Top 6 Tips for Proofreading Your Book

Publishing a book is a big deal. Your hard work, late nights, and copious cups of coffee are about to pay off! With proofreading, you can ensure that your published fiction or non-fiction book will be of the highest quality and devoid of any grammatical, spelling, or style errors. While it is always recommended to hire an expert proofreader before you publish your book, it is essential as an author for you to perform proofreading on your manuscript as well. Proofread your book with flair with our top 6 tips for book proofreading. When you are ready for your novel to be professionally proofread, Better Language Company (BLC) is your expert and proficient proofreader.

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Top 6 Tips for Proofreading Your Novel:

Whether you have written the next best-seller for science fiction or have crafted a useful self-help book for the modern lifestyle, proofreading is an essential skill for all writers. Proofreading your written work yourself before sending it to an expert proofreader will ensure that your writing skills are portrayed in their true glory, rather than in their gory. We highlight our top 6 tips for proofreading your novel yourself before you hire a professional proofreader.

1) Take a Break:

There is nothing more invigorating than reaching the moment of being finished with editing your soon-to-be-published book. While you may have spent days, months, or even years writing and editing your manuscript, there is still one more important step to take: proofreading. This step cannot be skipped, no matter how excellent your editor or personal editing skills are.

The best way to approach your proofreading is to take a break from your book before you start. Your break can be a few days to a few weeks, spending time working on a house project or catching up with friends on a weekend away. It is important to take a break so that when you begin to proofread your book, you are feeling refreshed and have had some distance from your work to be able to catch any issues.

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2) Know What To Look For:

Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and is therefore performed after all other editing has been done. Once you are satisfied with the editing of your book, you can then begin to proofread the content. If you are new to proofreading, you may not know what you are meant to be looking for in your book manuscript.

Proofreading is the process that highlights and corrects any grammatical, spelling, syntax, and style problems in a written document. Although you can use grammar and spelling checkers for these potential issues in your work, you cannot rely on these platforms fully. When reading your book manuscript, focus on the details, such as word choice, sentence length, flow between paragraphs or chapters, punctuation, and uniformity of spelling.

3) Have a Story Handbook

It is easy to get caught up on the grammar and spelling issues in your book and forget about other essential details, like ensuring that the heroine is always described as brave or that you have not mixed up the author names in your quotes. An excellent way to maintain consistency in your story is to have a story handbook with you whilst you are proofreading your book manuscript.

A story handbook is essentially a guide to your book. It will contain the breakdown of your plot, character information, references, specific words used that convey the underlying meaning of your book, and certain details you need to ensure are emphasised. A story handbook will save you time from having to go back through your book to double-check a detail and help you ensure a connected thread is being woven throughout your book.

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4) Read Your Book Aloud:

Reading your book aloud is a highly recommended tool for improving your book manuscript before it is published. There is a major difference between reading your written work and hearing how your written work sounds. When you read your written work aloud, you are forced to truly focus on the word choice, style, and flow, and this will guide you towards any issues or highlight any areas that need refinement.

Reading your book out loud will help you pick up on aspects of your writing style that you may have missed by simply just reading your written work. You will hear if the sentences are too long, too short, or are all the same length. You will also pick up word repetition, clumsy flow, gaps in your story, or uncomfortable phrases. We have highlighted three tips for when you read your book aloud.

Read Slowly: When we read, our minds are able to travel over the sentences at a faster pace. This is often the cause behind grammatical or style problems popping up in our written work. When you read aloud, you naturally read slower to allow for breathing and emphasis. When you are reading aloud for proofreading purposes, allow yourself to read even slower than you normally would. While time-consuming, this will ensure that you pick up any problematic areas in your book.

Read Aloud To Someone: This can be terrifying, but also extremely beneficial to the quality of your book. Reading your manuscript aloud to someone else will allow for an objective perspective on how your storyline flows or if the information makes sense. Find someone that you feel confident around and can trust that they would provide an honest opinion on your novel.

