10 Proofreading Tips for Self-Publishers (and Everyone Else)

Every author experiences this: you finally get around to reading your finished book, with its perfectly glued binding and beautiful cover, the story you have lovingly crafted and poured your heart into for what seems a lifetime, and as you get to page 15 you find…a typo. Ugh. How did everybody miss this? You’ve been all over the manuscript, your editor has been all over it, your spouse has read it — how could you have all missed it? Well, you did. And it’s too late because this isn’t an advance copy — it’s the final. But, hey, maybe nobody else will notice. Yeah, right. You know in your heart of hearts that you’re forever stuck with the knowledge that every single reader will probably see this very same typo — the one both you and your editor somehow missed after all those hours reading every single letter of the manuscript over and over again — and cringe. And think less of your book. And call you a terrible author. And tell all their friends to avoid reading you because you’re sloppy. And post horrible no-star reviews on Amazon. And make disparaging remarks on Facebook. And…okay, maybe it won’t get that out of hand. But you will always know that typo is there. It will haunt you non-stop.

The good news is: typos can be fixed. If you published traditionally, fixing them can be a pain in the nether regions. But if you self-published with a POD printer, you simply go back into your original file, fix the miscue, and upload a new PDF. Problem solved. Of course, you can’t change the copies that were already printed, but at least not everyone will see your typo forever.

But how do you avoid this sleep-losing scenario all together? What steps can you take regardless of which way you publish to ensure you won’t be the victim of the renegade misspelling or word switch you just know is out to get you?

Check out this great list of 10 Proofreading Tips for Self-Publishers from PBS. It applies to traditionally published authors, too.


5 Big Things People Should Know About Self-Published Authors

Many of you know I self-published Absolute Authority through CreateSpace, Amazon’s publishing house. This was not because the book wasn’t good enough to get published the traditional way. It was. But after going through the agony of querying ad nauseum, I did the math and figured out I was better off not waiting around any longer and just getting the book out there. I have two sequels planned (one in the works as we speak) and did not want to delay too long and thus lose my momentum. So I decided on purpose to self-publish.

There was a time not so long ago that self-publishing was strictly taboo if you ever wanted to be taken seriously as an author. Thankfully, those days are long gone. The stigma has worn off and authors are free to be more creative and not get stuck in the mass production assembly line of traditional publishing. With a little imagination and some help from other successful authors and marketers, writers can now break out of the industrial publishing mold and succeed on their own, often with very little expense. There has also been a resurgence of independent bookstores happy to support fellow renegades by prominently displaying their books on the front shelves. They also aren’t afraid to charge full price and reap the rewards for both store owner and author.

But even though self-publishing is much more widely accepted as legitimate, there are still some misconceptions out there. Here are 5 Big Things People Should Know About Self-Published Authors.

Who Know “The Princess Bride” Was an Educational Film?

Inconceivable! Yes, all you dedicated Princess Bride fans, little did you know the fun, quirky movie we’ve all quoted ad nauseum would turn out to be borderline PBS-worthy. Indeed, it is. Apparently the wit of Inigo Montoya is grounds for a lesson in using the proper word in the proper spot. Who says you can’t learn anything from pop culture?