When I began working inside an 80-year-old publishing house, I quickly learned two things:

a) a daily cappuccino was my friend, and b) there was a bigger meaning behind two small shelves of books near my office (aka cubicle).

Those shelves, it turned out, held our latest printed titles, and some of them – okay, many of them – had little yellow sticky tabs peeking out from their pages.

Those sticky notes, I discovered, marked dreaded typos. If a book sold particularly well and I was to have it reprinted, I first had to check those shelves to see if any mistakes had been flagged. If so, the book file would need to be corrected before being sent to the printer.

Easy, right?

It was another few weeks or so before I discovered that we had an ENTIRE ROOM dedicated to books that MIGHT need to be reprinted sometime … and that hundreds of those had sticky notes flapping from their pages!

But wait … traditional publishers never publish books with mistakes in them, do they?

Well … in 2016 alone, I read SEVERAL books from major publishing houses that contained typos—misspelled words, the wrong pronoun used, wordssquishedtogether. Oddly, readers did not mention these errors in their reviews. But if an indie author has a typo? You bet you’ll hear about it in your reviews (I have!).

The moral of the story is don’t shortcut the proofreading process.

You want your material to be the best it can be so you can reach hearts with your message or story. Deliver a thought-provoking, well-written book, and your readers will be on your team for life.

So have a second (or third) set of eyes look it over for you.

And if you publish it and still find a mistake? Don’t fret! As an indie author you can fix the error and upload the new file using something like Scrivener in the time it takes to throw down a cappuccino 😉

The Case for Proofreading
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One thought on “The Case for Proofreading

  • January 20, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    You are so right, Julie! Proofreading is a learned skill. And if possible, it’s good to have several people go through the manuscript before it is published. That takes time, but pays off in the long run.

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