Importance of Proofreading and Copyediting in Self-Publishing
[Approximate Reading Time: 5 mins]
So, you want to be a self-published author and have a finished manuscript that you have toiled over for some time?
You are justifiably proud of the effort that has gone into the book and are now ready to see it published. However, before you publish, it is best to get your manuscript copyedited and proofread by someone with professional expertise in these areas.
These are two essential steps of the book publishing process that you cannot afford to miss out on if you want an error-free book to reach your readers. Let’s take a look at how these two options can make the difference between a “good” read and a “great” read.
Proofreading versus Copyediting
“Proofreading” and “copyediting” are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the publishing process. However, these are two unique ways of making your writing effective and ensuring clarity of ideas:
- Copyediting takes place in the initial stages of book publishing. The copyeditor’s task is to pinpoint errors that the author has made or overlooked and to rectify these in order to enhance readability.
- Copyeditors will look at punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
- They will also ensure that your manuscript is in keeping with a particular style guide such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the AP Stylebook.
- Basic fact-checking is also part of the copyediting process.
- It is the copyeditor’s job to ensure your writing flows smoothly with all the sequences making sense.
- Proofreading, on the other hand, takes place just before the book is actually published. It is the final stage of editing and is intended to give a polished feel to the published version.
- The proofreader will look for mistakes that the copyeditor has missed. These include punctuation and typos.
- Proofreaders will also look for problems in the layout such as mistakes in the headings, erroneous page numbering, and font inconsistencies among others. It includes the following:
- Checking artwork, graphs, or illustrations that are included to ensure they are placed appropriately.
- Reviewing the table of contents for accuracy in page numbering.
- Keeping an eye out for bad page and line breaks. For instance, where the last line of a paragraph appears alone right at the top of the next page or when the first line of a new paragraph is the last line on one page with the rest of the paragraph on the next page.
Why Opt for Professional Proofreading and Copyediting Services?
By opting for professional proofreading and copyediting services as part of your self-publishing package, you stand to gain on all fronts. Apart from the fact that professional copyeditors and proofreaders can make your book free of formatting errors and typos, they can also help you in several other ways:
- From enhancing language to ensuring easy flow of the chapters, professionals can help take your book up a notch all around.
- A fresh set of eyes can look at the manuscript from the reader’s viewpoint and ensure that you are communicating in a way your readers can understand.
- They can eliminate factual errors and save you from losing credibility.
- This can save you time and effort and leave you free to work on your next manuscript.
- A book that has been subjected to professional proofreading and copyediting sends the message that you are a writer who is serious about your work and here to stay.
You might be good at copyediting and proofreading, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to find every mistake you’ve made. Professional copyeditors and proofreaders know what mistakes to look for and will analyze your manuscript in an unbiased manner. If you are serious about being an author and want to succeed as a writer, then being professional about it is the best way to get there!