Now we come to the last part of this series. Proofreading.
Proofreading is important. It’s the basic checking if you spelled things correctly, is the comma is in the right place for the right reasons, and all of that jazz. But this part has many points to it. So how do you make sure it’s done right? I do it with three different types of proofreaders.
- The Grammar Nazi
- The Fellow Writer or English Buff
- Every Day Reader
Now there is a very important reason for each one and things to remember with each one.
First, the dreaded grammar Nazi. Now I know what you maybe thinking: you don’t want a stuck up grammar person making you feel bad about your work or correcting a error to the typical English rules that you meant to do.
That’s okay! The amazing thing is you don’t have to apply the changes they share. Their editing is opinion. Never forget that! I’ll repeat it! Their editing is opinion! You don’t have to use it. They may point out errors you would like fixed, and that’s what your working for. But if you disagree with a few (or even most of them) then don’t use it.
It’s your book, your work. Don’t let them change you. And most good editors understand that. They’ll understand and not mind one bit if you don’t use it. That’s a mark of a professional. So look for those Nazis.
Second the fellow writer or familiar with English. These people will either be another writer or an English teacher or something like that. Someone who isn’t uptight, knows the craft, so can help with proofreading that isn’t necessarily grammar.
For example, you want to show a hesitation and you use a comma instead of ellipsis. That is correct, but maybe not the strongest way to do it. So they’ll make those corrections, or rather suggestions. Then again, if you like it use it. If not: don’t.
This is helpful for just the structure and basic tools of the trade. So a useful step that is often overlooked, but don’t do it! It’s worth the extra weeks or months, promise.
Third, the average reader. This one is important! Because this is who your books is for. If this person notices something odd in how you do it, likely so will your paid readers. So make sure to use this step last to cover those little bugs. Now again, you may noticed they correct things you want to be that way; it’s okay. Just know other readers may notice as well, but that’s likely why you did it. So don’t stress too much over intentional errors.
And that’s it! Once you’ve gone through those three types of editors: content, beta, and proofreading, and gone through their different steps, your book should be just about ready for publication. But that’s really between you and your editor to decided.
If it need more work, In what area? Then go back and start the editing in that right area. Just always remember to go through proofreading after. You don’t want those little issues giving you bad reviews.
So go on! Enjoy your editing! Make amazing books and share you successes in the comments. We’d love to share them!