Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 1655 - Proof Reading

It's time for that final proof read! 

The Cheer Charlie Children's book series.
When it comes to self publishing, the most nerve wracking component of the whole exercise is going to print.  It's the day when you say "GO" and you know that once that process starts there is no turning back.



When we published Book One of the Cheer Chick Charlie series it was one emergency STOP PRINTING phone call after another.  When I read Book One now I am embarrassed by the number of little errors that are still in there.  Bad use of commas, a spelling mistake, some formatting errors and inconsistencies.  Nothing that is going to bother the kids that read it, but it would raise a few eyebrows with the literary crowd, that's for sure!

Since then we've perfected our system.  I have a wonderful editor and a series of sub-editors who help me stay on track.  Fresh eyes.  It's a God send. Book Five was so perfectly edited that it has been entered for an international literary award.

The improvements we've made and the system we've perfected doesn't stop me from panicking the day I say "PRINT" though.  When it's all said and done I'm the one in charge. This is MY work. I'm accountable for the final result.  It is my name on the front of the book. It's my brand. My business. My responsibility. The editing is essential. The final proof read is of the utmost importance.

The secret to a fool proof final read .... READING THE BOOK OUT LOUD.  Read the book from the first title page, through the publishing information page, through each chapter, all the way to the back and look at each chapter heading and each page number as you go.  READ IT OUT LOUD and READ IT SLOWLY.   When you read it out loud your brain switches to "reading what is actually there" mode rather than "what you're expecting should be there" mode.  I wrote about this here.  The problem with silent proof reading is that you are often seeing what you want to see, rather than seeing what is actually written on the page.

Cheer Chick Charlie book six

Today is PRINT day for Book Six. I am sucking my acrylics.  I am a bundle of nerves.  Have we been thorough enough? Have I missed anything?

Just now I have sent through a handful of changes (commas, a capital letter, changing "it" for "in" and switching "in" for "on").  The little things you don't always read.  The stuff you miss.

Shortly I will receive back the FINAL FINAL to read ONE LAST TIME. Then it's print time.

Today is print day.

To say I'm antsy is an under statement ....

3 comments :

  1. Agree oral reading of manuscripts is the best way to detect errors, but (speaking from English teacher and author's perspective) the editing process is ENDLESS!
    Every time I look at something I've written, I find either a minor error or something I'd like changed...maddening!
    The great thing about eBooks and self-publishing is, you can re-edit and upload with a minimum of fuss.
    :)

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  2. This is awesome Leanne! And congrats on the nomination into the international literary awards. I bet once you have the finished product in your hands your anxiety will go and you'll feel super proud of what you've achieved.

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  3. Go, you! I definitely don't read out loud enough when proof reading. But it makes total sense. I'm sure print day will be smooth sailing. Well done!

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