Free book edit contest

Description of the contest

Contest closure announcement

The free book edit contest is now closed for submissions.

I have edited each entry immediately upon receiving it, and made hopefully helpful suggestions for improvement. Many contestants have responded with appreciative replies.

They were all allowed to resubmit. I then edited the new version, and in some cases invited and accepted a third attempt.

The final version of each entry has been sent to Theresa Hortley, who is a teacher. She has spent her school holidays on acting as an independent judge, with no personal benefit to herself. She is now back at work, and will read the last entries during the weekend.

We will then compare our selection of 10 finalists. Our disagreements will be settled by Emeritus Professor Florence Weinberg, although she is doing her best to meet a deadline with her next book. Oh, she is the author of 10 books that have won 11 awards. She is helping me out of friendship.

I hope to notify contestants, and post the shortlist here, on the 1st of November, 2018.

Why are we doing this?

If you look around Bobbing Around, you’ll see that its theme is the desire to convert an insane global culture of greed and conflict into a sane one of decency, cooperation, compassion. For humanity to survive, we need to change from grasping to giving.

I have realised that all living beings are apprentice Buddhas. We are on the road toward enlightenment, and the way to get there is to do our best to act as if we were already enlightened.

That’s the way we are running this contest.

Please join us.

I’ve been a professional editor since 1999. In 2007, I won the now sadly defunct Editors and Preditors’ contest for best editor.

Several small, independent publishers regularly send me work, and I assist a steady trickle of writers pre-submission.

My rates, conditions, and testimonials from many clients are at

In the past, I have run two “free edit contests,” and am now offering this opportunity to other writers for the third time.

I don’t actually need more editing work, so why am I doing this?

What I need is publicity for my books. I’ve been trying the avenues everyone else tries, with the same results. However, my previous two free edit contests brought thousands of visitors to my website.

So, in a way there is a “payment” for entering in my contest: look around and see what you can see. Check out my books, and they may intrigue you enough to buy one. Everyone who buys one of my books gets a second title, free.

How the contest is run

1. Send me a 200-word synopsis of your book, plus the first 1000 words, as a single Word-compatible file (docx, doc, or rtf), attached to an email.

The subject of the email should be “Free edit entry.” It will be if you use the link above.

The synopsis should be like the back-of-book blurb: something that makes a person want to read on.

Within the body of the email, I need:

  • your name
  • title of the book
  • word count
  • fiction of nonfiction
  • genre (cross-genre is fine)
  • and what country you live in. This is needed so I can edit your work according to the conventions of your version of English (e.g., US, UK, Canadian, etc.).

2. I will give a free edit of these 1200 words, with helpful feedback.

3. I will select the 10 best entries, and list the synopsis and 1000 word sample of each here at Bobbing Around.

4. You need two things to be a successful author: a high-quality book, and the ability to spread the word about it. So, the second stage assesses your publicity skills. The winner will be the shortlisted entrant with the highest number of votes.


Deadline for entries is 15th October, 2018.

I am allowing myself 2 weeks for editing the last rush of entries. So, the shortlist will be announced on 1st November, 2018.

Voting will close on 23rd December, 2018, so the winner can receive a nice Christmas present from me.

Do you need a completed manuscript to enter?


Read the specs again. You need a 200 word hook that’ll get visitors to want to read your first 1000 words, and you need the first 1000 words.

So, you have time to complete your book before the 23rd of December. And if you win and want to keep working on the book, that’s fine with me.


About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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15 Responses to Free book edit contest

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Thank you, Roger, for the compliment of reproducing my essay on how to use guided imagery to become your character. I hope you enter my contest.


  2. Pingback: A Magic Trick For Writing | rogerpseudonym

  3. Pingback: Free book edit contest from | Deadline for entries is 15th October, 2018. #motownwriters | Motown Writers Network . . . Michigan Literary Network

  4. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Hi Florence. You’re too good to enter. Wouldn’t be fair.


  5. Florence Weinberg says:

    Great idea, Bob! May it bring you many new readers!

    Metta, Florence


  6. Also, even though you didn’t ask, my opinion of your books page: you need short blurbs or tag lines for each fiction book and any nonfiction book whose title doesn’t make the contents obvious.

    Making potential readers/buyers click through to another page PER BOOK to find out if they might want to learn more will lose their interest (I didn’t do it, and I was mildly interested).

    Second-best: put all the blurbs and covers on one page and then longer synopses, buy links and more info can be clicked through from the short blurbs on the blurb page.

    Also, EVERY page should have buy links, anyway. .

    Best to you,



  7. I checked out your books and had to laugh at this tag line for one of them (you need a website proofreader!): “Bizarre Bipeds: What IS humanity’s pace in the universe?”

    Better fix that, eh?


  8. Great! Reblogged for tomorrow (Monday, 8/6).

    I hope you get a lot of entries and sell a lot of books!

    Best to you,

    Sally Ember, Ed.D.


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