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If you don’t pay for book editing, it’s going to cost you

Friday, June 05, 2020 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

For those of you who haven't heard, not only are we doing a

Capitol Crimes 2020/2021 Antholog

you will have the opportunity to work with a Professional Development 

Editor. Why? Well, most importantly, it will make your good work better,

plus with the number of us submitting stories, it's going to be the best

rate you will ever pay. (Assuming you aren't married to an editor and get

the services for free.)

Here is an article from the BookBaby Blog pointing out some of the

advantages to using an editor.

NOTE: BookBaby offers editing services, so does Reedsy and others.

The purpose of this post is not to promote a particular service but to

make sure you use somebody's editing services.

If you don’t pay for book editing, it’s going to cost you

By Steven Spatz -September 28, 2015

Speaking from experience, author and PhD in Theology Dr. Tony Lewis

can attest that book editing is a “a process that just can’t be rushed.

Authors need to take their time and do it right.”

God only knows why Dr. Tony Lewis, the president of Christian Bible

Institute and Seminary in Spring, Texas, didn’t get professional editing

for his book. “Something was telling me I should have paid to have it

edited,” he says. “Had I done that, it would saved me a lot of money in

the long run.”

It proved to be an expensive – and potentially embarrassing – mistake

for the self-published author. But today, it’s a lesson that the Texas

theologian now wants to share far and wide to prospective BookBaby


“If just one author is persuaded to edit his book because of my situation,

then I’ll be happy,” said Lewis. “It’s imperative that you have your book

edited. I want to save people the headache and expense of what

happened to me.”

After a year of writing and self-editing, Lewis had finally completed his

manuscript in the spring of 2015. The Message and the Messenger is a

training manual for new pastors, and he was anxious to get it published.

“I just wanted to just get it out,” said Lewis. “I worked on it all through

the previous year. I was missing deadlines and getting frustrated.

People were asking about the book, wanting to put it in bookstores and

I just wanted to hurry up and get the books out.”

Lewis had hired a book consulting service to help him self-publish. The

company has since gone out of business, but had assured Lewis that his

manuscript was ready to go. “They told me I should make sure I read it

again, but I didn’t,” recalls Lewis. “I did send it to a friend of mine and he

said he read it and it looked pretty good. So now I had two

people saying ‘it’s good,’ so I thought we should just go ahead and get it


Lewis chose BookBaby to publish The Message and the Messenger, and

he remembers conversations with our publishing specialists about

editing. “They recommended that I have someone else proof and edit

the book,” says Lewis, “but I didn’t want to spend any more, or invest

the time. I just thought to myself, ‘Nah, I’m not going to do it.’”

And that’s when all the problems started.

“So we get the books printed and I do a press release that goes out in

March. After the second day, my sister called me. She said: ‘Have you

looked at your book?’ I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘There’s

quite a few errors in it.’ She took screen shots of the pages and texted

me. And I saw what she was seeing. I was in shock.”

And what about all those beautiful books Lewis had printed? “I had to

just throw them away. They were worthless,” says Lewis. “All that money

down the drain. Thank goodness only my sister saw the books with all

those errors or it would have been even worse.”

BookBaby has been urging our authors to seek out professional editing

services for their manuscripts.

“The service I received from BookBaby was just phenomenal,” says

Lewis. “I’ve recommended BookBaby to my friends and even some of my

students who are thinking of publishing their own books.”

If an author is having problems selling their book and calls us for advice,

our publishing specialists go through a check list of possible reasons:

• Did you do both an eBook and Printed Book for maximum sales

opportunities? Check.

• Did you get a professional cover design? Check.

• Did you have your book edited by a professional? Ah…

It’s true. Editing – or the lack thereof – can affect your sales in ways you

might not realize. I’ll let Dr. Lewis tell his story:

“If a person would have purchased one of those unedited books, they

would have stopped reading it in the first chapter because of all those

errors,” he said. “People will remember you as the guy who has all those

mistakes in his books and won’t ever buy another in the future. Plus

they’ll tell everyone else about the author who has all these mistakes in

his book.

“If you don’t pay for editing, it’s going to cost you in the long run.”

Determined to do things the right way, Lewis hired First Editing to

review his manuscript. First Editing is one of several editing companies

BookBaby recommends. [Full disclosure: I had my book edited by First

Editing and was extremely satisfied with their services.]

“It was a great experience,” says Lewis. “It only took about seven days

for them to get the manuscript back to me. Everybody needs to know

this: You can’t just let anyone edit your book. Your friends can’t do it.

Your family can’t do it. If you want to put something you’re proud of

into the marketplace, you have to have a proofing and editing expert do

the job. Whatever the cost is. If you don’t pay it, it’s going to cost you in

the long run.”

Dr. Lewis intends to practice what he preaches the next time around.

“I’m going to be unbelievably patient. I won’t feel the need to rush it

because of what I experienced,” he says. “It’s a process that just can’t be

rushed. Authors need to take their time and do it right.”

Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the

nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional

writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little

league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for

southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued

after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily

newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing

food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into

producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best

Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the

business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift

businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct

marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and

Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer

marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis,

and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped

to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the

AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands,

including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ

(just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook

needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz

lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some

well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and

publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials

and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to

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