One Neat Trick to Proofread Your Book

fycexitjrphkc1ibqyyd077ko1_400The editing process for Blood Diva has proved endless. Of course, for “real” (traditionally) published books there are several layers of editing and it can take MONTHS to ready a book for publication. You know what? It should take even longer for self-published works. It’s not that self-editing can’t be done, but I don’t believe it should ever be purely “self” editing. There have to at least be beta readers, and maybe one brave soul going over a “final” version for typos. However, ultimately, if you aren’t paying for it, no one else is responsible for editing or proofreading your work. And if you are self-publishing, even if you are “paying for it,” ultimately you’re still responsible.

screen-shot-2011-04-01-at-9-13-56-pmI’ve been going through the manuscript again and again. I can’t even tell you how many times. Every time I think, “This is going to be the last!” And then I start finding things — the use of the word “even” three times in one paragraph, an extra word that wound up there last time when I changed something, a quote that somehow never got closed. There’s a sinking feeling when I realize this isn’t the last go round.

I wouldn’t even be attempting this on my own if I didn’t have some “professional” writing/editing experience. Then again, I don’t think people who don’t know basic grammar and punctuation rules should be self-publishing in the first place, even with hired hands editing their work. I also don’t think anyone should be offering their services as a “professional” editor who doesn’t have actual experience as a professional editor.

screen-shot-2011-04-01-at-8-58-49-pmThe “method” I employ for my own work is simple.  I edit the word document on my Mac. I view it in different fonts while listening to it being read using the text-to-voice on my Kindle. I used to highlight and note on my Kindle, but it went whacky on me a couple of times and erased my notes. I also find this “direct” method to be a little faster — although it’s harder to do on a park bench. To some extent I’m line-by-line editing, revising and proofreading all at once.

Meantime, I’m enlisting your help. The first 10,000 words are now up here. Find a typo and win a free copy of the work when it’s out. screen-shot-2011-04-01-at-9-05-04-pmThe choice is yours — electronic or print. Here’s the catch: It has to be a real typo, not a stylistic fragment or other arguable choice.

Go for it. Test your proofreading skills. Just leave a comment ON THE EXCERPT PAGE (not here) pointing out the error. First comment about a particular error wins. You can spot more than one error, but there’s only one copy of the book per person. Have at it, or just enjoy the first 10k words of what will be the hottest book of the (late) summer.

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