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.


4 thoughts on “10 Proofreading Tips for Self-Publishers (and Everyone Else)

  1. One of the best tips I ever came across was to put your work through some kind of text to speech program (such as the one on the kindle), then follow it on a paper copy it is goes through. If you’ve used wrong words like though, thought and through it becomes a lot easier to spot them.

    1. That’s very odd. Not sure why that happened. So far as I know, there is no way to remove people from the service from my end. Can you unsubscribe? I’d hate to lose you as a subscriber, but I don’t want my blog to be annoying. Let me know if that works.

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