work with has been chosen for their kindness, brilliance, and ability to come up with insightful feedback on the spot. That said, many writers choose to meet with someone who works in their genre.

Members can ask for suggestions through our concierge service (login to view). Otherwise, we recommend that you head to the booking system, read the short profiles next to each name, and choose someone who seems like a good fit for you.

Should I meet with an agent or an editor?

There are advantages to both approaches! If you’re just looking for feedback, and you don’t think your query or page is close to done, choosing an editor might make sense–editors do, in fact, edit for a living. Plus, this way, you’ll have a polished draft before approaching agents.

If you’re hoping to make connections and get requests–which, by the way, are added bonuses, and we hope you’ll go in with the goal of getting feedback versus a request–going with an agent makes sense.

It’s really up to you.

Please note that there isn’t a rule about submitting work to agents after meeting with them–this is a conference, not an editing service. Also, if an agent or editor does make a request, of course you may send to them traditionally–but that’s where the traditional submissions process begins, and our conference ends. We don’t have any control over response times once you are in the general submissions pile, and wait times are often long–just as they are for any writer waiting to hear back from a publishing professional.

What's the difference between a 15-minute meeting/10 page read and a 10-page written critique?

These are similar services, in that both will get you feedback on your first ten pages, and light feedback on your query letter (though it’s mostly there for reference).

The meeting is better if you:

  • Have specific questions you’d like answered
  • Want to have a live conversation with a publishing professional
  • Have a fifteen-minute period you can dedicate to your work

The written critique is better for you if:

  • You don’t like talking and taking notes at the same time
  • You don’t have specific questions, just want an overall read, and prefer detailed notes
  • You can’t easily set aside 15 minutes to discuss your work

Can I book two back-to-back meetings with the same person?

Yes, you can, if they’re available. Please note that you’ll just get the amount of time paid for, not the time in between–so, if you book two 10-minute meetings, you’ll get 20 minutes total; if you book two 15-minute meetings, you’ll get 30 minutes total.

I need to update my Skype name/phone number/contact method.

Please get in touch with us as soon as possible with “New contact information for meeting” in the subject line. You can email us at Academy at ManuscriptWishList dot com.

When will I receive my written critique?

You’ll receive your critique by email within 24 hours of the date you choose on the calendar. You don’t have to do anything–it’s now up to your faculty member to deliver insightful feedback. All you have to do is keep from hitting Refresh until then.

What can I expect from my written critique?

You’ll receive not just overall, thoughtful notes–akin to an edit letter from an editor at a large publishing house–but also line notes to point to specific moments in your work.

The critique will be delivered within 24 hours of the date you choose on the calendar.

Membership

What do I get for the monthly membership fee?

You receive full, unlimited access to the following:

  • Our full library of classes–yes, all of them! See a full list of our 30+ hours of content here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/full-library-classes. This includes all of the classes in our shop, plus many, many more.
  • Members-only events–live evenings with our faculty (ask them questions, get answers!), live recordings of some podcast episodes, live first pages panels, and more.
  • Early booking of consultations, which go up once a month
  • Member services, including help choosing a faculty member, custom orders, express service, and more
  • Gold members ($69/month) receive a code for a FREE meeting with the faculty member of their choice each month, a $49 value. 

I'm an absolute beginner. Is that okay?

Absolutely! We’re designed to make your publishing research as easy, comfortable, and human as possible. Our classes offer everything from defining terms (what is “high concept,” anyway?) to walking you through basic strategies to maximize your success. You do NOT need any prior knowledge–just a notepad and a pen to take down notes.

Can I be a member for just one month?

At present, we do not have a minimum number of months for a membership, though that may change. All you need to do is cancel before your thirty days are up, and you won’t be billed again.

Which classes can I access with a monthly membership?

The answer is that you can see every class we have available! That’s about 30+ hours of recorded, edited content. Woo hoo!

You can see a full list in our Full Library of Classes.

How do I know if I'll like your classes?

Your best bet is to check out our free podcast, and then imagine a more prescriptive (do this, then do this) versus conversational (I like this) style.

You can listen here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/podcast

What's the difference between the two membership types?

Both memberships offer the following:

  • 24/7 access to our Full Library of Classes
  • Early booking in our Member Booking System
  • Concierge services: Special requests for meetings & critiques (as available), dedicated contact form for express service
  • Live member Q&A’s with faculty

The gold membership comes with all of the above, plus a code good for one 10-minute consultation ($49 value) each month. This can be used for a ten-minute meeting with any faculty member available.

When do I get my Gold Member meeting codes?

