Can you proofread your own book?
Truly, nothing beats a second pair of eyes on a piece of text, short or long. I know this all too well because I’m a professional proofreader and copyeditor, but I also write – books (yup, I've self-published four times), guides, booklets and blog posts.
And I miss stuff – not because I have a problem with grammar, punctuation or spelling, but because I’m too close to the text. I see my own writing in terms of the ideas I want to convey rather than the text in front of my eyes.
That’s why I hire fellow proofreaders and editors to help make my written materials the best they can be. I don't expect those people to guarantee perfection but I do expect to them to ramp up the quality (and they've never failed me).
Here’s another thing I know – the better shape the file's in, the better the price. Editors and proofreaders are professionals and, though we love what we do, we have bills and mortgages too. So, very broadly speaking, the more intervention needed, the higher the fee.
There are things every writer can do to tidy up a piece of text by themselves, though. I’ve compiled them in one handy resource: The Author’s Proofreading Companion.
The steps in this toolkit won’t replace a rigorous professional developmental edit, line edit/copyedit and final prepublication proofread, but they will help rid your file of some of the nasties!
Here’s what the Companion shows you how to do:
Just click on the image below to get your FREE copy!
Hope it helps! And come back soon for more handy tips and advice designed especially for beginner writers.
More stuff to make your writing life easier
Your questions answered – no fee; no strings; just advice
Got a question about self-publishing, or struggling with a particular sentence-level copyediting/proofreading problem? Feel free to ask me via the form on my Self-Publishers page.
I’ll write a detailed answer for you and post it here on my blog, the Proofreader’s Parlour. You don't even have to give me your name or email address (unless you want me to tell you when the answer’s live).
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and copyeditor. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
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I'm an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society. Visit the SfEP website for more information.
All text on this blog, The Proofreader's Parlour, and on the other pages of this website (unless indicated otherwise) is in copyright © 2011–17 Louise Harnby. Please do not copy or reproduce any of the content, in whole or part, in any form, unless you ask first.