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How to proofread and edit an eBook

13th February 2024

Originally posted to www.carnsight.com

We’ve dedicated a whole blog to proofing your eBook because it really is that important. When it comes to publishing your eBook, you need to proof it, proof it, proof it and proof it again! We can’t stress this enough, especially if you are self-publishing and don’t have the traditional editing process to help with this. Always have someone else look over your eBook. Preferably before, during, and after typesetting. Ideally, ask multiple people to read and proof your book, and do so at multiple stages if possible. If proofing it cover to cover is too much, you can always ask them to just do a chapter or two as every bit helps. 

There are many things to consider when proofreading your eBook. Here are three types of proofreading we used and what you might want to consider when approaching each one.

 

Content proofing

Does your content make sense to someone who doesn’t have the same frame of reference and context that you do? Do the sentences flow – is there a mix of short, medium, and long structures or do you tend to fall into the trap of relying on too many winding sentences and not enough truncated ones? Varying sentence lengths can affect rhythm and can have a surprising effect on comprehension and engagement. If you’re explaining something, are you clear and concise? Are there sections that go on for too long, do you over-explain or under-explain anything? These critiques can often be hard to make yourself, as someone familiar with the topic at hand and having likely written and read over the words many times. Hence, we highly recommend outsourcing this to one or two people who aren’t as familiar with the content to read it with these questions in mind. 

 

Grammatical proofing 

This is your standard sort of proofreading where you’re going through the spelling, grammar and punctuation with a fine-tooth comb. Have you used words correctly, are there any errors? While a digital tool can be a great help with this, it’s important not to rely on automated systems like Grammarly and spellcheck because they don’t always get it right. They also don’t always account for nuances of human comprehension, so while the squiggly red and blue lines can be a great starting point, we’d recommend being cautious about blindly accepting automatic corrections. There is a lot to be said for going through your eBook with a human eye more than once, at multiple stages, and from multiple perspectives. It may take time and feel frustrating on the fifth read, but it’s worth it! The last thing you want in a published piece is a typo that undermines the professionalism of your work. 

 

Visual proofing

This is usually most important after the first round of typesetting. It includes layout and spacing, indents, font type and size, headings, and links. Confirm that all of these elements appear as they should on the page and that they flow seamlessly for the user. This might take a few rounds of corrections and amendments before the final typesetting is completed and ready for publishing. We also recommend opening the final file in the format with which your user will look at it. For example, if you use Amazon, this will be through the Kindle app or device. You can use Amazon’s Kindle previewer to view the epub correctly.  

 

Powerfully Practical PR is currently available on Amazon. We’ve also shared the four things we think businesses should know before writing an eBook, and an example of how to promote it. 

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About Carnsight Communications

At Carnsight Communications we create strategies and campaigns to showcase our clients’ brilliant work through PR, content and social media. We help them get noticed by the right audience, at the right time. We specialise in creative agency PR.

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