The duo over at DuoLit asked Randall Davidson from www.proofreadingservices.us to write a quick tips article for do-it-yourselfers. Proofreading isn’t easy, and if you don’t have access to or can’t afford a professional, the task comes down to you (or a friend who is also not a professional).
Self-published works are not subjected to the watchful eyes of professional editors, leaving the job of proofreading in the hands of the writer.
I won’t spoiler the ten items, and the headline of the article does promise that this will ensure your work is flawless. I don’t have that much confidence in my perfection, so I’d still advise caution. But things like…
- Allow some time to pass. [...]
- Simplify whenever possible. [...]
- Format your text. [...]
- Have someone read the text to you. [...]
…and more, will certainly go some way to cleaning up the kind of basic typos that I see when I do slushreading of unsolicited submissions. (I removed the extra detail in that list; you will have to go read the article if it sounds interesting.)
One of the comments to that article points out that you can have Adobe Acrobat read back your writing to you, which could seriously help. I’m pretty sure that Mac OS X has full text-to-speech support as well. Worth investigating.
DuoLit also has a services page. I don’t want to wait until Sunday to post it, so I’ll just do so now. They provide a lot of the self-publishing services that traditional publishing houses hide from authors, and that self-publishing authors can find daunting (and so they should): http://selfpublishingteam.com/services/ and specifics here: http://selfpublishingteam.com/services/a-la-carte/