Getting your book proofread is a vital step that every author should take prior to hitting the ‘publish’ button on their work, and regardless of how you are approaching your publishing journey, there are great ways (and services) to ensure that your book is checked thoroughly before launch.
For some authors the first option is to do this themselves, for many others they’ll use the services of friends and family, and for a larger portion of publishing authors, they’ll use a professional service to get the task completed.
All options have both pros and cons, whether you’re looking to save money or time, you can still get the job done and in a way which works for you. So, here are some great ways for you to get your book proofread.
One – Do it yourself
For a confident author who is working with a tighter budget, this may be a good option, but it can be tricky to proofread your own work. The first challenge is in being too close to the book, when you have put countless hours into a manuscript, with edits and rewrites, you can become blind to mistakes that need adjusting prior to publication.
The first thing you should consider is taking a break from your book, you want to be able to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes, and in most cases the best way of doing this is to give yourself a couple of weeks away from it.
Use editing software like Grammarly, this can have a positive impact on finding mistakes within your work, as it highlights issues for you it can make proofreading easier, although you should still use it as a guide and rely upon your own judgement for the final decision with any changes.
Try reading the book aloud, it’s amazing that when you speak the words upon the page you can increase your chances of finding errors that you missed when writing.
Take your time in re-reading it and do it in small chunks, being prepared to spend a longer time reading and not rushing the task, it ensures that you don’t skim read and miss issues.
Two – Get friends and family to do it
Having a group of friends and family to proofread your book is another cost-effective way to have your book checked for errors, and many authors will (over time) build a group of beta readers to check their new release.
Using friends and family can take longer than you may like, and if you are asking them to do you a huge favor in checking your book, you can’t really ride them in getting the job done as quickly as you would expect a professional paid service.
But getting a group to check the book at once is a brilliant way to ensure those issues get spotted, with more eyes viewing the book, you should find that nothing gets left.
However, if you don’t want to use those close to you, you could always use beta readers, this is something that you will need to organize with plenty of time as building a group of trusted readers will take a while to organize. Many authors will build this list from connections made from their social media interactions, website mailing lists, previous readers and reviewers too.
Three – Get a professional to proofread it
Getting a professional service to check your book is always the best way to ensure that nothing slips through, and the fees for this will differ depending upon who you use, prices can be as much as $2,000 for a complete book.
But it must be said that you get what you pay for, and you should keep this in mind when organizing your proofreader, the cheaper services don’t always have the experience and may miss some of the issues within the book.
The main goal of proofreading is to ensure that your book is polished and professional, that there are no mistakes or writing inconsistencies, that your sentences are grammatically correct and well written. If you cut corners and let issues slip through, you run the risk of reducing the enjoyment of your reader and increasing the chances of poor reviews (which we all know can hurt your sales).
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