This meme has been floating around, and got my re-thinking about something I think on often… HOW DO TYPOS SURVIVE?
For those traditionally published, you KNOW that typos make it into the final version of your book – almost every single time. (I’ll admit to a tiny part of me being giddy when I find one in a big 5 book. Totally selfish) And what the meme above left out, are the line edits that should happen between content and copy.
I just printed ARCs of The awful wonderful Story of Us. That book has gone through AT LEAST as many rounds of edits as it would have if I had gone traditional with that story. Still, there were small things ALL OVER that book that I changed. Things my eyes fixed as I read before, or didn’t pick up on in the version I read (over and over and over) on my computer. Most were tweaks of ellipses, but about 5 typos survived all the eyes that went over that book. These are things I didn’t see until I held a PRINT COPY in my hands.
Does this mean everyone needs a print copy?
This means that everyone, traditional or indie – large, small, or self press… NEEEDS to figure out the solution that works best for them.
Proof rounds for indie peeps should happen AFTER the author is happy with their story, tension, arc, sentence structure, and has done a round of copy.
But, anyone submitting to agents and/or publishers can benefit from doing some solid proof reading.
A few things to help make the most of your proofreading :
- Change the font and make the print HUGE on your computer screen.
- Change the color of the font.
- Print a copy – either as an ARC or printed pages.
- Don’t skimp on edit rounds, and if you’re indie and have to (b/c edits can be spendy), make sure you have MORE THAN ONE proofreader that comes after copy edits.
- If you’re indie, and can only afford one round of edits, DO LINE EDITS and then bribe friendS to read a printed version of your book to help you find those tenacious goofs.
- If you’re traditionally published, when you get your galley copies (where the book is all pretty and formatted), PRINT IF OFF if your publisher doesn’t. If they do, keep reading.
- Read OUT OF ORDER so you’re not sucked into the story.
- NEVER do proof pages for more than 30 minutes at a time, even if all you do is stand up and stretch.
So, there you go. A few ideas on how to kill off the tenacity of typos. (And now Jo wonders how many snuck themselves into this post…)
HAPPY WRITING EVERYONE!
Found a cool post about typos HERE.
If you’re curious on what edit rounds should cover, Cookie Lynn has a basic overview:
A Content Edit includes overall notes on plot, characterization, and storytelling. A content editorial letter will be delivered with the edited manuscript.
A Line Edit will cover style issues such as word choice (misused or overused words), smoothing out awkward sentences, finding passive sentences, and improving clarity and flow. It will include an editorial letter and a style sheet.
A Copy Edit includes checking grammar, punctuation, and spelling and will also include looking for typos and echoes. A style sheet will be delivered with the edited manuscript.