Much of the work we do today centers around the written word. For this reason, editing and proofreading services, as well as more specialised services such as book proofreading services UK, have become extremely popular. If you have never used these services before, you may be wondering if they are worth it. After all, can’t you proofread and edit your work by yourself and, in this way, avoid having to pay to work with a professional?
Proofreading simply refers to the act of correcting errors in a piece of writing, whether these errors relate to grammar, spelling, punctuation, or consistency. In the case of editing, this is a slightly more involved process compared to proofreading. Editors may focus on issues such as style, tone, and structure, in addition to addressing all things proofreaders check. Due to this, editing and proofreading services usually cost different amounts of money, with the former typically offered for a higher price.
Knowing what proofreading and editing are about, it’s clear that when it comes to proofreading your book, this is certainly something you can do yourself. It’s worth emphasising, however, that nothing can beat using the services of a trained professional. After all, for a relatively small investment, you can save yourself a considerable amount of time. Furthermore, you get the job done far more effectively. For example, if you use book proofreading services UK, you will be working with someone who has trained for years for the task. As a result, their ability to detect ungainly passages or outright mistakes in your book will be significantly more refined compared to yours.
If you do decide to proofread your book by yourself, there are a few tips we can offer. For DIY proofreading, especially if you have not received training in this area, it is worth knowing at least a few tricks of the trade. The first tip is based on the fact that our eyes often deceive us, especially when we are reading text on a screen. With this in mind, always begin the DIY proofreading process by reading your book out loud. You may feel silly doing this, but if you try it, you will be surprised at the number of mistakes you can identify. As a bonus tip, try reading your book out loud when somebody else is present, ideally when they are listening attentively.
Another important tip, and one that is very well-known in the proofreading trade, is to read each portion of text backward. Since you yourself wrote the book, you will be familiar with the contours of each sentence, and due to this, your brain will automatically begin skimming over the text, including potential errors or awkward-sounding phrases. Reading backward, perhaps at the level of each paragraph or even at the level of each chapter, will immediately allow you to start finding more errors than you would if you read through your manuscript normally. Quite clearly, this process becomes tedious after a very short space of time, but it is a tried and tested way to improve your ability as a proofreader.