On Manuscript Proofreading

Today we have a guest post from author Chuck Klein:

In 1986, I self-published my first book. It took a couple of years to sell out the original press run, but with that track record, I was able to secure a royalty publisher with an editorial staff to proofread and edit the 2nd edition. That was then. Today, most publishers and agents won’t look at a work unless it’s copy-perfect.

When I finished WHERE THE OLD HIGHWAY HAD RUN, Classic Tales of the Road and Beyond, I secured the services of JRW for proofreading and editing. Lucky for me, as they caught a number of mistakes I had made. A writer can read their own sentences – a dozen times – and still not see the missing word, punctuation marks or the awkwardness of a sentence. Spellcheck is a wonder, but it can’t determine incorrect word selection. Case in point: I wrote a piece for a police magazine that had a line beginning, “Security at penile institutions…” I knew the word should be penal, but even the multiple times I reread the article, it never clicked that I had the wrong word. Fortunately, the editor had a sense of humor and all was not lost. When it comes to writing, there is no substitution for correctness.

Chuck Klein


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