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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