You’ll receive a new code each time your membership renews–so one instantly, when you sign up, and then a new one every 30 days you remain a member.

If meetings are going up, you plan to stay on, and you’d like this month’s code early, you can always get in touch.

Do I need any fancy technology to join?

You do not. In fact, you don’t even need a laptop! All of our classes are designed to work on smartphones, tablets, and computers. If you want to add to your experience, you could get a bluetooth speaker, so you can get that surround sound feel as you learn–but that’s a nice bonus, not a necessity.

Basically–if you can use YouTube, you can use our site.

How to I access my classes?

Monthly members can view their classes in the Manuscript Academy classroom, here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/classroom

For help with viewing, and for those who’ve purchased a single class, please check out our How To View page here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/how-to-view 

I'm having trouble logging in.

The good news is that, once you purchase your membership or class, your computer will almost certainly log you in and keep you logged in (even if the blue button at the top still says Member Login versus You Are Logged In). Please visit https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account and, if you can see the blue “Please click here to view your content” button, congratulations! You are logged in.

Please look for an automatic email from Academy at ManuscriptWishList dot com with your login name and a randomly assigned password.

You can also manually reset your password here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account/edit-account

How do I reset my password?

You can manually reset your password here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account/edit-account

My order still says "processing."

We know. For some reason, a lot of active accounts seem to still say “processing” even when everything is up and running. To confirm that you’re in and your payment cleared, please go to https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account and, if you see the two blue buttons at the top for classes and member services, you’re good.

Tech Issues

I'm having trouble logging in.

If you’re not a member and haven’t purchased a class: Happily, you don’t need to login! While there is the option to create an account within the booking system to more easily purchase classes in the future, that is optional. You do not need to log in.

If you’re a member or have purchased a class: The good news is that, once you purchase your membership or class, your computer will almost certainly log you in and keep you logged in (even if the blue button at the top still says Member Login versus You Are Logged In). Please visit https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account and, if you can see the blue “Please click here to view your content” button, congratulations! You are logged in.

Please look for an automatic email from Academy at ManuscriptWishList dot com with your login name and a randomly assigned password.

You can also manually reset your password here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account/edit-account

How do I reset my password?

If you’re not a member: Happily, you don’t need to do so. Everything you need is available without a login/password, unless you’d like to upgrade to membership. While you may have an optional account within our booking system, you do not need to be logged in to book.

If you’re a member: You can manually reset your password here: https://manuscriptacademy.com/my-account/edit-account

I'm having trouble booking a meeting.

Not to worry! We’re here to help.

Here’s what to do, step-by-step:

  1. Go to https://manuscriptacademy.com/10-minutes-with-an-expert
  2. Ensure that there are, in fact, meetings available–meetings are posted once a month. If you see the two meeting options–ten minutes with an expert, or a 15-minute consult, you’re good to go.
  3. Click on the meeting type you’d like (either 10 or 15 minutes).
  4. Click on the faculty member you’d like to meet with (need help choosing? See the question on that topic, below).
  5. If you get a flash and just see blank white space, SCROLL UP. We don’t know why this sometimes happens, but we’re working with our developer to fix it.
  6. Click the red Set Time Zone button. If you don’t see it, you may have to scroll up or down. Set your time zone to ensure that you know when your meeting will take place.
  7. Click a bolded date on the calendar, and then click on the time that works best for you. BE SURE that you note am/pm. Some of our faculty are international, and we don’t want you getting up in the middle of the night unnecessarily, or missing your meeting by 12 hours.
  8. If you don’t see any bolded dates, that means the faculty member is booked up for this month. However, if you were looking for a longer meeting, check to see if they have shorter meetings available. Many faculty members set a limit on 15-minute meetings per month, but will still accept 10-minute meetings.
  9. Follow the prompts to insert your correct contact information (if you’re not tech-savvy, phone is just fine! Even if you’re international) and the query or first page you’d like reviewed for your meeting. Please note that you cannot send a new version for longer meetings–you need to be ready with those pages when you book. For 10-minute meetings, you may send a revision later, for $10 each.
  10. Click Stripe or Paypal, and enter your payment information.
  11. Yay! You did it! Look for your confirmation email, which will come from academy at manuscriptwishlist dot com.

My Skype/Hangouts/Internet/Computer/Cat/Kid isn't cooperating and I have a meeting RIGHT NOW

Hey, it’s okay! Your faculty member also has your phone number and email address, and will get in touch–either now, to have your meeting over the phone, or in a few minutes, to reschedule.

Don’t worry. You haven’t missed your chance.