Proofreading and editing your own Kindle book is an extremely tedious, un-enjoyable task. Of this much we can all be certain. However, just because you don’t like to do it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to do it to the best of your ability. Especially considering the fact that a well-edited, finely proofread Kindle book can do wonders for your reputation as an author to be taken seriously.
Today, we’ll be discussing seven different things that you can do to help ensure you’re a much better proofreader and editor of your own material. Not to mention all of the benefits and perks that come along with that.
Without further ado!
#1: Put your writing aside for a while and/or get away from your writing “area”.
One of the biggest things you can do to help give yourself a “fresh” view or perspective on your work is to get away from it for a while. Not proofreading or editing something can truly recharge your batteries (so to speak) so that when you do hop back on the wagon the next day or whenever you’ll be able to do so fresh eyed and bushy tailed – or so the saying goes…
#2: Reading your writing out loud as you proofread/edit.
Reading your writing out loud so that you can hear it with your ears instead of inaudibly inside your head can also help you spot many errors that you may not have otherwise. This especially goes for phonetical errors and other sentence fragments that are easier to spot reading them back out loud.
#3: Keep style, grammar and usage handbooks ready and easily available.
Even the most skilled and well-read of professional editors and writers still need to reference guidebooks from time to time. So it’s not only a good idea to keep them handy, but also practically collect them as much as you can – mainly because you never know when you’re going to need an AP Style book or a book of common sentence fragment mistakes. Just don’t ever allow your ego to grow so big as to not allow you the opportunity of checking the source and seeing just what you may be doing wrong (or right!).
#4: Run spell-check to catch any blatantly obvious errors.
This may seem obvious but many writers oftentimes forget to run a simple spell check at the beginning of their editing or proofreading sections — even when doing so could automatically fix and correct a multitude of errors right off the bat without the need to even pour over them. So making it a habit to run as soon as you begin an editing session will ensure you never have to worry about forgetting to do so ever again!
#5: Proofread a printed version of your work.
Believe it or not, but many people often do their best editing and proofreading work when it is printed out on a piece of paper and they’re doing edits with a pen (myself included). Even if you don’t think this may be your forte, you should at the very least give it a try, because it’s practically akin to editing and reading through your work from a completely different perspective to catch mistakes and errors.
#6: Find someone else to help proofread/edit.
This is oftentimes easier said than done, but if you have any writer, editor or English aficionado friends who may be willing to take a look at a piece (just try and keep it relatively small – at least at first) of your work for any errors or mistakes you may have missed. Alternatively, you could hire a professional editor to check everything for you – albeit at a (usually) significant price.
#7: Keep a special eye out for those blasted apostrophes, contractions, and homonyms.
Especially since they’re so easily concealed and missed when proofreading your writing, going into an editing session with an overall purpose of only checking for apostrophe, contraction and homonym errors will give yourself a much better shot at actually catching some of them.