It is one of the hardest parts about writing – and it is often hard to edit and proofread your own writing. I have been a member of a number of writing groups over the years and I do believe that the best value of these is meeting other writers and finding yourself a proof buddy or critical friend.
I hate it when a friend gets all excited and tells me that they have just paid to have their book published and when I get it and read it, (sometimes having to pay for it too), I get angry when I see what is written.
One was a friend who had given me some chapters to read/edit, which I did, but when she published the whole book, she nicely acknowledged me as the editor, (but not which chapters I did edit). Many of her chapters had stupid spelling errors and I was quite insulted to think that people would suspect that I missed the errors. Another more recently had wild ideas about a major launch with high flying writing personalities, which I never thought would happen anyway – it was all a bit of a dream really. When I read her book via my Kindle I acknowledged that she had a good story – but it was very confusing with a lot of spelling errors.
Another lady years ago announced that she had published her book on Amazon.com and I bought the Kindle version. I only read a couple of chapters and was truly aghast!!! there were so many errors. Luckily we were good friends and I was asked to go and help her. She had done the manuscript using Word, and she told me, used the Spellchecker, but had to admit that something went wrong. She may have used the Spellchecker and not saved it after correcting the errors! But when I did some other searches on her manuscript she learned that some words she used way to often, and lots more. She did have a good story but needed a lot of work on it. Actually I think she had enough for two or three books!!
I found this excellent article on Hub Pages – some good ideas and links here.
Quality Editing and Proofreading is essential but it is costly. Why not gather a small group – no more than 4 and work together. I meet with two people – and we print out copies of some chapters and work for two hours. If there are 4 of us in attendance we have 30 minutes each to get feedback from our work. Someone reads the work, and we take notes on the pages, often discuss aspects, and give the sheets of paper with comments back to the writer. Very helpful!
Please comment if I have not edited this properly…….