For Authors: A Guide to Proofreading
You’ve finished your last page, you’ve used your spelling and grammar check throughout your massive document, and you’re ready to share your story with the world! But there’s still one last step to go that’s arguably one of the most important in the writing process – Proofreading.
The good news is that with a partner publisher, you’ll have lots of help along the way, such as two rounds of copyediting, premium book cover design, and ensuring all those little interior design and formatting elements are in place for your book to be distributed on a global level.
Even so, there are a few things to be on the lookout for when you’re going through your final draft to ensure your book is the best it can be.
So before you sit down and proofread your book one more time, follow these guidelines so that your words are accurate, readable, and truly capture the essence of your story and style.
It’s understandable that once your book is finished, you’ll be eager to get it published!
But one last read-through after you’ve had a little time apart will go a long way in allowing you to review it with “fresh eyes,” and to spot any errors.
Is there a particular portion or segment of your book that you struggle with?
Read it out loud!
Reading your story may allow your ear to catch formatting or style errors that you may have missed, or small parts which don’t align with the rest of your book.
A fellow writer, colleague, or just a trusted friend can also help you pinpoint any errors or sections of the story that may need a little fine tuning.
Punctuation is one of the trickiest errors to spot, simply because it’s everywhere in your story!
Be sure to keep those apostrophes, quotation marks, and periods in the forefront of your mind to catch any otherwise “hidden” errors.
Have you ever noticed that you’re more likely to notice errors in a book or printed story than in an email or instant message?
Printing out your work and going through it with a highlighter or pen is a great way to catch anything that may have gotten lost in translation on the screen.
There are lots of great style handbooks that can help clear up questions, such as whether a certain word is capitalized, or if you need to hyphenate a specific phrase or adjective.
Best of all, a stylebook can enhance your database of writing knowledge!
A common mistake that new authors make is repetition with a certain word or phrase. So watch for repeated word use, and utilize a thesaurus to find other means to relate what you have to say as needed.
When it comes to writing, consistency is key!
Watch for errors that can pop up throughout the book, such as a different tense or style that may seem jarring and out of place if it contradicts with the rest of your writing style.
Just because you are self-publishing doesn’t mean you have to go it alone!
Utilize high level and strategic coaching, enlist the help of a partner publisher, or attend a workshop like the Book Bound By The Sea Event in January to ensure that what you share with the world is a professional, hard copy book that you’ll be proud of for years to come.
Ready to become an author? Join me in Florida at my Book Bound Workshop!