How to proofread your published book just how important is it to get this right?

Proofreading exercises

This is one of the longest part of the whole book processing jobs and one that many authors either skip or don’t do because they don’t know how or perhaps they don’t enjoy it. Ok so it isn’t one of the easiest jobs in the world but it is a necessary evil because if it is not done your reviewers will complain with bad reviews which hurt your sales, so it is important? Heck yes!

There is never a perfect method for proofreading probably because we see what we intended to write rather than what we actually wrote!

No matter just how cautiously we inspect our text, there’s constantly one more little slip-up waiting to be revealed.

Ten Best Proofreading Tips


There’s no foolproof formula for perfect proofreading every time. it’s just too tempting to see what we meant to write rather than the words that actually appear on the page or screen. But these 10 tips should help you see (or hear) your errors before anybody else does.

1. Time
you need to walk away! It doesn’t matter if it is just for a few hours or a few days just go for a walk, or do something else then come back to your work, this way you will actually see what you have written.

2. Check names, data, and facts.
As well as correcting your spelling and usage you need to make sure the date or information is accurate.

3. Spellcheckers.
In your word document you have a spellchecker which can find miss spelt words, extra spaces, repeating words and other usual errors, it isn’t perfect but it helps and is one of the first hurdles to jump over.

4. Don’t Read Fast.
If you are the type of person who reads too fast, develop the habit of reading more slowly when reviewing your work for errors. This will help you pick out details that you would not have noticed if you read fast.

5. One step at a time.
first look at all of your headings, then subheadings then sentences, check for spelling, the punctuation do it over and over, physically look for mistakes.

6. Do the hard copy.
This is pretty simple and it allows you to go into another room which also helps sometimes! Just print out your text and examine it line by line it may possibly help you find errors that you didn’t find before.

7. Read it aloud.
Now that you have your print copy read it out loud or to a friend, if you stumble, why did you stumble is it a missing word or the wrong word?

8. Online checker.
use this as another tool in your belt to check your work – again it is not a human element but a very useful tool and the best online grammar checker that is free that I have found the paper rater

9. Take a step backward.
I always do this; I take my printed doc and start at the end and work my way to the beginning, this way the text doesn’t make as much sense and you actually spot errors that you didn’t see before because you see individual words.

10. Ask for help.
you have plenty of friends or family that you could ask them to read it for you ask them to mark out mistakes that you may have missed you will be amazed at how many slipped by you!


Proofreading worksheet

Self Editing Checklist


Time away
Checked names, dates, facts, info
Spell checked
Slow read
One at a time
Printed copy
Read aloud
Online checker
Ask a friend