Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The importance of the proof

When I submitted my files for the print edition of Destined, I was sure they were prefect, and that I wasn't going to have to make any corrections. Even better, CreateSpace was having a promotion where the first proof was free (plus shipping), so I thought I was going to get this done pretty cheaply. Ha.

Despite the numerous edits I've done (NUMEROUS), I still managed to miss things. There's something about reading on actual paper, I think, that makes it easier to spot errors. Up until now, I'd been proofing either on the computer, on my iPad, or on the Kindle/Nook. eInk is nearly as good as paper, but it's still not quite the same, because you're still reading on a device. Or maybe I just wasn't looking closely enough before, who knows. Point is, reading through that first print proof was good, because I caught more than I expected.

The weirdest mistake I hadn't noticed before (partly because it's only in the print version)? Backwards apostrophes!  Somehow, when I was writing the book in Microsoft Works, it auto-formatted some of the apostrophes wrong, and I never noticed. They're small, so unless you look closely, you can't really tell. But it's there, and now that I've spotted them, they're driving me nuts. Thank goodness for find/replace, because there's no way I would have caught them all with my naked eye!

My story's probably a good lesson in favor of hiring an outside editor, but I'm stubborn about editing my own stuff. Besides, all these editing passes I've done have turned up more than just mistakes: they've shown me parts of the book that can be improved, and I think the end result is much better for it. It was time-consuming, but worth it. Call me a control freak, but I still prefer to do everything myself.

Now all that's left is doing one last skim to make sure the changes I made don't have errors, and finally getting that author photo taken, so I can put it on the cover before I submit for the second proof. Then while I'm waiting for the proof to ship, I can go through the ebooks to make sure they're still okay. (A lot of the changes I made were more than formatting, so I had to change the Kindle and ePub as well.)


Post a Comment