Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Importance of a Proof Copy

If your book is at the proofing stage, like mine is, you're probably aching to get it out into the hands of your readers. But wait! The process of getting that last read is important!

Photo by Corey Ann, courtesy of Flickr
Sure, you might think your book is already "spotless" at least when it comes to sentences, paragraphing and alignment, but something strange occurs when you read the book for the first time in book form. You see stuff that you missed the first few times you and others read over your book.

Stuff like:

Missing letters of words
Entirely missing words
Chapter alignment problems
Page alignment problems
Unclear sentences

Although my book seemed clear before I sent it out for the proofing stage through Amazon, it came back with the problems listed above; about 10 problems in all that I fixed.

Photo by Bruce McKay, Yellow Stone Photography, courtesy of Flickr
You want to make sure that your book is clear of errors and that it is easy to read because of your layout. No, your book will probably still not be "perfect" but it will be as good as you can get it.

I remember when I published my first book, "A River of Stones." I thought everything was in alignment, both the technical and the not so technical, but one of my sisters said after reading it, "I thought they took a bucket trick-or-treating not a pillow case." I had written about both in the same scene. Fortunately, the book has gone through a second printing and the mistake was fixed.

The truth is, things will probably be missed, (we're only human after all) but the good news is that we can eliminate the confusion by giving our book one more look over before it's released to the public.



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