Proofreading: The final quality check
By Preflight Books
Step-by step: The self publishing process

After many gruelling hours of writing, editing and designing, you are rewarded with the complete manuscript. However, it is not yet time to publish. Now it is time to do proofreading, which is the final ‘cleaning spree’ before your book is published. 

Proofreading is a process applied to the final draft of your manuscript to ensure that your work is clean and without errors. This process occurs after editing has been done. It involves reviewing text for spelling errors, punctuation errors, typos or incorrect use of English – this includes making sure that you do not use American and British English inconsistently.  

Never ever use repetitive redundancies. Don’t use no double negatives. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

– William Safire

Proofreading improves the quality of your language use, as its aim is to identify and remove the smallest of grammatical errors, which are often missed. A proofreader examines text to ensure consistency in the text as a whole, including accuracy in text, images and layout. So, a proofreader evaluates the work of the author, editor and designer and makes changes or suggestions to the author, with the aim of making the product as high-quality as possible. Proofreading, as a final step, also lowers the cost of production (if you spot errors later) and helps to ensure that publication is not delayed.   

Duties of the proofreader include: 

  • comparing proofs to the edited manuscript 
  • checking page numbers and headings 
  • checking the table of contents 
  • following a style guide to ensure consistency 
  • identifying what is missing and inconsistent in typography, layout and content 
  • knowing what changes need to be made while following with the budget and schedule 
  • pointing out necessary changes 
  • checking cross-references 
  • removing unclear word, column and page breaks 
  • ensuring that illustrations, captions and labels are correctly related 
  • evaluating the arrangement of content to ensure it makes logical sense 
  • communicating with the author, and 
  • collating the author’s changes with others 

Finally, the need for proofreading cannot be stressed enough. It is impossible for an author to spot every tiny error in their work, but the proofreader will help to make your manuscript polished and faultless.  

Happy publishing! 

Additional Reading

What is Proofreading? by CIEP

You might also like:

E-books vs Print books

E-books vs Print books

E-books vs Print books An E-book, short for electronic book, is a book that has been converted to an electronic format consisting of text and images mimicking the layout of a printed book. ProsCons• E-books are environmentally friendly. • E-books are portable, thus...

Copyrights and Moral rights

Copyrights and Moral rights

What you need to know about Copyrights and Moral rights What should authors and illustrators know before they put their work of art out there? Nobody thinks about the small artwork in the corner, but there are certain things to know before you publish. Here are some...

Lizo Mandlendoda

Lizo Mandlendoda

Who is Lizo Mandlendoda? space Born in the Eastern Cape, Mr Lizo Mandlendoda, popularly known as Mr. Mandla and having earned the title the 'King of Agriculture', is an entrepreneur who has dedicated his life and career to alleviating poverty in his community, country...