Home » Editing, Self-Publishing » BookBaby Launches e-Book Editing Service for $1,200

BookBaby Launches e-Book Editing Service for $1,200

11 July 2016

From GoodEreader:

BookBaby has just announced that they have a new editing service available to self-published authors. They will copy edit a 60,000-word eBook for under $1,200, which is 50% lower than other competing premium offers.

. . . .

“Every book needs editing–that’s an established fact,” says BookBaby President Steven Spatz. “Now every author can get the kind of top-notch editing they need. Our goal was to provide a cost-effective solution for self-publishing authors while maintaining the quality that they expect and deserve.”

Here’s why our program is different–it’s not just about speed and price. It’s about providing a book editing service that keeps authors’ best interests as the priority,” says Spatz. “Our editing process is personalized by matching authors with book editors that specialize in their respective genres to yield the best possible results. And while the editor’s goal is always to improve the book, we understand this is a subjective process and authors may not always agree with the changes. But authors will always have the final say on their work, retaining control throughout the entire process.”

Link to the rest at GoodEreader

Editing, Self-Publishing

29 Comments to “BookBaby Launches e-Book Editing Service for $1,200”

  1. What a racket. My editor’s costing me less than that for a trilogy of 90k word books. Shop around, writers. There are very good editors who will work with you for far less than $1.2k per book.

  2. Huge ripoff.

  3. So the little 50K tale I put on Amazon would ‘only’ cost me $1000 for editing with these guys? And the next bit will be well over 100K at the rate it’s going …

    Yes, e/books need editing, but the writers don’t need to be ripped off.

    • Forgot to add:

      Next up from BookBaby! Covers for only $500! (Unless you want one that might semi-match what you’re story’s about, then it’ll be more …)

  4. Hahaha!

  5. Move over, ASI. You got competition!

  6. Wait, $1,200 for only 60k words? I’ve seen editors list that price for 120k words. And these editors often list famous authors as their clients. That price for a mere 60k? Yeah, no.

    • I’ve seen some pretty skilled editors charge half that for that word count. One I know of, who edited a book that PW put on a best of indie list, charges $500 for full edit of up to 100K. So, really, that seems overpriced for the indie market.

      • Ah, I figured those editors existed. I’ve only been glancing from time to time at the spreadsheet list here and haven’t really priced too many editors yet.

        Although, I can see plausibly charging four figures for a six-figure word count if the manuscript prints out to the same height as a baby — a picture I saw of a some fantasy writers’ manuscripts used a baby as a unit of measurement for the stack of papers. That price might make more sense in that case 🙂

  7. I notice some are already chiming in on the cost. I’d like to run a quick survey:

    Those of you already hiring editors directly, how much would you expect to pay for a 60k work?

    • Roughly $500, based on prior works my editor has handled. Bearing in mind she charges by the hour, and I turn in a pretty clean manuscript with a style sheet.

    • It varies from editor to editor.

      For one fantasy novel, I hired an editor who had freelance experience with big-5 publishers and had worked on projects for the likes of Dean Wesley Smith and Kevin J. Anderson. I paid an $800 flat fee for 145,000ish words (ended up at 150,000 words, after the editor’s comments let to the insertion of a new chapter). I considered that on the top-end of my budget, but thought paying a premium to work with someone of that experience worth it.

      For my other novels, I wound up bartering for the editing (babysitting in exchange for their work), but before that I got a lot of quotes for a novel that ran 135,000 words. These ranged from $350-1000; curiously, I felt (from sample edits) that the best of that bunch wasn’t the cheapest, but were more toward the lower end of the middle (about 450-600) than the high end.

      Thing is, converting those numbers down to 60,000 words would be hard to do, because frequently these quotes were based on how clean the manuscript was to start with, how they calculate the number of words (at least one said the first 10,000 words were free for a 100,000+ word novel, but they wouldn’t be for a 60,000 word novel), and how the price was figured (some priced by word, some priced by hour, some priced by “project”). I don’t write books that short, so it’s hard for me to say.

  8. “Every book needs editing–that’s an established fact.”

    Established by whom?

