Reading the Proofs

The proofs have arrived from Matador. It already looks different – not like my manuscript, the font, style and layout are changed – but also not like a book. Instead, it’s a tantalisingly glimpse of what the finished product might be. I feel a glimmer of excitement.

However, the main feeling is one of fear. The responsibility of getting this right is mine. I have to be knowledgeable and vigilant – the thought of any of those spelling, grammar or typographical mistakes getting through is mortifying.

Before I sent the manuscript to Matador, I asked a couple of hawk-eyed friends to read it. Despite the fact I’d read it hundreds of times before, they still managed to find loads of mistakes. But now I’m on my own.

I could have had help. Matador offers an external proofreading service but you have to pay extra for that, and I decided I would save that money and spend it on marketing instead. I want to make a splash for the book launch and I’m planning other activities as well, so it’s up to me to make a good job of reading the proofs. Let’s hope that proves a wise decision. The thought of opening my lovely new paperback and finding a mistake glaring up from the page …

Proofreading is a time-consuming activity. I’ve already spent hours on it and I’m only up to chapter 9 – there are 28 in all! It’s painstaking and I’m reading it aloud to keep my concentration high. I’ve found a few things but most of them are to do with layout, and I do wonder how an external person would recognise those errors. 

The upside is that I’m enjoying the book all over again. There a few things I’d like to tweak – words I like to change, bits to take out, bits to add – but so far, nothing to make me cringe! Generally I’m getting involved in the story and the characters, which given that I know what happens, has got to be good!

Still – another 19 chapters to go. How will I feel then?

Watch this space!

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2 Comments

  1. John says:

    I’m impressed that you are getting into the characters and story even though you know everything about them because you wrote it. I’ve heard that some people rarely go back to work when it’s finished – is it a bit like actors not being able to watch films of their own performances? You are sounding proud of what you’ve achieved and that’s got to be good. I can feel a real sense of the excitement building!

  2. Sheila says:

    Emailing, text messaging and now blogging. What nextfor me?
    I find it hard to believe that there are many mistakes. Do you think there would be more or fewer if the book were hand written?

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