Now that you’ve finished your draft manuscript, and maybe done some edits, you’ll need to get it proofread, and please don’t skip this part, feedback prior to going to print will really help with your book’s impression and reviews that it may receive.
So, how do you get your book proofread?
For many self-publishing authors this is the first option, but you have to be careful, when you are so close the manuscript you can fail to see where errors are. So, if you do decide to proofread your own book, wait, give it a couple of weeks leaving it completely alone. You need to take a break away from it so that you can return with a fresher pair of eyes and be more objective in its review.
Consider printing it first.
As crazy as it might seem, we tend to read things differently upon the screen in comparison to that on the printed page (we have also been told the same from countless authors). Once you have done your first proofread, upload and order a proof copy of your book and then go through the printed copy, you’ll be genuinely surprised at the issues you missed.
In last week’s blog post, we looked at software which will help authors with editing, grammar and spelling (and many of these are free), now, this won’t tell you whether your book makes sense or is something that the public will go wild for, but it will help you in finding any issues that can easily be missed when reviewing your own work.
Understand your own knowledge.
Remember, it is impossible to know everything, but luckily there are those who know how to proofread that have created courses for you to learn the best techniques from. Online services such as Udemy have a seemingly limitless selection of courses aimed at anyone trying to learn something new. They also have a good selection of courses aimed at how to proofread (over 200 to choose from), a small selection of them are free, but most are around $15.
So, before you try to ‘wing it’, check out the courses, they could save you a great deal of time and give you a far better result when complete.
Enlist friends and family
This is by far the most popular option for so many authors, but be careful, those closest to us tend to be less critical with feedback, of course, this comes from a place of love, but it doesn’t help with polishing your book.
When getting people you know to read your book, tell them explicitly not to pull any punches and that this is a first draft, you want to make them feel comfortable when they give you their opinion that you won’t take it as an insult and become defensive, after all, they are doing you a favor, and I’m sure you still want to keep them as a friend.
When friends and family read your work, they’ll hopefully find those errors you may have missed, but they’ll also normally give you an opinion on the book too, this can be great for editing purposes, again, as long as they are comfortable in giving you that feedback.
Get a professional to do it
This is the more costly approach, but it is the better option for most authors, getting a professional proofreader can cost anywhere between $10 per hour to $100 per hour, the large range denotes experience and the level of expertise that you are buying.
Don’t forget why you’re doing it.
Proofreading your book ensures that your manuscript is professional and is received by its audience in that manner too, people are quick to point out issues in reviews on Amazon, so your completed book needs to be free of basic errors and make sense when being read.
It is time consuming, but so was writing it.
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