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November 29, 2012


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Susan Shea

Agree that reading like a hawk is vital before you get to galley stage. What's scary these days is how inadequate some publishers' proofreaders are. I proofed my whole first book after I discovered many "oops" the publishers' proofreader didn't catch... and a few she apparently created! Arduous, but "oops" after printing didn't feel like a good option.


Eek -- it's not good when the proofreader needs to be proofread! I agree that it's worth the trouble of reading the book again if it catches even just one mistake.

Terry Shames

Staci, I laughed at your post. It's a nightmare finding those tiny changes. One technique I just tried for the "very last pass" through the book was to read it backwards. Read the last page, then the next to the last, etc. I hoped I would find at least a few errors so I wouldn't think it was a waste of time. Jeez! I found an error on ever other page--little things like you are talking about.


I'd never thought to read the book backwards, but it sounds like it definitely works!

Carole Price

Great article, Staci. Funny, too. One reader said she gave me 4 stars in stead of 5 because of a word choice/typo and that the editor should "read" it, not just "scan" it. I read the hardcover looking for errors and found none. Go figure!


Carole, it always amazes me how those sneaky little typos manage to slip by multiple readings of a manuscript. Sometimes, I'd swear someone breaks into my computer and puts them back in when I'm not looking!

Michael A. Black

Right on, Staci. I think the fear of finding a missed typo is the major reason why writers never want to read their own work. And as for those people who find the typos the proof reader missed and seem to take delight in telling everyone, the author included, if you know of any I've got my Taser.


I think the sex change is hardest, although I thought a name change was easy...until I realized I hadn't changed it on the "flap squib". The printer actually caught that.

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