Proofreading Your Book


Self PublishingPrint your book on paper for proofreading. You will see things that you will see on a computer monitor. Then, starting with the last page and moving backward, use a ruler to look at each line in the book. This is a tedious process and one for which you can pay a freelance proofreader. You are looking for spelling mistakes as well as mistakes in punctuation. When we read, our eyes naturally gloss over words that we are familiar with and often do not see that they are misspelled. This is why it is important to take your time and proofread your book from finish to start. By going up one line at a time, you will not be reading, but looking for errors that your eyes will ignore if you simply read the book.

You can hire a professional proofreader for this purpose. They will go through the book the way that suits them and deliver you a product that has changes. They will put proofreading marks on your paper of which you should be familiar. They will not make the changes for you, but signal you to make the changes.

It is vital that you proofread your book or have someone else do it for you. If you have a book published by a traditional publisher, this service is done for you. If you are self publishing, however, you do not have that luxury. Although there are many self publishing companies online that offer proofreading services for a price for their clients. These services usually charge more than freelancers that you can find online.

One place that you can find proofreaders who will go over your book for you is Elance.com. This site has a multitude of freelancers offering their services. Be sure to check out their profile as well as reviews from other clients before you ask them to proofread your material. You can put your project on the site for bidding. Be sure that you do not automatically go for the lowest bid that there is and check out the experience and customer satisfaction that signify that the proofreader knows what he or she is doing.

Proofreading a book is not like editing a book. Copy editing is a completely different process altogether. You can choose to copy edit your own book or if you are being published by a traditional publisher your publisher do that job for you. We will discuss editing for your self-published book in another post.

If you decide to proofread your book yourself, take your time and do it correctly. Do not rush through this process as an array of misspelled words in your book will make it look less than professional to the reader. You want your book to be as professional as possible so that the reader will not get turned off. You can keep it free from typos, punctuation and spelling errors by doing careful proofreading or hiring someone who you can pay to do the job for you.

Even if you have someone else who is not a professional proofreader take a look at your book you can have a fresh pair of eyes look at the book so that they can see errors where you cannot. Remember that you have a very strong connection to your book that others do not. You have most likely read it over and over again. Having someone who has not looked at the book take a look for errors can help you out tremendously. Most professional proofreaders will charge by the page. This may be an investment that you will want to make if you are serious about making sure that your book is error free.

Remember, even books published by a traditional press will have errors. Having one error in the book is not the end of the world. Having a chockfull of errors, however, can make your book look shoddy and not well put together.


2 responses to “Proofreading Your Book”

  1. Two of the suggestions you mentioned, I have done- printing, from back to front and I find this very useful, because as you mentioned, I found errors I did not pick up on the computer. The other was asking someone to help. However, I did not use the ruler I will try that.

    I want to know the measurement of the Chapters and Headings. APA gives for papers and I am not sure that goes for books as well. Would appreciate your help.Thank you.

  2. Norma,

    The size of the page is dependent on the overall size of the book. There are no standard boarders (top,bottom,left,right), although one would want to make sure that there is enough of a border on the spin side so all the text shows up. You can design the chapters (top) and headers how you like. Just make them the same throughout the book. Typically it is difficult to set up a book using Word although it can be done. You might check out “Perfect Pages: Self Publishing with Microsoft Word” by Aaron Shepard or “Book Design and Production” by Pete Masterson.

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