Proof Copies

Proof copy. Note the “Not for Resale” banner across the top.

I am a novice independent publisher. Maybe when I’ve published ten novels, I’ll know all the ins and outs. Maybe not. I can be stubbornly stupid sometimes. Just ask anyone who knows me really well.

I did not order a proof copy of my first novel (“Millie’s Adventures in Time”). I had wanted to. But I couldn’t find the button. Most likely it was staring me right in the face, but I didn’t see it.

While getting ready to publish my second novel (“The Alien Visitation Chronicle”), I found the button. Or rather I should say it was there all the time. It was actually a bit of color-highlighted hypertext, which could explain why I didn’t see it the first time around. No excuse, really, though.

The proof copy of my second novel arrived a few days ago. It was very exciting to have it in my hands. I love the look and the feel of it. And the knowledge that this is something I created.

I started reading it secure in the knowledge that I would find only a couple of errors in it. After all, I’d read it forwards twice and backwards once. I’d corrected errors and edited along the way. I was sure that what I held in my hands was a well-completed work of art.


I’ve proofed only 49 pages so far and found 19 things I need to fix or would like to change. I have about 200 more pages to go. Oh my.

I can highly recommend ordering a proof copy of your work before publishing. Yes, you can fix things even after publishing. But there’s a good chance that a lot of your friends bought your book when you announced it was available and … well, let’s just say I’m a bit embarrassed about all the errors in my first novel. Once I get this second one launched, I’ll read my author copy of the first one and make notes about the errors.

The nice thing about the proof copy is that I feel fine marking it up and dog-earing the pages. I wouldn’t do that with my author copy. That would just be wrong.

So get your proof copy. Sit down with a fine-point red pen (mine is actually purple, I have a thing for the color purple) and get to work. You’ll have a better book when you are done. And that’s always a good thing.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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