Marketing 101 - Proofreading and Editing

Every author dreads that part of the job that comes when everything else is done. The editing and proofreading. In days of old, when print publishing was the only option, the big publishing houses employed an army of proofreaders and editors who would glean through a manuscript with fine tooth combs uncovering every possible error, omission, discrepancy or problem.

Editors would suggest changes in characters, changes in dialog, plot line corrections or changes. Their job was to make a good story one that readers would clamor to buy and read.

Proofreaders were there to sort out all the nuances of punctuation, grammar, spelling and to make sure that the facts were checked and then rechecked. God forbid a reader should uncover an error in fact and point it out.

Now, however, with self publishing and e-publishing rapidly replacing print publishing as the preferred method to bring a manuscript to the market, these services are no longer part of the contract. Authors and self publishers now have to perform or pay for those services out of their own pockets.

There are any number of freelance editing and proofreading companies on the market today. Before making a contract with any of them, make sure that you do due diligence so that you don't end up seeing your hard work being marketed under some one else name.

If you do opt to do your own editing and proofing, there are some tips that will help you be more professional.

1. Let the manuscript "rest" - You have spent weeks if not months on this work. You now it intimately. In fact, you can probably quote verbatim huge chunks of the text. Now is NOT the time to proofread or edit. Set it aside. Go work on another project. Get away from the words. In a few weeks or even a couple of months, pick it up again and sit down at your desk and do a proper job of proofreading and editing.

2. Keep your style guide handy.- which ever style guide you chose, keep it handy on the desk. If there is any question in your mind about something in your manuscript, refer to the style guide and take its advice. The one great thing that will come of this is that your writing will be consistent through its entire length.

3. Set a schedule and keep to it. - When you start editing and proofreading, set a drop dead date. That is, pick a date that marks the end of your proofing and editing. The latest date at which you will publish your work. Too many of use try to bring a manuscript to perfection. Its not going to happen. Most e-publishing companies have provisions to allow you to upload updated manuscripts or to edit in changes in a published work. Unlike traditional publishing where that first run of 200000 books meant that the typo you found on page e cannot feasibly bee changed until the vast majority of the first run of books have been sold.

4. "Don't edit and proofread the same way you write." = Changing work space, finding new places from which to work. Change he way you read. Try reading the chapters from front to back. Read the last chapter first and work backwards.

These are of course generalizations. You will find examples of exceptions all of the place. If you are working on a journal for a peer review periodical, your techniques will be different than if you are writing the best ever erotic romance novel.

Remember, the quality of the proofreading will have a direct bearing on who recommends the book to a friend.

One technique that has proven useful is to find beta readers. These can be friends colleagues,etc. The one big worry with this is that you will not get honest and unbiased feedback.


Why Books Need Editing and Proofreading

10 Proofreading Tips For Self-Publishers

These Proofreading Tips Will Help You Self-Publish An Error-Free Book


Pick a portion of one of your works or a complete short story if you have one. Preferrably your sample peice will be at a minimum 20,000 words

Using the tips given in lecture and in the links provided, proofread your work and comment as to what changes you thind need to be made, what errors corrected and at what pace the reader will enjoy your work.These Proofreading Tips Will Help You Self-Publish An Error-Free Book | The Good Content Company