Proofreading or Final Edits

Proofreading or final edits do not require a red pen

The next step in getting our book ready for publication are the final edits or proofreading. In prior blog posts I have discussed Professional editing and Editing and Revising Picture Books. This last edit takes place once your book has been designed and is almost ready to go to the printer. A proofreader compares your copy-edited manuscript to the designed pages to make sure no mistakes were made along the way. A good editor will review spell and grammar as well as the pacing of the story. The editor will do a final read to find any last mistakes. A third person can provide a proofread as a last check that the changes were completed.

Last week we met with our editor, Lauren and Miriam Laundry, our publisher to complete our final edits. It is important to have several people looking at your book at the same time. Each person can find things that you may have missed or they may have advice to share based on their knowledge and experience as an editor. Once you get through the proofread or final edits, your book should be ready to go. You can send it out to the printer, confident that you’re releasing as clean a book as possible!

Take your own editing notes

We were each given a copy of Two Wins for Wiley to review before the meeting. This gave us the opportunity to read the story carefully and make notes to bring to the meeting. One of the things that I did was comparing the manuscript copy with the book. I know I made several changes to the text while working with the illustrator. Some text was eliminated because the illustration showed that sentence and there was no need for telling. I wanted to ensure my final copy matched our final copy. I took notes on certain pages with questions I had for the editor. Reading the aloud is another strategy I use to find my errors. Sometimes there is an s at the end of a word that does not belong there.

When editing the book, you need to look at the whole book. We started with the copyright page, moved on to the dedication page and made edits as we moved along. Some things we corrected were spacing and missing commas. I have found that each editor feels differently about commas and when commas should be used. In this case we needed to add a comma for consistency.

Reading the story aloud

I was asked to read the story aloud, one spread at a time. After each spread we compared notes and discuss the edits. One example I can share with you is the fact that I have a bad habit of spelling the word ok with just two letters. I think it is a bad habit I picked up! The correct way to spell it is okay. Did I know this? Yes, but I did not catch it in my final read through. We also eliminated Wiley gulped and changed it to Wiley asked because we don’t gulp words.

When someone else is looking at your story, especially with an editor’s eye, they see things that up until now, you did not notice. I am thankful for their editor’s eye and for them catching some of the edits I overlooked. We continued to edit the story to the end, the back matter and even the back cover. From the front of the book to the back cover was given a final edit.

Proofreading and final edits

Our editor, Lauren took notes throughout the editing process. Those edits were sent to us and to the book designer to make the changes. Once this changes were made to the book, we were given time to review, one last time to ensure every edit was completed and we were happy with the final book. With proofreading and final edits completed, we are ready for our next, and last step to upload the book to Amazon.

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Remember to Save the Date! Two Wins for Wiley will be launched on October 18th! We hope you will join us on that day and help us to spread the word.

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