There's lots of reasons why your book doesn't get read by enough people. You published it at a bad time, you published something not relevant, or it just didn't capture your readers' imaginations. One of the most common reasons is that your book wasn't proofread properly. Want to make sure your copy is flawless? Use these tools to get the most from your writing.
1. Know the difference between editing and proofreading
Before doing anything, you need to know the difference between proofreading and editing. Many people don't even know there is a difference. Essentially, proofreading is looking for technical errors such as spelling mistakes, and editing is making changes to your content to make it more succinct and relevant.
2. Be ruthless
When you sit down and go through your writing, don't hold back. If something isn't working, delete it. If it's too wordy, make it shorter. If something isn't working, don't hold onto it. Rework it or let it go. Your book will suffer if you're too precious about what goes in it.
3. Make sure you have the rights to use your content
If you're using images or text from other sources, be sure that you have the rights to use them. It's best if you buy from a stock image site, or use copyright free material. Also, be sure that you've credited the creators properly. You can still be pulled up for plagiarism if you don't.
4. Don't trust spell check
Spell check programs are great, as they pick up a lot of errors. However, they can't do everything. Once you've used it, read through your text again. You'll find plenty of errors that it missed. For example, 'from' and 'form' are often mistyped and get missed as they're still a correctly spelled word. This doesn't mean that spell check should be ignored, but don't rely on it to catch everything for you.
5. Change the format before you start
If you're typing in a word processor, print the work out before you edit it. The change in format can often be enough to help you spot errors that you missed before. It's often easier to do this than to read through it over and over again on your screen, as you'll still miss the errors!
6. Improve your grammar
The top reason someone will ignore a book from you is because of poor grammar. It can make you look unprofessional and not careful with the image you're putting out there. Pay attention to your grammar when you're writing. What can be improved? If you're finding it difficult, there are lots of tools you can try out online. Academized and AustralianHelp both have excellent grammar guides that you can refer to as you're proodreading.
7. Read the post aloud
You don't know how the text will read to others until you read it aloud. You may feel a bit silly, but this is a vital tip. Reading aloud means you'll see your book in a different context. It's easier to see what needs to be changed when you do this. You'll also spot errors right away, as they'll trip you up while you're trying to read.
8. Ask for a second opinion
Find yourself someone that you trust to read your writing. This can be a friend, co worker, or anyone who you think can give a good critique for you. Ask them to read through your text, and point out anything that needs to be fixed. You're very close to your work, so it takes a second party to come along and point out errors that you just can't see.
9. Use online proofreading tools
There's lots of tools online that can make your proofreading job a whole lot easier. They can pick out errors, or even help you find another human experienced in proofreading. Try these ones out for size:
After The Deadline: Paste your work into this tool to get any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes highlighted and corrected.
Essayroo: This proofreading service will take in your work and polish it up for publication.
Proofread Bot: Check your work quickly and accurately with this tool.
UK Writings: Get in touch with the editors here for help in editing your writing.
Easy Word Count: This tool quickly highlights any errors in your text for you.
Boom Essays: This website is an excellent proofreading resource, when you feel you need some advice.
Reedsy: Find yourself an experienced editor with this website.
And there you have it. Put these tips to good use, and you'll be putting out top quality content, every time. Keep them in mind, and bookmark the online tools. When you're proofreading your next piece, you'll be glad you did.
About the Author