Editing Tip #94 – Final Proofs: Don’t Take Anything for Granted

You’re that totally prepared author, you know, the one who’s done at least 3 Drafts of your book: self-edited, peer-edited, beta-edited and professional edited to the point where you’ve just received the final print proof for your book and you’re ready to hit publish… but should you?

You don’t really need to read through that proof copy yet again? After all, you’ve been staring at the same words for 3+ drafts and you know that everything is as it should be.

Not necessarily…

Maybe you have an orphan or widow that wasn’t caught. If you’ve gone to all the trouble of getting your book formatted for print, you’ll want to make sure it looks just as professional as the, well, professionals.

Maybe your spell-check allows American English to slip in to your vocabulary even though you have your word processing program set to British English and neighbor has slipped in or counselor is missing it’s second ‘L’ in every instance of the word.

Perhaps someone hit the wrong key during one of the drafts and the word “explained” is actually spelled “esplained” by accident, even thought it wasn’t written that way initially.

DIY Book Quotation MarksOr what about those “floating  ” quotes. You know, where you’ve ended dialogue with an em-dash –” and then the closing quotes have been kicked to the next line all by themselves

These things and more do happen!

So don’t take for granted that just because this is your “final proof” you don’t need to pay close attention to how your book looks.

Pause before you hit that “publish” button and give your hard-earned, well-worked story the final once-over it deserves 😉

Happy Editing!


Creative PencilProfessional Editing for 1st time clients from $3.50/300 words for a “full edit” ~ query M.J. HERE.

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Categories: Editing

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11 replies

  1. One last look is always good. Especially from a printout, not the screen.

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  2. Agreed. You wouldn’t believe the mistakes that got through 3 professional editors and myself that an advanced reader caught right before publication! It was insane what one more look over found.

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  3. Great advice. It amazes me what gets through even 6-7 sets of eyes! The odd formatting glitches often don’t show up until that very last proof.

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    • I have a friend, who is a small publisher with big dreams, and he has a crazy line-up of “sets of eyes” to look over everything – even the final proofs after the authors have gone over them. This is your reputation on the line after all 😉 Still, it’s nice to know that for the most part, if there are an insane number of errors caught “after the fact” that you can go in an update your e- or print editions as necessary – it’s just not good to rely heavily on that!

      Liked by 2 people

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