Have Your Computer Read It Aloud: If you want to simply focus on listening to your written work rather than also having to focus on reading it aloud, you can use software or an online tool on your computer to read your work aloud. Proofreading in this way allows you to focus purely on the details in your written work.

5) Change the Format:

When proofreading your book, you need to strive to approach the written work with fresh eyes. One way to see your written work in a new light is to change the format. If you typed your entire book on your computer, consider printing the work. You can also change the font and size of the writing to see your words in a fresh perspective. Changing the format will alter how your written work looks and help you see any errors in the writing.

6) Go Backwards:

A highly popular tip for proofreading a book yourself is to read backward. You can start at the bottom of the page and work back to the top, or at the end of the book and work back towards the beginning. By reading backward, you stop focusing on the story itself and instead focus on the grammatical, spelling, and style details of each sentence. This is a thorough way to ensure that your book is proofread to the highest standard.

Why Hire Professional Proofreaders:

You may be wondering why you still need to hire a professional proofreader after taking the time and putting in the effort to proofread your book manuscript yourself. While it is important that you do a round of proofreading on your book, it is always recommended to hire a professional proofreader for the final proofreading process. We have listed the four main reasons why you should hire a professional proofreader for your book.

Expert Proofreaders: Proofreading is an important skill for writers, but often many writers are not confident in their ability to proofread to a professional level. Even well-seasoned authors can miss common grammatical or spelling mistakes in their work, therefore no matter your writing or proofreading skill level, an expert proofreader is always suggested. An expert proofreader will offer you unmatched professionalism in their proofreading service.

Industry-specific Proofreaders: Proofreaders are available for every different industry and topic. This makes it easy to find an expert proofreader who will be qualified and experienced in proofreading books within your genre. Your industry-specific proofreader will ensure that your book is correctly proofread in a way that is aligned with certain aspects of your genre.

Increased Book Quality: After your proofreading process, the standard of your book should have increased. Unfortunately, no matter the level of your proofreading skills, it is always easy to miss errors in your writing due to being too close to the work. An expert proofreader will take your book to the next level of quality by applying a fresh pair of eyes to your manuscript and objectively highlighting any problems.

Peace of Mind: We have all read a published novel and felt the frustration of spotting a grammatical error or the irritation over our favourite character’s misspelled name. The last thing you want as an author is to have several reviews citing your errors in your grammar, spelling, or style from your book. A professional proofreader will offer you peace of mind by ensuring all errors are removed before your book is published.

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BLC Professional Proofreading:

BLC offers professional proofreading services that will elevate your book to the highest level of professionalism and quality. From major to minor issues in your manuscript, we will ensure that all issues are corrected and highlighted to you so that you can produce a book that you can be proud to publish. You can enjoy the benefits of expert and accurate proofreading at an affordable rate for your book with BLC.

Our proofreading service extends beyond simply highlighting grammatical or spelling errors in your book manuscript. We additionally offer feedback to increase the value of your written work, print layout tips for a consistent style, structural edits to maintain a clear message throughout your book, and syntax reviews. Our layout services will ensure that if you are planning to publish your book as a hardcopy, an eBook, or both, your layout will translate correctly to your selected format.

We strive for perfection when we proofread your book manuscript. Our dedication to providing you with a valuable service ensures that your book will receive the proofreading attention it deserves. To uphold the exceptional standard of our proofreading service, we offer a three-step proofreading process to ensure the highest quality is reached in your book manuscript. This three-step process includes reading the book once from beginning to end and then going back over it two more times to highlight all grammatical, pace, structural, format, flow, or syntax errors in your work.

Our proofreading service is offered by competent proofreaders who are specialised in every industry. Our professional proofreaders are experienced in both fiction and non-fiction, ensuring that we will match your book and your requirements to a suitable proofreader. Our accurate proofreaders offer a quick turnaround time, without sacrificing the time it takes to dedicatedly examine every detail of your written work.

After you have proofread your book yourself, you can trust that the professional BLC proofreading service will elevate the quality and professionalism of your book.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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