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What Is Included in Proofreading a Book?

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One thing that separates celebrated book authors from amateurs is their ability to write texts that are free of spelling and grammatical errors. Books that are full of typos and grammatical errors are very boring no matter how beautiful and amusing their stories are. The secret to writing good books that your target audience will enjoy reading is proofreading.

So, who proofreads a book for publication, and what is included in proofreading a book? In most instances, books are proofread by professional proofreaders. You can either rely on your publishing company to provide you with its in-house proofreaders or hire your own. Thankfully, you can now hire a freelance proofreader from a reliable freelance job site like Guru.

How much do proofreaders charge per hour? With so many professional proofreaders now offering freelance services, the cost of hiring one has dropped significantly. Therefore, you can expect your freelance proofreaders to charge you less than their on-site counterparts. The overall cost of hiring a proofreader for your book depends on the amount of work they’re expected to do.

What Does Proofreading a Book Entail?                                 

Whether you’re a scholar writing an academic book or a fictional writer, your work needs proofreading before it’s published. The slightest errors and grammatical mistakes in your book can have a significant impact on your success as a writer. Your target audience will judge you by the quality of your writing.

This is why you must invest a lot of time and resources in proofreading your book before publication. Proofreading means reading a manuscript to check and correct spelling and grammatical errors before it’s published. Aside from checking spelling and grammar mistakes, a proofreader also ensures that sentences are punctuated properly and the story is consistent.

The term ‘proof’ refers to the publishing term used in early typesetting processes to describe a printed copy. Previously, typesetters could arrange letter tiles onto large platters that were then used to print the pages. But before more copies of the book could be produced, the typesetters had to send a ‘proof’ version of the book to the publisher for one last read-through.

The new and innovative publishing practices that use digital tools to churn out thousands of copies within a few minutes have eliminated the need to send hard copies of proof to the publisher for proofreading. Instead, writers send digital manuscripts to proofreaders and publishers. Nevertheless, some proofreaders still prefer reading physical copies.

Unlike editing, proofreading is the final phase of writing a book before publishing. It comes after your copy has been thoroughly edited and corrected by your copy editor. So, the work of a proofreader is mainly to read through the manuscript checking for spelling and grammatical errors the editor may have missed, as well as ensuring that the final copy is consistent.

No matter how meticulous you and your editors have been in writing an error-free copy, there’ll almost always be inaccuracies, especially when you’re writing a bulky book with hundreds or thousands of pages. The work of a proofreader is to identify and highlight these errors so that you can fix them before publication.

Importance of Proofreading a Book

A single grammatical or spelling error can ruin a good book and cause irreparable damage to your reputation as a writer. The modern reader is very particular about spelling and grammatical errors especially since there are so many free digital programs that you can use to identify and correct spelling and grammatical errors before publication.

In this era of social media, it’s very easy for your book to suffer severe mockery just because of one error. It’s also very easy for a book filled with typos, spelling and grammatical errors, and contextual inconsistencies to remove readers from the main story and cause them to focus on the errors.

Instead of enjoying the story, your readers will be forced to subconsciously correct the glaring errors. But if your book is thoroughly proofread, your main story will flow, allowing readers to enjoy it uninterrupted. Furthermore, proofreading a book adds an element of professionalism that’s needed to make the right impression on your target readers and reputable publishers.

When a reader or publisher finds error after error in your book, they assume that you didn’t take your work seriously. If, as the author, you don’t seem bothered to invest your time in your work, why should your target audience? Therefore, as you prepare to publish your book, make sure it’s thoroughly checked for spelling and grammatical errors by a professional proofreader. Check out Guru today for the most qualified and experienced freelance proofreaders!

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