Proofreading a book -How to proofread a book for publication, 7 things you must not ignore

Proofreading a book -How to proofread a book for publication, 7 things you must not ignore

It is quite hard to believe that a person can write an article or even a book and send it off to publishing without crosschecking it for errors in grammatical structures, punctuation, tautology, needless lines, paragraphs and so on. Hence, it is important to note that the art of writing can not be complete until it has undergone a form of editing and/ or proofreading process.

The term ‘Proofreading’ in this context refers to the process or act of crosschecking and correcting the grammatical errors and/ or structures in a written piece. Proofreading is a strong part of the writing process because the first written drafts first, especially for fictional pieces are usually written in a hurry, or in some form of tension otherwise, they’re written in the “raw” or undiluted forms.

Diction and certain structures might need to undergo some rewriting or taking out entirely. This process can only be made possible through the proofreading process. Ernest Hemingway agrees with this assertion as well, that is why he quotes: “The only kind of writing is rewriting”.

On this note, the aim of this article is to educate individuals on the various steps which must be undertaken in order to produce a finely written piece of work which will be free from errors of any kind or sort.

These steps include:

Have an open mind:

Oftentimes, authors or writers are defensive of their writing considering the time and effort they invested into it. This usually leads to being intolerant of honest or brutal criticism of their work. In a bid to receive only validity or praises, some writers do not present their work for editing to more advanced writers than they are. Rather, they accept reviews that stroke their ego from close relatives or family members. This is a restrictive form of growth and while this may seem like common knowledge, too many times it is overlooked. In line with the point stated in this portion of the text.

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Aspiring writers are advised to forward their written pieces to a close friend or relative who is well acquainted or experienced in the reading field to help them to sort out or spot grammatical errors or errors associated with the storyline or plot of the written piece, request for opinions and/or better insight, follow the reviews accordingly and correct the written piece based on it.

Hand it to someone:

This point walks hand in hand with the fore mentioned point. Taking perspective from professional editors or at least someone who has a good degree of knowledge in the art and who is willing to put you through is healthy for your writing and your written piece(s) as well. While self-editing is a new big trend, giving out your work to trusted people goes a long way as their eyes may see corrections your own eyes or mind may have missed.

Invest in Learning Self Editing

The continuous and unending advancement in technology is quite beneficial to everyone, especially apt learners, writers and aspiring writers. This is so because it has made education a lot easier and accessible, most of this million-dollar information can even be found in some places on the internet for free.

Hence, writers and aspiring writers are advised to take out time to watch free YouTube videos or take online courses that will help them to boost their writing skills and/or proofreading abilities as well.

Take A Break Before Delving Into Proofreading/Self Editing

Giving yourself a few minutes, hours, days or weeks before returning to a piece of work can help you view with fresh eyes and be more objective. This is assuming you have gotten rid of or found a practical way or system to handle stress.

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Seek Help From The Internet

This is also one of the never-ending advantages of good technology and its advancements. There is no shame in falling back to trusted applications and websites that help in editing your work. Certain apps like Grammarly, help in punctuation and grammar corrections that you might have looked over, both of which have been overlooked at one point in time or another during your own self-editing or proofreading process.

Edit Ruthlessly

While editing, it is important to trim out needless “fat.” Fat refers to scenes, examples, characters, chapters, paragraphs, lines, figures and so on that do not drive your story or message across, or unnecessary elements that are not needed in the written piece. It is no news that readers have recently gotten more obsessed with fast-paced books and/ or essays.

The term ‘fast-paced’ in this context simply refers to books that can keep them hooked and save their time. Getting to the point from the first paragraph is usually in your best interest, but so is removing any extra burdens that slow down the pace of your work.

Re-Read It Again And Again

Reading your work before you begin editing helps you view it from the reader’s perspective. That way, it will be easier for you to spot objects and elements which do not quite fit in the written piece and also areas in which certain improvements are required.

Hence, aspiring writers are advised to read the piece before editing and after and also keep reading it till it seems spotless and satisfying to read in their eyes. Remember, proofreading need not be done or carried out in only a day. Things to look out for while proofreading and editing are punctuation, wordy sentences, vulgar words, inappropriate words, cliche words and sentences, errors in sentence structure and so on.


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