How to do it properly

A proof copy of the book arrived last week. For the first time I have an idea of what the finished book will look like and how it feels to have it in my hands.

Yikes, it is scary and I love it until, a second later, I kick into super critic!  I look for mistakes, hunt for errors and search out what I might have done differently. And of course, there’s no end to that!

So, I draw breath.  I’m happy with it but there is a lot of work ahead!

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I have to go through each page for typos, those annoying little errors that may have crept in to the text during the final edit or layout.  It’s easy to correct one error and create another and, annoying, I might have just missed an error.

I have to check each page for the errors that printing has created and I have to check each page for the problems that aren’t always visible on screen. Ink might not be as dark as I wanted or may have been faded by styles that I hadn’t noticed.

Despite modern technology this proofing stage will throw errors I hadn’t expected.

This is always a risky stage. When the book’s in production there’s always the risk that making changes now creates further problems down the line and add to that, this is my last check!

Finally there’s always the risk that I’ll get bored, that I’ll overlook problems and get it all done, just to get it off my desk.

I remind myself that, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.

I have to get the detail right now or live with mistakes for a lot longer.  The only way to do it properly is to sit down with a coffee, a pen and paper and to make my way methodically through the checks until everything is done.

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