  9. Professional editors do not charge a blanket rate without looking at the manuscript first. According to what’s posted here, this rate is for copyediting, the cheapest, easiest, fastest kind of editing. If the manuscript is in pretty good shape, then $1200 is expensive. But if the manuscript is a hot mess that will suck up many hours of editorial time, then this is a reasonable fee.

    My concern is writers might not understand they’re paying only for copyediting, and they might think they’re getting the much more costly developmental edit.

    Here are industry guidelines for the cost of professional editing of all types: http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php

    • I wondered about that. Seems like they’re charging the same per/job price for everyone regardless of how clean the manuscript is or how long it actually takes to copy edit. Meaning they’re not looking at it first at all. Feels wrong to me.

    • Curiously, I’ve found few reliable editors who actually stick to the EFA’s guidelines. The best editors I’ve known, several of whom have Big-6 experience, undercharge the EFA’s MINIMUMS by 20-50%. I’m not saying that people who charge EFA rates are trying to rip people off, but I find calling these “minimum” rates to be dishonest.

      I’ve got to wonder how these “guidelines” were created, because they don’t seem to match reality at all. One editor I knew suggested they were calculating in a premium for the cost of living within daily commuting distance of the major publishers for those editors who are trying to sell their services to them.

      That seems as good an explanantion as any, to me, but I do have to wonder about start-up freelancers who see these rates and think they really ARE the minimum they should charge.

    • “Professional editors do not charge a blanket rate without looking at the manuscript first.”

      Yes. I’ve been burned on that one and now charge by the hour (yes, less than EFA rates).

      Also, getting a sample edit (even if you have to pay for it) means you can work out which editor is best for you. As has been mentioned, it’s not necessarily the most expensive.

  10. Patricia Sierra

    Had to laugh when I read the author has the final say. Duh…

  11. Michael Kozlowski

    Another positive article from Good e-Reader featured on this site? What kinda topsy turvy world are we living in?

  12. I pay less than that, but I generally have a very clean MS by the time I send it to the editor. I *love* my editor (not in a creepy way) and it really is worth it.

    I’m far too invested in the work I’ve put in to be entirely objective about each sentence. He’s brutal…and wonderful.

    That little offer they’ve got going sounds like a total rip-off to me.

  13. My editor is a friend, so we do flat rate deals. It’s $750 per book for my UF series (word counts run 52k to 72k so far).

    And she’s not simply copy editing/proofreading. She makes developmental suggestions too.

  14. That’s pricey for copy-editing on the stated word count. The fee seems more in line with what I’d expect from some of the mid range developmental editor I know of working on a 60k-word manuscript.

    The statement about the author retaining control of their work and having the final say made my eyebrows go up. Isn’t that an obvious and foregone conclusion? The copy editor is paid to make corrections, not act as publisher.

    • Isn’t that an obvious and foregone conclusion?

      Kris Rusch wrote a post on “The Copyedit From Heck,” and several editors came to the comments to scold her for the idea that the writer should have the final say. They had some … odd … ideas about their role in relation to writers.

      I guarantee you there’s a newbie writer out there somewhere who needs to know that they’re the boss. It probably can’t be spelled out too often 🙂

  15. NEWS FLASH: Book Baby anounces the new ‘Fast Editing Service’. We will quickly drain your bank account and then return your manuscript with an MS Word level of editing. Don’t forget to tip!

    Coming Soon: Just give us all your money so we don’t have to pretend to work you gulible authors!

  16. I understand that editors are professionals who deserve to make a wage that is proportionate to their qualifications, but the numbers associated with copy editing make me really uncomfortable. At $20 per 1000 words, even $10 per 1000 words, a writer who writes at a decent pace (1000 words per hour) is then paying another professional $10-20 per *writer hour* to go through the same text. If they are a fast writer (2000 words per hour) they’re paying someone else $20-40 for every hour of work they, the author, do. So if you are writing 4 hours a day, you are generating a product that is theoretically going to cost you between $40 and $160 to ‘finish’, and that’s just for the copy edit. Working 4 hours a day as a ‘fast’ writer, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year results in a bill as high as $40,000 in copy editing. This seems unsustainable, to me, even in a ‘barter’ system. Have I missed something critical?

  17. Wait a minute. $1200 for a COPY EDIT? Are these people serious?

    Never mind, I’m sure they are. Let’s see the newbies line up to pay it, too. SMH

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